WARRINGTON taxpayers had to shell out hundreds of thousands of pounds to deal with waste wrongly placed in recycling bins last year, figures suggest.

Issues with ‘contaminated waste’ in the town have been highlighted frequently over the past year, with Warrington South residents left ‘raging’ after their blue bins were not emptied.

Households were told in November they would be sent new stickers telling them which items could and could not be recycled.

But residents remained ‘fed up’ with blue bin collection refusals, with many believing there were no ‘forbidden or contaminated’ waste in there.

The council urged people to double-check what they put in your bins and said that teams were seeing a rise in recycling contamination rates.

New data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs shows that 2,516 tonnes of waste collected by Warrington Borough Council was rejected at the point of sorting in the year to March – more than the 2,253 tonnes rejected the previous year.

Recycling charity Wrap, which works with governments and companies on sustainability, estimates that waste disposed of as recycling, which is then found not to be recyclable, costs councils around £93 per tonne to dispose of.

It would mean rejected waste cost taxpayers in Warrington an estimated £233,988 in 2020-21 alone.

Overall, the authority collected 100,982 tonnes of waste, up from 92,906 the year before.

Bin errors leaving residents ‘raging’ cost taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds

Bin errors leaving residents ‘raging’ cost taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds, data suggests

David Renard, environment spokesman for the LGA, which represents councils, pointed the finger at manufacturers who produce non-recyclable plastic packaging, which is then put in the recycling bin by people ‘in good faith’.

He said: “The burden then falls on councils to not only collect it and dispose of it, but to pay the extra cost of disposing of it.

“At a time when councils are working towards achieving net zero, they are doing so with one hand tied behind their back, courtesy of manufacturers who are littering our communities with plastic they know cannot be disposed of sustainably.”

Across England, 647,000 tonnes of recycling were rejected in the year to March, up from 525,000 tonnes the year before and the largest amount since records began in 2006-07.

Defra said a consultation had taken place on a proposal to force producers to label their packaging clearly, so that people would know if items are recyclable or not.

A spokesman said: “We want to make recycling easier and ensure there is a comprehensive, consistent service across England.

“Our landmark Environment Act will transform the way we deal with rubbish."

The act states food and garden waste should always be collected separately from dry recycling and residual waste.

“It means recyclable materials will have to be collected separately, while separate food waste collection will also help reduce contamination,” they added.