AN ENTIRE load of garden waste was almost dumped after householders filled their bin with rubbish including a full-length rubber hosepipe.
Copeland Council's garden waste is processed by local firm West Coast Composting (WCC), but this load was almost not accepted because it was so contaminated. WCC staff had to sort through the grass and clippings to remove household waste including the hosepipe.
The load was collected in Egremont.
Copeland's portfolio holder for customers and communities, Coun Mark Holliday, said: "This is such a waste of resources caused by simple laziness. We were lucky that the entire load wasn't wasted - as has happened in the past."
"We will now be checking garden waste bins and people who contaminate them will be removed from our rounds - we can't afford to collect it all then have everyone's efforts ruined by some individuals who aren't using the system properly. Now that our kerbside recycling takes five materials, there should be plenty of room left in people's black bins - and no need to contaminate the garden bins."
Helen Ingham, site and business development manager at West Coast Composting, said: "When we compost garden waste, it means something that would previously have been sent for disposal is recycled into an organic product people can use. When contaminants are put in with green waste it then has to be sorted through by hand so we can be sure the resulting compost is safe and high-quality. Some of the items we've found recently include a full rubber hosepipe and bags of household waste containing dirty nappies, glass and plastic.
"We are contacting gardening groups and schools to explain the process, and if anyone would like more information they can call me on 01946 328008."
Coun Holliday added: "Your garden waste bin is just for grass, leaves, hedge clippings, plants, weeds, flowers, twigs and small branches.
" It's not for soil, stones, plastics bags, garden hoses, wood or plants pots - and certainly not for household waste."
Household waste recycling centres, which take all items except business waste (unless a permit has been issued) can be found at Redhills Quarry, Mainsgate Road, Millom, LA18 4LB and Yeathouse Rd, Frizington CA26 3QJ.
Residents can check what can and can't go in their garden waste bin at www.copeland.gov.uk
For people with large gardens who find they need more than one brown bin, second bins are available. There is a cost of £35 for a season's collections, plus an initial one-off cost of £30 for the additional bin. This can be arranged by calling Copeland Council on 01946 598300 or emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org.