Over 4,000 incidents of contaminated green bags or compost bins have been found since Cardiff Council’s Pink Sticker scheme launched last week.
According to the council, the three main culprits of contamination are nappies, textiles and food waste.
The council says its crews have also encountered some animal faeces with the recycling waste and its urging residents to put their pet waste in the residual waste.
Under the new scheme, bright pink stickers will be placed on recycling and garden waste bags or bins, alerting residents that they contain incorrect items.
Over a rolling 12-week period, if a resident puts incorrect items in either their green bags or their green compost bin (or bags) on five separate occasions, they will be given a fixed penalty notice of £100.
If a pink sticker is put onto a container, residents will have to take their waste back into their property to remove the incorrect items before they put their recycling out again on the next collection date.
Cllr Michael Michael, Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment at Cardiff Council said: “If people see pink we want them to stop and think. The Council currently collects dry recyclables in green bags, to make it as easy as possible for residents to recycle their waste.
“Currently the council collects just over 40,000 tonnes of recycled waste from the city’s streets every year, but 7,000 tonnes of this waste either cannot be recycled or is so contaminated with other materials that it cannot be separated for recycling.”
“See Pink, Stop and Think”
The new ‘See Pink, Stop and think” campaign will consist of five easily followed stages:
Stage 1) if incorrect recyclable waste is seen by waste collectors in either the green bags or the green-wheelie bin, a pink sticker will be placed on the container advising the resident to take action.
Stage 2) if the incident happens again, another sticker will be put on the container and a letter will be sent to the address advising the resident that they have put incorrect items in their waste and advising them to take action.
Stage 3) if a third breach occurs, a third sticker will be put on the container and a formal letter will be sent to the resident to advise them that they could receive a fixed penalty notice they present contaminated recycling again.
Stage 4) if a further breach occurs, a fourth sticker will be put on the waste container and a Section 46 Notice will be issued. This is a legal letter to notify the resident how waste should be presented for collection and that failure to comply will result in a fixed penalty notice.
Stage 5) a fifth breach will result in a fixed penalty notice of £100. Failure to comply will result in the Council taking the matter to the Magistrates’ Court for prosecution.