New recycling procedures being rolled out by a local authority will see collection crews inspecting residents’ waste.
Aberdeenshire Council has made the changes to its kerbside collection service from this week.
The local authority is attempting to reduce the contamination of recycling bins with waste.
Last year the infrastructure services committee (ISC) approved the kerbside collection policy and new procedure.
From this week any non-recyclable material placed into a recycling bin will be classed as “contamination”.
It could lead to collection crews refusing to empty the bin if it is classed as being severely contaminated.
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A spokesman from Aberdeenshire Council said: “Households consistently presenting severely contaminated bins will be offered advice and support to properly separate their waste. Those who ignore that advice could run the risk of their recycling bin being removed.
“Moderately contaminated bins will be emptied and an orange tag will be attached, providing information to the householder on how to properly use the recycling service.
“If a bin has not been emptied and tagged explaining why it has not been emptied, it is contaminated and the offending materials must be removed before the next collection.
“Crews will not return to empty a rejected bin until the next scheduled collection day for the same bin.”
Any house in need of an extra recycling bin can request one from Aberdeenshire Council.
Philip McKay, head of roads, waste and landscape service at the local authority, said: “It’s important residents understand how to recycle properly and make best use of the facilities available.
“Sending waste to landfill costs more than double the amount it costs to recycle and tackling the levels of contamination in bins should reduce the amount of recyclates sent to landfill.”
SNP Councillor Richard Thomson, Aberdeenshire Council opposition leader, said: “This is a step Aberdeenshire has to take if we are to start improving our recycling rates.
“At the moment, far too much that could be recycled ends up in household waste bins.
“Not emptying a bin has to be very much a last resort.
“However, by helping to better inform people, hopefully our recycling rates can increase and the costs of everything else can be reduced.”