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.



  • margaret Wilkinson

    If I left what I think of Kirklees on here i fear I would be shot a dawn
    All this expense to get better figures for yourself is out of control
    As is the Brown bin fiasco
    When I rang Kirklees to complain that they weren’t running the dates that were on their website, I just got a load of waffle.
    Six years ago I wrote to Kirklees asking for help for Disabled Pensioners, who had to use Nibb Lane Birstall And Could not either climb the steps or manage to lift their heavy bags
    I am still waiting for a reply.

    I think that says it all!!!!!!!! Don’t you

  • I feel that we need to see the actual recycling numbers of kerbside recyclable items,online and on bin sticker,so that we can refer to them,if we are in doubt as to whether a particular item can be put in the recycling wheelie bin.

  • Hi Reg, we don’t edit any of the comments here, we only approve or reject. Not sure what has gone on but if you wish to repost your original comment we can reapprove.

  • I notice you have edited down my original comment, and cut out the sections that criticised your policy. My comments were no longer than many on here. The truth is you are censoring not moderating.
    To repeat, to give the impression for years that your green bin waste is being recycled in full knowledge that 40% of it is just burnt, is a scandal. If residents had known this at the outset, they would not have bothered. Please explain. Please apologise.

  • Unfortunately I share a large bin with Neighbours, they seem to think it saves them a trip to the local tip. I take out some of the stuff they put in the bins and put it next to the bin but they don’t care and just leave it there!

  • Dominic Lenihan

    The problem is money. The council gets more money from people who are responsible than deal with the real issue. Of not everyone can afford the luxury of conscience and in the long run we all loose out.
    Talk to the people please?

  • Dominic Lenihan

    What funding is available for bringing new ideas to market?

  • Dominic Lenihan

    What does that mean????

  • Dominic Lenihan

    Where does this waste go to once it has been sorted?
    I have not looked but is there a list of does and donts anywhere on the web site?

  • This appears to be the tail wagging the dog yet again . Was it in the interest of Kirklees residents when the contract was first negotiated or another cost saving thoughtless move.

  • Thank You So much for your encouraging reply on Potential For Key Information Bin Stickers Chris, Which sounds real promising .. And also your pointer on a visit to see Sorting Processes .. NOTWITHSTANDING Those Great Suggestions though Can’ t YOU Actually Tell Me/Us Which ITEMS of Rubbish those line workers are Sorting out on those Conveyor Belts .. I Say Again IF IT IS GREEN BIN ROGUE STUFF THEN SURELY Engaging a few more of those operatives WILL PROVIDE A strong (partial) answer to recycling .. AND AS I SAID BEFORE Even better if the Unions Allow SOME of those on Community Service to perform such duties ..

  • Hi Bill, we are currently looking into the sticker issue at present, when we make a decision we will make sure it is publicised. As far as finding out about the sorting process, anyone can visit the site to see it first hand, please contact SUEZ on 01484 541355 to arrange.

  • Disappointed NOT to have received a response to my suggestion that INFORMATIVE STICKERS Be Printed for us to stick on Our Bins (even if at a small cost to ourselves) Of What We CAN or What CANNOT Put In (Even if just the headline stuff) …. ALSO I’d like to know more about What/Which ITEMS those line workers we see on T V Clearing Or Sorting Rubbish out on those Conveyor Belts are actually doing .. SURELY Engaging a few more of those operatives are the answer .. Even better if the Unions Allow SOME of those on Community Service to do it ..

  • It would be good to know when the waste contract, which I know is what is causing the issues, as you are bound by its terms,is due for renewal? I also appreciate that there is no national contract for disposal, each LA negotiates their own. Are there any moves afoot to at least get the West Yorkshire authorities to agree common terms and possibly let a united contract?

  • There are many plastic items that do have the recycle symbol on however we cannot take them to be recycled here in Kirklees at this moment in time. This is because plastics are hand sorted at the Materials Recycling Facility in Huddersfield. We have chosen to focus on plastic bottles as these are easy for the hand sorting staff to recognise and they have a higher market value than other types of plastic. We are working on a new Waste Strategy for Kirklees and are looking at the viability of collecting other types of plastic for the future.

  • There needs to be a dedicated qualified person on any panel meeting.
    You may not approve, but to me that means you don’t care about the planet, only the cost to Kirklees Council.
    The knowledge is out there and is cheaper than paying for large site fires that happen in Kirklees area. Use it.

  • Thank you for being so careful regarding your plastic recycling. Plastic bottles are usually PET 1 or code 2. However, please do not worry about the type of plastic because we would like ALL and ANY plastic bottles, for example, bleach bottles, shower gel bottles, even if they are of a different plastic code. The plastic coding can be confusing because some trays may be the same code as a bottle, but because the plastics are hand sorted at the Materials Recycling Facility in Huddersfield, we only ask for plastic bottles at this moment in time. If you are interested in seeing how your recycling is sorted, tours are run at the facility. Please contact SUEZ on 01484 541355.

