Waste culprits face bins axe

Council land services chief Kenneth Wilson with Councillor Helen McKenna, environmental services convener.
Council land services chief Kenneth Wilson with Councillor Helen McKenna, environmental services convener.

Households are being warned their bin might not be emptied if they ‘contaminate’ waste material that should be sent for recycling.

North Lanarkshire Council says mixed up rubbish is costing it more than half a million pounds a year.

However, a proposed crackdown has been slammed by the council’s minority SNP group. It also criticised a review of a scheme which provides help to people unable to lift their bins to the kerbside for collection.

The environmental services committee heard a ‘significant minority’ of householders - up to one third on some routes - contaminate recycling bins.

Kenneth Wilson, head of land services, told councillors: “This means the entire load has to be sent for secondary processing or in some cases landfilled. Food waste, despite the fact the council now operates a weekly food collection service, is a particularly high contaminant.”

Mr Wilson said the plan is to tag a bin with an amber warning label if contamination is deemed light or ‘non-deliberate’. If the contamination is ‘excessive’ the bin will not emptied and in ‘extreme’ cases where this continues to happen the council could remove the bin from the resident.

Mr Wilson said other councils have taken these steps with positive results.

The council will also review the help it gives to people who have their bin taken to the kerbside for them. Around eight per cent of households benefit - higher than the national average. It insists the review will be done ‘sensitively’.