GARDEN waste bin spot checks are being carried out in West Oxfordshire to help reduce the amount of ‘non-green’ items being found in them.

West Oxfordshire District Council is appealing to residents to include only ‘green’ compostable waste such as grass cuttings, leaves and flowers in their garden waste bins.

The District Council runs a free garden waste recycling service, but is finding that items like plant pots, plastic bags and compost bags are being put in the bin and in some cases, crews have found general waste, car batteries and even a mattress.

Councillor David Harvey, Cabinet Member for the Environment said: “Sometimes this is down to residents simply not understanding what can, and cannot be recycled, but when household rubbish is hidden under green waste, this is counterproductive.

“Spot checks are helping to identify householders doing this and any bins containing non-green waste will not been emptied that week and our contractors will leave a sticker explaining why.

“Many councils charge an additional cost for green waste collections, but in West Oxfordshire this is a free service and we are grateful to those residents who use it in the proper way.”

The District Council has been running a free household green waste recycling service since 2010 and garden bins are collected fortnightly and processed by Agrivert Ltd at a composting site near Chipping Norton.