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If in doubt, leave it out!

Saucepans, a microwave, an iron and laundry baskets might sound like items you'd find on a wedding list - but these are just some of the unwanted items which are being left in grey bins putting recycling in the Moorlands in jeopardy.

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council operates a kerbside recycling service for cardboard, cartons, food tins and drinks cans, glass bottles and jars and some types of plastic food packaging.

And it's been enthusiastically embraced by Moorlands residents with almost 55% of all waste collected being recycled or composted in recent years. But some people are a little too keen and are putting items in their grey bins which can't be accepted leading to increased disposal costs and loads being rejected for recycling.

The Council is now reminding people to check before putting items in their grey bins - especially if they're unsure.

Councillor Arthur Forrester, cabinet member for the environment, said: "Moorlands residents have really supported the drive to recycle or reuse items they no longer want but sometimes this enthusiasm can lead to people putting items in their grey recycling bins that we cannot accept on our scheme.

"If contamination of this nature goes above a certain level, loads can be rejected by our contractor meaning that none of the material is recycled and the good work of those who have recycled correctly is undone.

"In addition, it costs around £3,000 for every contaminated load that has to be sent for disposal rather than recycling so it's really important that only acceptable items go into grey bins.

"Whilst we can collect plastic, glass and metal, not everything that is made from these materials should go into the recycling bin. We distribute information leaflets to every household with advice on what residents can recycle and compost and this information is also available on our website so it's easy to check but the simple message is - if in doubt leave it out."

Acceptable items include glass bottles and jars; plastic bottles, pots, tubs and food trays; food tins and drinks cans; foil food trays and aluminium baking foil; cartons such as Tetra Pak; empty aerosols; and cardboard packaging and flattened cardboard boxes. These items should be empty of food and drink, clean and dry so that the cardboard doesn't soak up moisture and clog up the machinery in the recycling process.

We would also request that items are not put into grey bins inside carrier bags or black sacks as the plastic bags themselves are not recyclable on our service.