STICKERS are to be placed on recycling bins in County Durham to deter people from placing items in plastic bags.

The stickers will placed from today and will advise households on which bags are suitable and unsuitable for recycling.

Black liners, bags for life and carrier bags should not be included.

It is part of Durham County Council’s recycling matters scheme that aims to educate residents on the material that can and cannot be recycled.

Oliver Sherratt, the council’s head of environment, said: “Residents may think they are helping us by putting their recycling in black bin liners and bags first, but the reality is that if we can’t see what’s inside, they can’t see it at the recycling plant either, and in some instances, it might be a bag of rubbish.

“With large volumes of materials sent for recycling daily, it is not always possible to open the bags to see what’s inside, and even when it is, extra staff have to be deployed to do it, which costs money. What we need are clean, loose items as these are easily sorted."

Recycling saves the council money and the process can be made faster and more effective by putting non bagged items in the bin," he added.