Recycling scare prompts warning

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Fifers are being urged to be careful about what they put into their recycling bins.

The plea comes after potentially dangerous clinical waste was found in a load of cans and plastics by workers at a plant used to process some of Fife’s waste.

All the evidence suggests that it came from a consignment of cans and plastics collected in the Kingdom.

Chris Ewing, the council’s senior manager for sustainability, said: “We know that the vast majority of householders and business customers use our recycling services properly.

“That’s why our recycling performance is at record levels and still climbing – and that’s why we stand to make a record amount of money this year from the sale of recyclable commodities like paper and plastics. However, it only takes one person to dump the wrong waste into a bin for the whole load to become contaminated.

“In this case it was clinical waste in the form of sharps. It was found by workers who hand sort plastics from a conveyor. Not surprisingly it caused a fair amount of alarm.

“This type of waste can cause injury to our employees and those of our contractors. Any repetition could also put at risk a contract that earns the council up to £500,000 per year.

“Without that income, services and jobs will be all the harder to protect.”

Mr Ewing urged householders and business customers to continue to use recycling services fully but asked those who might think using them to get rid of potentially dangerous waste to think about the risks it poses to others.

“The last thing that we want to see is the health of others being put a risk from waste originating from a house, or clinic or business in Fife”

Advice on the use of the council’s recycling services can be obtained by calling 08451 55 00 22 or by emailing waste.aware@fife.gov.uk.

Anyone needing advice on how to dispose of clinical waste should contact NHS Fife on 01592 643355