Dirty nappies among items clogging up Grundon’s MRF plant in Colnbrook

The Council is asking residents to “check before you throw” after the contents of red bins throughout the borough have caused problems for the Grundon plant in Colnbrook.

Dirty nappies are among items clogging up Grundon's Materials Recovery Facility causing recyclable waste to be incinerated instead.

Dirty nappies are among items clogging up Grundon’s Materials Recovery Facility causing recyclable waste to be incinerated instead.

Slough Borough Council is reminding residents to watch what they put in their red bins following a rise in the amount of contaminated recycling.

The contents of the town’s red bins are assessed by Grundon before being processed but an increasing number are being rejected because they contain too many items that can’t be recycled.

Grundon’s Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Colnbrook opened in 2011, shortly after the super-incinerator became operational.  It uses seven ‘near infra-red spectroscopy auto-sorters’ to extract a range of recyclable material types, based upon the wavelength of reflected light.

Plastic bags, clothes, food and electrical appliances are increasingly being found in red bins, along with dirty nappies and the contents of vacuum cleaners.

Nick Hannon, from the council’s waste and environment team, said when these are found the entire contents can end up being incinerated instead:

Contaminated recycling ends up being disposed of as normal waste, which costs the taxpayer three times as much and isn’t as kind to the environment.

“It seems a shame that so many residents go to the trouble of recycling properly but their efforts are being undermined by others who either aren’t paying attention to what they throw away or they’re misusing the red bins.”

Recycling facilities are being removed from Asda and Tesco as a result of the problem, while the council is threatening to get tough on residents who don’t stick to the rules.

Council bin men can refuse to collect bins if they contain the wrong items.  They place stickers on the offending bins, explaining the reasons why, and then arrange for a follow-up letter to be sent to the residents concerned.

WHAT GOES WHERE: Only mixed paper and card, plastic bottles, mixed glass (bottles and jars), food tins and drinks cans should be put in the red bins. All other items should be put in the black bins or taken to the household waste and recycling centre at Chalvey.  Slough also has a number of recycling ‘bring banks’ for specific items such as textiles and electrical items.

Councillor Satpal Parmar, commissioner for environment and open spaces, said:

“I’m pleased people are using their red bins because it shows recycling has become a part of people’s daily routines. However, we now need to focus on quality rather than quantity. I urge people to take a few extra seconds to check they’re using the correct bin.”


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