Contamination in greenwaste and recycling bins is seeing too much compostable and recyclable material being sent to landfill.

Whakatāne District Council Manager Solid Waste Nigel Clarke said staff had noticed an increase of rubbish being placed in kerbside greenwaste and recycling bins.

“It’s disappointing to say the least,” said Mr Clarke.

“Contaminating these bins with rubbish means our greenwaste can’t be composted and our recycling can’t be recycled with both needing to be sent to landfill instead.

“Nobody wants to purchase compost filled with plastic and the recycling sorting centre will turn away loads of recycling that contains too many unrecyclable items.

“In one week earlier this month, the recycling centre turned away two loads of recycling due to contamination.”

Mr Clarke said the only thing that should go in greenwaste bins is garden waste that grew from the ground.

“No plastic, no nappies, no plant pots please.”

The only items that should be put in the yellow-lid recycling bins are paper, cardboard, tins, cans and plastics 1 and 2.

“That’s it, nothing else,” said Mr Clarke.

“We know the majority of people are doing the right thing, but it literally only takes one person to have the whole load of recycling rejected by the centre. Please don’t be that one person. We all need to play our part to reduce waste.”