COUNCIL taxpayers face an annual bill of nearly £200,000 – because residents are putting non-recyclable materials in their green bins.
New figures released today show that the problem is worse in Kirklees than anywhere else in Yorkshire.
Of the 48,000 tonnes of waste put in green bins in Kirklees in 2007/08, some 3,500 tonnes was not recyclable.
Sending that rejected rubbish to landfill cost Kirklees Council £187,567.
The Kirklees rejection rate of 6.7% is the 22nd highest in the country and the highest in Yorkshire, just ahead of Leeds City Council on 6.3%.
A Kirklees spokesman said: “The figures quoted are correct. The rejected materials largely relate to materials placed in the green bins that are not what we ask for – we ask for paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, food tins and drinks cans.
“The type of unwanted waste being placed in the recycling bins include such things as plastics and wood which look like they are recyclable but are not able to be processed through the green bin scheme.
“ Little general waste is being put into green bins and so we are not having any problems of whole loads of recyclables being contaminated in such a way that they cannot be recycled.
“Householders are provided with detailed information on materials that can go into the green bins to keep this at a low level.”
The spokesman added: “Whilst the figures quoted do appear to show Kirklees performing poorly, it is useful to look at what the council is actually recycling.
“In 20070/8 the percentage of household waste recycled made Kirklees the seventh highest-performing council in Yorkshire and, compared to similar types of areas, the third highest performing metropolitan area in Yorkshire. We continue to improve the recycling services offered to householders.”
Hertsmere Council in London has the highest reject rate in the country at 22%, followed by Manchester on 16% and Newcastle-under-Lyme on 12%.
The figures were compiled by Which? magazine.
Editor Jess Ross said: “Recycling your household waste has never been easier but more could be done by councils and residents to ensure we recycle more effectively. Not only would this reduce the amount of waste going to landfill but it would save money.”