NORTH Ayrshire Council have defended their bin collection policy after staff were seen to have emptied refuse and recycling bins in to the same lorry.

Last week, residents in Ardrossan noticed that both grey and purple bins were being emptied in to the same refuse collection but the council said that this would only be done if the recycling bin was contaminated.

They also said that there can be a particular problem in flats or communal areas where bins are shared. They vowed to work with residents to ensure that the problems were kept to a minimum and said the roll-out of the new purple bins has been ‘very successful’.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “We have separate scheduled collections for grey, blue and purple bins.

“If a resident has deposited items which are not recyclable into their purple or blue bins, then those bins may not be uplifted due to contamination. Where a contamination tag has been placed on the bin, the residents are required to remove the contamination and present the bin for collection on the next available collection day.

“However, where there are large communal bins – such as with flatted properties – and bins have been contaminated, we will liaise with residents to promote recycling and in certain circumstances may empty contaminated recycling bins.

“These contaminated bins would be collected by a general waste refuse collection vehicle, ensuring residents have the capacity to recycle the right materials for future collections.

“The introduction of the purple bin has been very successful, and we are currently supplying the contractor with good quality material at a relatively low level of contamination. Our team is working with residents who need help with the new arrangements.”