Council defends decision not to collect Norwich wet wipe bin

Broadland District Council has defended its decision not to collect a household recycling bin because it was contaminated by a wet wipe.

Father-of-three young girls Stephen Buxton, of Marigold Close in Horsford said it was 'ridiculous' that his bin had not been collected on Thursday because of the error.

The 51-year-old commercial sales manager went out to find his recycling bin was still full after the Thursday collection, but when he contacted the council to find out why he was told that it has not been collected because it was contaminated by a nappy and glass. He said that there was one wet wipe in the bin.

But the council said that 'contaminated' bins can cause damage to waste plants and they had issued houses with a list of recyclable materials.

The dispute happened as reports suggest that the government will stop councils from issuing fines for breaking 'confusing, arbitrary and unfair' rules.

Under existing rules, councils can fine householders up to �110 for breaching regulations on putting out rubbish - although the vast majority of local authorities responding to a survey earlier this year said they had not issued any fixed penalties for bin offences in the past year.

Mr Buxton said: 'I pay �1,300 a year to have my rubbish taken away. It is just ridiculous really to say you are not going to empty somebody's bin because there is a wet wipe. 'I've got three young children and I'm not going to be able to last three weeks.'

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'It was the whole attitude saying that everything is contaminated. It is not like I did it deliberately or I've thrown out bottled glass. You do not expect your bin just to be left there.

Bob Wade, environmental protection manager at Broadland District Council said: 'We only leave bins behind if they are significantly contaminated. We are sorry we were could not empty Mr Buxton's recycling bin. As we have advised him before, we are only able to empty recycling bins which have the recyclable materials listed, that can be sorted at the plant. 'Waste materials can cause problems with the equipment at the plant, can sometimes pose a risk to the operatives who have to sort the materials and affects the quality of the recyclables which we handle on behalf of residents.'

He said they had sent Mr Buxton some clear sacks so that he could carry on recycling until the next collection.

'We really appreciate the efforts residents make to recycle but if loads are contaminated then it costs more for sorting and this can impact financially on the services we provide.'

Broadland District Council recycle plastic bottles, paper, card, aerosols, and clean food and drink cans.

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Annabelle Dickson on 01603 772426 or annabelle.dickson@archant.co.uk.

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