Dirty nappies and shoes ending up in recycling bins for collection are contributing to an additional cost imposed on councils, around the world.
In one case, Walsall Council, near the city of Birmingham in the UK, have incurred an additional £200,000 in less than six months in trying to deal with the problem.
Although it might seem ‘out of mind’ for residents, putting the wrong things in the recycling bins can lead to the trucks being refused entry to plant, additional transport to landfill and other costs.
Indeed, every % of recycling that is contaminated is costing Walsall council an additional £45,000 a year.
An exasperated council spokesperson told the local Express and Star newspaper recently that this was completely avoidable.
“This [contamination] means that there is less money available to spend on the things that residents tell me are important to them, such as picking litter, sweeping the streets, cutting the grass, spaying the weeds, and tackling fly tipping by opening the tips seven days a week.
“Putting the wrong things in the … recycling bins means that huge amounts of local council tax payers’ valuable money is literally going to waste.
“One of the myths I often hear is that recycling is washed at the recycling centre. This is not the case, there is no giant dishwasher.
“Secondly, people need to understand that this waste has to be sifted by the human hand first. Would you like to stand at a conveyor belt having to pick through soiled nappies and waste food?”
Solving this problem at source is precisely what the (patented and unique) BinSense technology does – allowing the council truck to see which bins are contaminated, and which are not, before they are collected.
In addition, residents will be able to use an app to determine whether their own recycling bin is correctly uncontaminated.
Without this technology, unnecessary costs are added to council’s bottom line, with resultant pressure on their services and council rates. Plus, less of the recycling ends up being recycled, and more waste going to landfill, which has all kinds of environmental issues.