A binman had to undergo medical checks after a close call with used needles hidden inside a recycling bin in Boston.
Following the incident, in which the worried binman was eventually given a clean bill of health, residents were reminded that waste placed in their blue recycling bins should be loose and never in bags.
The needles had been left inside a plastic bag placed near the top of the bin.
Fortunately, the council’s bin man noticed the bin lid was slightly open with a piece of carpet wedged in the top. He took it out to facilitate mechanical emptying of the bin into the bin lorry and then noticed the suspicious-looking bag and tore it open to reveal the used needles.
Had he not spotted the needles the contents of the blue bin would have been emptied into the lorry and taken to the Boston Waste Transfer Station and then the Material Recovery Facility where some sorting of recycled material is done by hand.
Now the council is taking a firm line on the already established rule that waste placed in the blue bins should not be bagged.
Bins will not be emptied if they are found to be contaminated and residents will be informed by a sticker being placed on the bin.
A guide to what can be recycled can be found on the council website.