Residents in Kirklees have been going potty for recycling – but the wrong type of waste is still going in green bins.

Since Kirklees Council allowed plastic pots, tubs and trays to be added to green bins for kerbside collection in March last year, around 157 tonnes more plastic has been recycled.

Households can now put yoghurt pots, margarine tubs, food trays and other plastic items in their green bins alongside paper, tins and plastic bottles. This was the first change in household collections in 10 years.

It has enabled residents across Kirklees to substantially increase the amount of plastic recycled at home, with a 30% increase in recycling when comparing the recycling tonnage figures for the last two years.

Despite this good news, contamination is still a concern, with one bad bin potentially leading to a whole wagon load not being able to be recycled.

If not removed by the recycling plant staff, even the most harmless-looking contaminants, such as plastic bags, have the potential to become wrapped around the machinery leading to delays and damage.

The Waste team are currently reviewing the contamination procedure to make sure that it is as clear as possible for residents to understand what can and cannot be placed in their green bins, and making sure that further support is on hand to enable residents to achieve the best recycling possible.

Clr Naheed Mather, Cabinet member for culture and greener Kirklees, said: “When we compared the figures for the last two years of recycling in Kirklees, it showed a clear increase. That additional 157.41 tonnes recycled is heavier than the average blue whale, which is no small feat!

“We are so pleased that residents have embraced the opportunity to help make Kirklees a cleaner and greener place to live and are delighted with the results.

“Of course, there is always more that we can all do, especially if we are to reach our aim for a zero-waste future.

“Recycling is a great start but it is important to fully embrace the hierarchy of waste by reducing waste, reusing what you can, and recycling everything possible.”

Clr Masood Ahmed, Cabinet member for the environment, said: “This introduction of pots, tubs and trays marked an important milestone in our waste strategy. As we continue to look towards a zero-waste future for Kirklees, it will help further shape our approach.

“Contamination, however, is still a problem across Kirklees. Some residents either do not know or do not care which items belong in their green bins.

“Sadly, this small minority can have a big impact, with items such as nappies and food waste causing whole wagonloads of recycling to be rejected. This is why our teams are looking at ways to better support residents to recycle effectively.”