Green recycling bins – Frequently asked questions

What is Kirklees Council’s green bin campaign?

We launched a new campaign in April to help residents understand what should go in their green recycling bin.

Some households are unsure of what can and cannot go in a green bin so this exercise will help to clear up any misunderstandings. Items such as soiled nappies, food waste, glass and black bin liners should never be placed in a green bin.

Are bins being inspected?

Recycling and waste advisors will be out and about checking bins and talking to residents in South Kirklees until 25 May – following this, they will then be in North Kirklees from 20 May up to 26 July.

Crews will continue to monitor green bins once the advisor team has moved on.

Why are the council doing this?

 We’re doing this because we need to improve Kirklees’ recycling rates which, at 27 per cent, falls well below the national average of 45 per cent.

One of the main causes of this is the fact that around 40 per cent of our green bin contents is contaminated with items such as food waste, nappies and other bagged waste.

What happens to contaminated recycling?

When someone puts something which can’t be recycled in a green bin, it contaminates everything else in the wagon once it’s collected. This means that when one person doesn’t recycle properly, everyone else’s efforts to recycle are completely lost as the whole load then has to be treated as general waste and will have to be either sent to landfill or incineration.

What happens if a wrong item goes in my green bin?

A yellow sticker will be placed on bins containing the wrong items. Advisors will then contact households before the next scheduled bin collection to explain why a sticker was given and what needs to happen to address this.

How are residents helped to understand what can go in their green bins?

Starting on 1 April, the campaign has seen recycling and waste advisors checking the contents of the green bins to help residents understand what should, or should not be included.

What happens if a green bin receives a yellow sticker?

A yellow sticker is placed on bins containing the wrong items. Advisors then contact households before the next scheduled bin collection to explain why a sticker was given and what needs to happen to address this.

Are Kirklees Council taking people’s green bins away?

Residents who continually fail to recycle properly, after being educated by council officers and receiving warnings, will have their green bins taken away for six months. After six months it will be returned, at which point an advisor will be present to provide further support in correct usage.

Won’t taking green bins away mean less waste is recycled?

 Actually, it’s already having the opposite effect. This is because by removing those bins that are contaminated or not emptying them it means the rest of the load can now be recycled.

 Has it made a difference?

 Since the start of this campaign we are already recycling 45-85 additional tonnes every week in Huddersfield. That’s between nine and 17 full waggons.

To make a difference, we all have a part to play and we would like to say a very big thank you to all our committed residents in Huddersfield and Holme Valley who have made this fantastic improvement possible.

More information

Information about correct use of green bins can be found here on our website.



  • Hi Andrew, there is a link at the bottom of the article to our website highlighting what can go in the green bin. Thanks for getting in touch.

  • The way to get people to recycle correctly is to firstly make them aware of what they can recycle. Then persuade them to change their habits. This campaign hasn’t been thought through. Even this communication doesn’t specify what can be recycled. Kirklees marketing and communication department needs to go back to basic communication principles. Think AIDA – they should know what this means!

  • Can you tell me why kirklees council don’t collect and recycled plastic waste from local companies. Leaving companies no other choice than to put this plastic waste into normal waste bins and then collected for land fill ? Would like a reply

  • A sticker attached to each bin informing us what can actually go in is a great idea!!!!

  • Laura Merriman

    I think people need to take more responsibility for the waste they create, rather than see it as someone else’s job. Reducing is much more key than recycling. Also everyone should spend a few hours at the waste plant to see the work done there, it’s a real eye opener!

  • Green bins should be taken away from people who use them for rubbish which spoils everyone else’s recycling.

  • Steve Butterworth

    Kirklees recycling scheme is a joke! Having lived in East Tiding of Yorkshire who have a good record I cannot believe the council blame residents for poor recycling rates. sort yourself out with proper schemes the challenge individuals

  • Why can newspapers and magazines be put in a green bin but not shredded paper? They are all clean waste which can be recycled.

  • There’s some simple numbers here, collect and recycle glass – it’s so heavy relative to plastic and paper that percentage recycling rises dramatically. Fully agree with removing bins if people are so ignorant they are putting soiled nappies in there but let’s not get carried away – for example metals are machine sorted so them not being rinsed is of minimal impact.

  • Mrs Irene Stephens

    I live at a property where the green bins are for communal use, which means the bins are not the responsibility of one household. There is now three bins with yellow stickers on saying bins are contaminated!! So, all waste is going into the grey bins. I must admit that it is rather confusing to what I believed was green bin recycle-able, such some cartons, should not be put in green bins!! Also, as these green bins are not under cover, they are accessible to other people putting their items in them, which has often happened.

