People in West Norfolk can raise record recycling levels even further by not putting nappies into their recycling bins, officials say.
Figures released last month showed the proportion of Norfolk’s waste being recycled reached a record 46.7 per cent in 2016-17.
But the Norfolk Waste Partnership says contamination of recycled material remains a significant problem, with used nappies being one of the main reasons.
It estimates staff have to remove around 400,000 used nappies by hand from recycled material each year before it is processed.
And officials have now called on residents to make sure their nappies go into the main rubbish bin instead.
Partnership vice-chairman Andy Grant said: “It takes just one nappy to contaminate recycling.
“Nappies badly contaminate everything else in there and lower the quality of our recyclable material.”
The Recycle for Norfolk campaign is working with health and family support groups, as well as councils, waste teams and community organisations to help get the message across.
Paula Boyce, of the partnership, added: “We understand there will be many genuine reasons why people put nappies incorrectly in their recycling bin.
“Many people mistakenly think nappies, used or unused, can be recycled because they are made from paper pulp, but they can’t. The cardboard box nappies are packaged in is recyclable, but the nappies themselves, in Norfolk, are not.”
“Recognising having a baby is one of the most hectic times of life for any new parent or carer, it could be many nappies are thrown in the wrong bin because people and have their hands full with their new arrival.
“That’s why we want to remind people why it is so important to think about whether they are putting the right things in the right bin.”