  • Hi Rob, sorry for the delay in getting back to you, we do offer a trade waste recycling collection that includes plastic to businesses within the central Huddersfield area at the moment. As resources allow, this may be offered across other areas of Kirklees too in the future.

  • Hi Bill, they are typically a different type of plastic which we do not currently recycle.

  • Hi Rob, correct, as long as there is no food waste on the paper it is fine

  • I have just found out that plastic bottle tops can’t be recycled . Why not? This seems to be an example of the lack of clarity over what can and can’t be recycled. I have always put tops in the green bin but have never had any comeback.

  • No mention of paper on this list… I assume there is no issue with paper if not shredded?

  • Hi Leah, no they cannot at present however plastic tubs and trays can be recycled in the big metal banks at Sainsbury’s Shorehead and the main Dewsbury Sainsbury’s.

  • Hi Reg, the problem we have has really revolved around food waste. Once food waste has got onto paper and cardboard it cannot be recycled. That is why we are preventing contaminated bins going into the wagons.

  • Hi there,

    Can plastic food containers go in the green bin? (for example – the plastic tubs that hold mushrooms)

  • All local authorities and their contractors need to get a grip and stop making excuses for ‘contaminated’ recycling. Sending a whole truck load to landfill because of one piece of rubbish put into recycling rather than general waste is throwing the baby out with the bath water.
    Supermarkets have mixed materials on the shelf, my shopping bag does, my fridge and cupboards do, yet I manage to successfully segregate the waste before I bin it. You’re telling me the contractors are able to detect if I or someone else on the same round makes a mistake… but after detecting it they’re unable to pull that bit of rubbish to resolve the issue? Ridiculous.

  • Most will be annoyed, to put it mildly, that one contaminated bin destroys everyone else’s efforts and the whole batch on a run has to be burnt or go to landfill. We are told 40pc is thus. I think it must be more.
    If the public had known about this years ago when the green bins came in, there would have been an uproar: who would bother to sort their waste as there are always some who not care, are careless or who are simply bad people who spoil it for the good.
    So now we know. It is scandalous. Rowing back I see at a rapid rate now. Surely it could have been sifted and sorted at the depot, and bad waste chucked in the incinerator. Why does the whole batch have to be wasted when householders have gone to great efforts to recycle. Please explain. Please apologise.

  • I think most people will be surprised that their efforts have been wasted because, whether yours was contaminated or not, the chances are someone on your round will contaminate, and thus destroy everyone else’s will go to incinerated or go to landfill.

  • The awareness should start before the inspector’s intervention. There are more effective and efficient ways of doing this initially and the inspectors could follow up if necessary. What’s done is done and from the comment and criticism you’ve received I think it should have been handled differently. On the plus side its certainly generated publicity!

  • Kirklees bin men are very helpful in everything needed by an avid recycler for correct disposal of items.
    My report was a comparison of two different counties , one just over the border and brilliant in every way.
    The refuse site is set up beautifully and maintained to an excellent standard, access much easier and user friendly for both household commercial uses.
    Their green totals are extremely high because they appear to want the waste disposed in a way that is beneficial to the future generations and energy.
    Kirklees council appear to only want a reason to blame the next person DOWN the line, unlike another writer on this site suggested, a definitive list of what only goes in the bin, PLASTICS are a nightmare, and will not be solved by a “naughty boys yellow yellow sticker”
    That is why we should have a NATIONAL set of rules.

    Fly tippers should be made to pay the full cost of removal of their disgusting actions not the poor sod whose land it was dumped on. Offenders not sent for custodial sentences would be a free workforce for all weekends for 6 or 12 month periods. Rethink repayment by offenders instead of rights of the offender.

  • I Think So Too Pam .. I’ts So Simple .. IT’D BE SO EFFECTIVE .. Even if just the Key Items are highlighted .. After a few days one can so easily forget which one Plastic Milk Bottles, Bottle Tops, Tins, etc etc go in ..

  • Hi Francesca, there is a link at the bottom of the are=tciel but here it is again for ease

  • Hi Brian, great point about AIDA. When a customer contaminates a bin our recycling advisors go to the property to help educate them and raise awareness. We have contacted over 5000 residents so far and the vast majority have started to use their bins correctly. Also there is a link at the bottom of the article to our website which shows what can be recycled, here it is for ease

  • Hi Turlough, the problem with shredded paper is that it is nearly impossible for our team of manual sorters to separate at the recycling plant. You can take shredded paper to your local tip for recycling.

  • Hi Sharon, As long as there is no food waste on the cardboard it is fine to go in the recycling bin. Hope this helps.

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