Residents in South Tyneside are being reminded not to place plastic carrier bags or black bins sacks in their blue recycling bins.

This is because the company which processes the recycling material can only accept loose waste. If plastic bags are put in the blue recycling bins, then it leads to the entire load of recyclable material being rejected.

Councillor Tracey Dixon, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: “It can be confusing as some carrier bags carry messages on them saying they are recyclable. However, these should only be recycled at dedicated plastic bag recycling containers that are usually found in large supermarkets.

“We would urge people to support our efforts to help the environment by not placing any plastic bags in the blue recycling bin. Just one plastic bag can result in our recycling operators rejecting an entire load of otherwise quality recyclable material.”

Any blue bins containing plastic bags will not be emptied. The bins will have an advisory sticker placed on theminforming the householder that incorrect items have been placed in the bin. It is the responsibility of the householder to ensure the incorrect materials are removed before the next collection takes place.

A wide range of materials can be recycled in the blue bins. These include cardboard boxes and cartons, plastic bottles, trays and tubs, food tins and drinks cans, glass bottles and jars and small electrical appliances. Paper, junk mail, catalogues, newspapers and magazines go in the inner black caddy.

Councillor Dixon added: “Recent figures show that the amount of waste recycled in the Borough has increased by three per cent. That’s great news and residents can help us improve that figure still further by remembering to keep plastic bags out of their blue bins.”

For further information about waste and recycling and full details of what items can be recycled and where to put them, visit the Council’s website at www.southtyneside.info/wasteandrecycling or call the Council’s Customer Contact Centre on (0191) 427 7000.