Rejected recyclable waste surges, BBC figures show

According to data retrieved by a BBC freedom of information (FoI) request, councils rejected 338,000 tons of waste in 2014-15, a significant increase on 2011-12, where 184,000 tons were left unrecycled.

One of the reasons behind the rise in rejected recycling waste is because of the cost to local authorities in re-sorting contaminated recycle bins.

The data showed that 97 per cent of the rejected rubbish was incinerated or sent to landfill in 2013-14.

Kirklees Council was found to have highest rate of rejected recyclable waste (14.99 per cent), much higher that the national average of three per cent, followed by Greenwich Council (14.4 per cent), and Hull Council (14.2 per cent).

A spokesman for the Local Government Association (LGA) said: "In the past decade, councils and residents have worked together to radically increase recycling and divert millions of tonnes of waste from landfill.

"The problem is there is widespread confusion over what can and cannot be recycled. If just one non-recyclable item is included with recyclable items, the whole bin is effectively contaminated. Councils then have to re-sort it, which is time consuming and very expensive.

"There is no one-size-fits-all solution to waste collection. What works in an inner city suburb won't necessarily work in the countryside. The types which would suit a large detached house in the country would be completely unsuitable for a high-rise block of flats in inner-city London and vice versa."