Scarborough Council is to create a young persons eco-champions scheme and the first job for the youngsters may be to educate adults about what to put in their blue bins.
The new award, which will be open to schools, colleges and youth organisations, will have bronze, silver and gold classifications with an overall platinum winner named each year.
The winner will get the Borough Eco-Champions Trophy after being judged the Mayor and Member Sustainability Champion to have made an outstanding contribution to the environment or shown outstanding commitment to environmental sustainability.
The council’s cabinet approved the creating of the scheme today and Cllr Bill Chatt, the portfolio holder for public health and housing said they could help to spread the message about recycling.
Cllr Chatt was responding to a question raised by Green Party councillor Mark Vesey who noted that contamination in the council’s recycling had breached the 6% contamination threshold allowed.
Cllr Chatt responded: “You would think contamination in blue bins is the wrong type of plastic.
“It might be something that the younger people can educate the older people in what to do as young people have a real heart in this matter.
“I think the problem we have is when people throw into the blue bins a plastic box full of chips with sauce on, what do they hope that is going to be recycled into?”
He added that a number of residents had complained about people putting their bags of dog waste in blue bins that had been left out on collection days as they walked past rather than take them home.
He said that if people are in doubt if something is recyclable they should put it into the general waste bin.
As part of the eco-champion scheme, schools will be asked to pledge to do their best to help the environment and also help to reduce, reuse and recycle and encourage others to follow their example.
The scheme has been created as part of a commitment the council made in January to declare a Climate Change Emergency to try and meet a target of zero carbon emissions by 2030.