What is contaminated recycling?
Contaminated recycling happens when the wrong items are put into a recycling bin, bag or box. The most common wrong items are:
- black bin bags
- nappies, tissues and sanitary items
- food waste
- electricals and batteries
- the right items, but dirty or with leftover food, oil or grease in them
Our collection crews won’t be able to collect your recycling if it is contaminated. We need your recycling to be clean, dry and empty.
What happens if your recycling is contaminated?
When your recycling is contaminated
- our crew will not collect your recycling and will record it as contaminated on our system
- a red ‘we tried to collect’ tag will be left on your recycling bag, bin or box
- if you live in a house, or converted house, you will need to remove the contamination from your recycling so it can be collected on your next scheduled collection.
Common items that shouldn't be put in your recycling
These items are already a real issue in Camden’s recycling and can cause recycling loads to be rejected by our recycling facility:
- bin bags
- food waste
- hygiene/sanitary products such as nappies, wipes, sanitary towels, disposable masks and gloves
- clothing and textiles
- garden waste
- the correct recyclable items, but dirty or with leftover food, oil or grease in them
Other examples of what shouldn’t go into your recycling bin, bag or box are:
- dirty/used tissues and paper towels
- cotton wool or makeup pads
- glass cookware, Pyrex, ovenware
- window glass
- cutlery, crockery, pots, and pans
- light bulbs
- household batteries
- paper or card stained or dirty with paint, foodstuffs or grease
- glitter covered cards or wrapping paper
- sticky papers e.g. post-it-notes, sticky labels and paper tape
- laminated plastic or foil pouches e.g. baby food, cat food, coffee pouches
- crisp packets
- sweet wrappers
- plastic toys or other hard plastic items like garden furniture, buckets and bins
- medicine packs e.g. headache pills etc.
- toothpaste tubes
- paint pots
- coat hangers
Many items that we can’t accept in our recycling collections can still be recycled separately or taken to
Regis Road reuse and recycling centre NW5 3EW.