Following continued misuse Copeland Council has suspended garden waste collections for seven householders who repeatedly put household rubbish in their brown bins.
Green waste bins from the seven homes in Cleator Moor, contained large amounts of non-garden waste, which resulted in an entire lorry load having to be sent away for disposal, rather than made into compost.
It means around 600 other conscientious gardeners had their recycling efforts go – literally - to waste.
It was not the first time the householders had done this – after previous contamination incidents officers provided stickers for their bins explaining what can and can’t be collected. However, the dumping continued and the council was forced to act. Those garden bins will not be collected for six months.
Dave Banks, portfolio holder for waste, said: “Garden waste recycling only works if everyone does it. It only takes a couple of selfish people to put non-garden waste in there and the whole load is rejected by the composting plant.
“We will not accept this as it means hundreds of other people who were doing the right thing have seen their waste fail to be recycled.
“Occasionally we’ll get some accidental contamination, for example plant pots or seed packets – this is still problematic but we do understand and we’re happy to explain to people what should go in the bin.
“These householders have shown repeated contempt for the service, and filled their bins with large amounts of household waste.”
The costs to the Copeland council tax payers include:
the costs of the load being shovelled back onto a lorry and moved to the disposal site at Lillyhall.
the time and manpower wasted collecting 600 bins of waste and taking it to the compost plant.
If anyone is unsure what can and cannot be composed they should check before putting it into their brown bin. Information is available on the Council website www.copeland.gov.uk .