Pendle borough council is stepping up efforts to tackle contamination of recycling bins and will be placing stickers on receptacles if they contain the wrong items.
Residents will be asked to remove the wrong items from the blue bins before the waste is collected.
Carole Taylor, the council’s waste and recycling co-ordinator, said: “The amount of contamination in some of our blue bins for paper and card is totally unacceptable.
“We’ve just had 156 tonnes of paper and card rejected for recycling because it was mixed up with other rubbish including nappies and food waste.
“This is almost a month’s worth of paper and card recycling which has been wasted and put into landfill.
“It costs £130 per tonne for landfill. So, for a 156 tonne amount the cost to Pendle taxpayers is a staggering £20,280.
“If people put things we can’t recycle in their recycling bins we won’t empty them until they’ve removed the wrong things which contaminate our loads.”
Tackling contamination is one way in which Pendle is trying to limit its environmental impact, in the wake of the council declaring a climate emergency last year.
Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, leader of the council, said: “The vast majority of people in Pendle recycle and we are not going to allow a minority of careless people to spoil our efforts to protect the environment.
“Pendle Council has pledged to tackle the environmental crisis which is affecting us locally, nationally and globally and declared a Climate Emergency at its full Council meeting in July 2019.
“Recycling is an important way for us all to do our bit to reduce waste in Pendle.”
The 49 councillors who make up the council for the Lancashire borough of Pendle represent around 67,000 constituents.
Pendle borough council had a recycling rate of 31.3% in the 2018/19 financial year, below England’s household waste recycling rate of 45.1%.