Milton Keynes Council has reached a settlement with the contractor Viridor to cover what the local authority describes as the ‘historic costs’ of contamination in its recycling sacks.
Viridor processes the council’s recycling at the authority’s materials recovery facility and sells any materials that can be recovered and reused.
However, around one in four sacks in Milton Keynes are contaminated by dirty nappies, pet waste and food, which means they cannot be recycled or sold.
This is higher than the tolerance for contamination built into the recycling contract and so the council has agreed to compensate Viridor with £1.75m. This covers the cost of processing contaminated waste between 2013 and 2019.
The council has warned that if contamination levels continue at their current levels, it will cost ‘hundreds of thousands of pounds’ every year in penalty fees.
A spokesperson for Viridor said: 'Viridor is pleased to have resolved this issue and looks forward to working with the council to reduce contamination and maximise efforts to boost recycling, putting valuable resources back into the UK economy.'