BUSINESSES in Alloa are being asked to help curb contamination issues in plastic recycling.

Shops and offices under the Alloa Town Centre Business Improvement (BID) scheme are being advised only put their drinks bottles and milk cartons into their plastics bags as ACE, who collect the waste each Wednesday, are experiencing problems with contamination.

More and more can be recycled, but the new issue is the demand for cleaner and more separated materials, explained the group's managing director Malcolm McArdle.

He said: "ACE are having to ensure that materials collected are as clean as possible and separated where possible.

"We are asking BID members to put only plastic drinks bottles and cans in their recycling bags, not hard plastics e.g. bread baskets or anything else that is not a drinks container.

"We need to focus on drinks containers first as there are so many different types of plastic wrapping and other plastic film materials presented by businesses, much of it can be recycled – but only when collected in sufficient bulk."

For instance, a normal load of recycled plastic wrapping film would be 18tonnes – the material collected in the BID area and across the whole of the Wee County only comes to half a tonne per year.

Malcolm added: "It is a very bulky material and can not be stored for long periods of time due to warehouse insurance restrictions.

"If separated into the general waste sacks this material can be diverted from landfill to be sent for use as energy from waste and ACE are keen to see more materials being diverted in this way."

Issues can also arise with the paper recycling – paper towels, tissues as well as greaseproof and waxed paper should go into the general waste sacks while newspapers and office grade paper can be recycled.

Malcolm added: "We can sympathise with business owners as they are constantly being asked to do more, but the fact is landfill charges are continuing to increase and ACE needs to be able to keep a control on the cost of the service we provide to the BID.

"The messages being given out by various recycling companies and agencies has become more consistent, but this is not helped by the fact that some local authorities are moving more towards mixing their recyclates is also adding to the sanctions being kept in place."

ACE also provides a general waste bag uplift service – for more details on recycling and services, call 01259 215 090.