There has been a recent increase in the levels of food waste contamination in Wealden’s recycling bins.

Wealden residents have done a great job in recycling their household waste. We are recycling around 50% of our total waste.

Unfortunately, levels of food waste contamination in Wealden’s recycling bins has been rising.  Recently a 16 tonnes load of recycling  had to be rejected by the Materials Recovery Facility because it contained a large quantity of food waste.

When this happens, the whole load has to be diverted to the incinerator. It means that perfectly good recycling may be wasted. This undermines everyone’s efforts to separate out their waste for recycling – something none of us want. We also have to spend money which could be used to help fund essential services to pay for  extra disposal costs.

3 Top tips to reduce food waste contamination in our bins:

  • Keep food out: Please don’t put food waste into the recycling bins.  Even small amounts can spoil large quantities of recyclable materials.
  • Pour liquids out: Make sure there is no liquid remaining in plastic bottles and cans. Always pour out the excess liquid as it spoils the dry recycling.
  • Rinse all containers: Most of containers out there are recyclable but they are often contaminated by the remaining food inside. Rinse your container before recycling it!

And don’t forget to squash and squeeze all plastic bottles,  cardboard boxes etc. to save space in your recycling bin.

These steps should help with preventing food waste contamination and improving the quality of collected recycling materials.

To check what can be collected for recycling from your home, or to find your nearest recycling banks, visit