Takeaway pizza is a recycling nightmare

Waste management officer Phillip Wilson with a pizza box which is causing contamination
Waste management officer Phillip Wilson with a pizza box which is causing contamination

TAKEAWAY-loving Wiganers who foul up their recycling will face a hard-line approach for costing taxpayers thousands of pounds, council bosses have said.

In recent months 14 wagons of waste have been rejected due to the wrong products being placed in the blue bins, with leftover pizza a regular culprit, at a cost of £25,000.

As a result, recycling chiefs at Wigan Council have vowed to take a zero-tolerance approach, wrongly filled bins will be slapped with a red cross and not collected.

Coun Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for environment, said: “This problem has been increasing over recent months so it is right that we take a proactive approach to dealing with it.

“If residents are unsure about what goes where they can visit our website to find out more.

“If in doubt, put the item in your black bin.”

Blue bins are for recyclable paper and cardboard only but residents have been placing unwanted food in them causing loads to become contaminated.

Other items causing the 22 tonne loads to be rejected include nappies, carrier bags, textiles and cushions, polystyrene, crisp and biscuit packets, general waste and wallpaper.

Such items mean wagons are driven to a facility in Ellesmere Port are turned away, at a cost of £2,000 per load.

Residents who do not fill their bin correctly will be issued with an explanation as to why their bins have not been collected, the council said.

Help and advice can be given to residents who are unsure what goes in what bin by contacting 01942 404364 or www.wigan.gov.uk/recycling

Coun Kevin Anderson said: “As part of the Deal our new approach to recycling in the borough is saving the taxpayer £1 million a year.

“Recycling more and recycling right is one of the easiest ways we can save taxpayer’s money and we’re usually very good at it, but we need every household to play their part – that’s how the Deal works.

“This problem is now costing a significant amount of money, we hope residents affected will understand that it benefits us all to recycle the right waste in the right bin.”