  • In Spain, they collect bottle tops as well as the bottles themselves for recycle. why not in Kirklees. you also need to extend the types of plastic for recycle as supermarkets are still using plastic trays for vegetables, cooked meats, and other items such as readymeals.

  • We have had problems with other people putting general waste in our green bin. We even found a sack of grass clippings once. Another time we found a sack of general waste, went through it & were able to find the name & address of one of our neighbours who we were able to confront. We now keep our bin in a lockable store. We considered putting a lock & chain on the bin but it would have to be removed on bin collection day & would be just as vulnerable. I imagine the problem will now be worse when you have removed a bin from some people. They will be looking for somewhere else to put their excess rubbish.

  • Hi please clarify can you put cardboard which has contained food but is now empty in your green bin

  • All PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is recyclable. The great majority of things made from it not only have the recycling symbol, but are specifically labelled PET. I have heard that there are problems recycling black PET, but it also comes in green and red. More particularly, what possible excuse can there be for not recycling clear transparent PET items, which are identical to PET bottles except for the shape?

  • This is essential and makes it easier for everyone

  • KMC cost cutting on recycling is deplorable. In the long run it costs KMC and rate payers more by having to clean up errors and fly tipping. Take a leaf out of Calderdale’s book and lift restrictions on many items. The planet needs your help!

  • I volunteer at a small local charity. We now have to pay for waste removal out of our hard-raised funds but there is still no recycling service, so a substantial quantity of recyclables go in with the general waste. KMC do need to improve their performance before sending out the rubbish police.

  • I am a committed recycler but recently to my surprise my green bin was rejected for the first time in 9 years. I looked in the bin and there was nothing that should have not been there until I saw a PLASTIC wine bottle – the person emptying the bin mistook it for a glass bottle – an innocent mistake but it would have taken seconds to check that it was not a glass bottle !!.

  • Can we have a definition of contamination please. Kirklees trust us to clean cans before we recycle but not aluminium trays? Extracting aluminium from the earth is very environmentally costly when recycling only requires remelting.
    Please re introduce the glass bins. Brown beer bottles can be made of almost 100% recycled glass and it takes a fraction of the energy to make a bottle out of recycled glass.

  • Your recycling guidelines are too vague. Please publish a list of the types of plastics you can handle – I’ve asked before but the response I received was woeful. I gave up in the end as your colleague seemed unable to understand. You could do a lot more to help here…

  • Andrew Johnson

    I agree with Jess. Plastic recycling is very confusing as almost all packaging says “Check Local Recycling”. But where is the information for us? We try and only buy items that come in recyclable packaging and wash it but putting it in the green bin so it’s extremely disappointing to find out it sounds all our efforts could be going to waste due to contamination.

  • Some plastic trays have the recycle logo on them. Why don’t you take these?

  • Richard Waller

    So where is the link on THIS SITE to say definitively what can be put in green bins? Where is the service I can phone or chat with to sort any queries?

  • I have lived in Spain and you are encouraged to put all plastic containers plus cartons for recycling. In Wakefield and Scarborough you can put bottles in, in Kirklees, you can hardly put anything in.

  • Kirklees has a very restrictive policy on recycling plastics.
    We moved from Leeds (also a labour council) where much more can go in your green bin.
    A whole new recycling policy is needed.

  • Well I’d love for an inspector to check my green bin because I’m an avid recycler, and I’d like to think that I’m doing my recycling by the book! There are those that simply don’t have a clue and don’t deserve a green bin!

  • Peter Makepeace

    Council should have sent out letters of instruction before the start of the green bin exercise.
    We had not received any direction about this green bin fiasco until we logged a missed bin collection.
    Still not seen any council person to instruct me about the green bins only a stroppy adviser on the end of a phone telling me to empty the bins,I live in a council block of 6 flats of whom 95 percent are over 70.
    We may as well be in prison locked doors can not turn landing lights out and now the above.

  • What happened to everyone being encouraged to recycle plastic milk bottles via the green bin?

    Having originally been encouraged by Kirklees Council to put all my 4pt milk bottles (washed out, of course) some years ago, has all my recycling the last few years actually gone to the tip? And also everyone else’s from the same collection?

    My friends in other district recycle many plastics, the bottles themselves have recycling labels etc.

    Why this increase. In plastic going to waste from Kirklees?

