Hull City Council is set to spend £100,000 in an attempt to cut the amount of contaminated recycling residents produce.
The Council will tender for expert advice on how to reduce the wrong type of rubbish placed in blue bins.
The city collects about 24,000 tonnes of recyclable waste every year, of which about 20% is disposed of in the wrong bin.
Contamination costs the council £50,000 per month in penalties, the council said, incurring a charge if more than 15% of recyclable waste is contaminated. As a result, the council has removed 2,150 containers from householders it believes are consistently contaminating collections.
“We know people might do it by accident or somebody else has put it in, we don’t want to switch those people off… We only do it where there’s a repeated problem.”
“In effect, £600,000 of council tax payers’ money is being wasted which could be better spent on improving environmental services,” the council said.
“The investment in a public awareness campaign will be cost-effective in the longer-term helping us to get costs and waste down and improve recycling rates.”
Doug Sharp, of Hull City Council, told BBC News: “We know people might do it by accident or somebody else has put it in, we don’t want to switch those people off… We only do it where there’s a repeated problem.”
A spokesman added: “A few baked beans let in the tin can dribble onto the cardboard packaging.
“When our blue bin contents are tipped out at the recycling facility, you can see how such a small amount of wet food waste not only contaminates the dry cardboard so it can’t be recycled, but also voids the entire contents of the blue bin, which has the knock-on effect of creating the extra costs for general waste disposal.”