Waimakariri ratepayers face having their wheelie bins confiscated if they continue to abuse the recycling system.
The warning comes after three truckloads of recycling had to be sent to ruleslandfill last week because of contamination.
Bags full of rubbish, soft plastics, dirty recycling and broken vacuum cleaners were among the assorted items thrown into household recycling bins across the district, despite calls for residents to get on board with changes to recycling rules.
Old car parts, a tool box, paint buckets, and maggots - a result of food and other organic waste - were also discovered in the mix.
Waimakariri is not alone in sloppy recycling practices – on Thursday the Southland District Council berated residents for throwing dead duck carcasses in their bins.
The council said it was not the first year the reminder had been issued during duck hunting season.
And in Christchurch, excessive contamination forced 139 truckloads of what should have been recyclable waste to be sent to landfill this month, costing the city council about $139,000 – meaning ratepayers were effectively throwing money away.
Waimakariri council solid waste asset manager Kitty Waghorn said it was vital people put the correct things in their bins.
As kerbside recycling was picked up in bulk by trucks, the bad habits of a few could contaminate an entire load, she said.
“Contaminated loads also include perfectly recyclable materials, so it’s disappointing to see the whole lot going to the tip, despite the majority of people doing the right thing.”
Most of the recycling collected in Canterbury is taken to material recovery facility EcoCentral in Christchurch, which has a contamination threshold of 10 per cent.
The loads that were dumped were more than 15 per cent contaminated – one of the highest rates the Waimakariri district had seen, Waghorn said.
Waghorn said many residents were doing the right thing though, with Silverstream in Kaiapoi, Ohoka, Swannanoa and Mandeville proving to be star recyclers in a recent bin audit.
Council staff would resume spot-checking bins, which is standard practice, following a break over the nationwide lockdown.
Recycling bins containing rubbish or organics will have a contamination tag fixed to them explaining what cannot be accepted for recycling.
People who continue to misuse their bins will not have them emptied, and repeated contamination will result the person's bin being removed altogether.
The only items permitted in the district's recycling bins are clean cardboard, paper, tin and aluminium cans, glass bottles, and rigid plastic bottles and containers marked with the numbers 1, 2 or 5.
All lids, tops and soft plastics must go in the rubbish.
For the original article, please visit stuff.co.nz.