  • Beverley Foster

    If you can email all sorts of information and updates why can you not email more information as to what we can and cannot recycle and I agree that this council needs to improve its recycling and actually recycle more types of plastic like other councils, why not contact them to share best practice!

  • Francesca Gorny

    Be specific, exactly what can go in a green bin

  • Dominic Lenihan

    I have an idea that returns the plastic back into oil to use to create energy.
    Is there any interest?


  • I understand from co workers that Bradford’s bins are the opposite to kirklees i.e. their green bin is for general waste and grey is recycling which is confusing for new residents or friends and family. Maybe stickers can be circulated again to identify the recycling bins and what should be put in them!

  • Maybe you should start posting to each house a leaflet explaining exactly what goes in the green bin and what not. Since I’m in this country I had to guess or ask neighbours or find online (and still the information are not 100 per cent clear).

  • Kirklees recycling offer is awful compared to neighbouring authorities. No glass doorstep collection and hardly any plastics collected. It does my head having to throw out plastic yoghurt pots, food trays etc. Kirklees your recycling rates are poor because your service is poor and if you don’t care then neither are your residents.

  • No Glass – No Grass – No Food – limited types of plastics ! Other councils recycle more because they collect more – if you limit what we can put in then you limit what you can take out – simples !

  • I am really upset to give a negative report.
    I have just had to clear a friends house.
    I used the full amenities aided by the council workmen for where to put many items in there correct bins.
    Only a total thoughtless idiot would put soiled nappies in a recycling bin.
    Training of site staff is most important and total observation at all time is a must.
    Will we every get them, I think not

  • I live where is a joint yard and bins are kept next to each other and get collected together. My neighbours regularly put other waste in their own and my green bin. I agree that a sticker stating what cannot be recycled is the best solution, as taking their bin away will inevitably lead to them filling mine with general rubbish, meaning mine will also run the risk of being removed for six months

  • Stickers have been provided in the past on numerous occasions, nothing has changed as to what can and cannot be placed in the green bins.

    I believe it was costing close to £30,000 per year to print and deliver these to households

  • Glass collections were costing council tax payers close to £2,000,000 per year and only added an extra 1 to 2% to the recycling figures

  • It’s confusing as I always check the packaging to check if it can be recycled and if it can great in the green bin it goes. However I’ve now found out that a number of things that state can be recycled kirklees don’t accept so now I’d be one of those people contaminating the collection. I genuinely didn’t know bottle top lids can’t be recycled. It needs to be clearer on the bins what’s acceptable now as I’m confused.

  • Kirklees recycling policy is extremely poor. Hardly anything is recyclable. There are many plastic items with the same PET code as bottles yet they are excluded from your measly list! To avoid falling foul of your directive, your council tax payers are more likely to put everything in their grey bins.

  • I’m getting increasingly confused about what can go in the green bins regarding plastics, especially as other areas have different ideas. We need a national definition of what can or can’t go for recycling

  • I find the plastic very confusing, some you can put in and some you can’t and why can’t bottle tops be put in. If ever I get a sticker, for a mistake, everything but cardboard will go into the grey bin.

  • Kirklees approach to recycling is poor compared with other authorities.
    In Vale of White Horse all types of plastic (except plastic film), paper, cardboard, cans, and glass all went in one bin. It was hard to get it wrong because they took practically everything.

  • Why in the above information on your green bin campaign you make no mention what can and cannot be put in the bin

  • I THINK Be Great To Create a Sticker To Stick On Them Which Tells Us WHAT CAN GO IN .. Or If Simpler WHAT CANNOT .. Much Better to have a Permanent Reminder Sticker on them .. Than an Agitating (You’ve Been a Bad Person) Yellow Warning Sticker ..

  • Very confusing as to what & what cannot put put in the green bin compared to other council areas. Most people want to ‘do their bit’ are are keen to recycle but Kirklees needs to make it as easy and simple to understand as it is in other areas, And bring back the glass collections!

  • Hi, it would be really helpful to know the resin code for plastics that can be included in the green bin. I appreciate that the website highlights that bottles can (no lids), but not margarine tubs etc. but I’d be more confident that the plastic I’m putting into the green bin can be recycled if knew the resin code. thanks

  • The recycling of plastic waste in Kirklees is shameful. The limitations are ridiculous. I understand that a new waste contract is being prepared for tender. You need to up your game regarding what can be put into bins, not just pet bottles, but the tops too. Other forms of plastic. That is why the recycling levels are so low, it’s the restrictions currently in place on what can be sent.

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