HOUSEHOLDERS across Keighley are being urged to sell unwanted items online or take them to charity shops instead of throwing them away.

The plea has been issued by Bradford Council following a surge in the amount of waste being sent to landfill.

Figures show that the volume of household waste collected by the authority during lockdown has soared by an average of 500 tonnes a week.

The increase is costing the council an extra £50,000 weekly.

Contamination of recycling bins has also reached a new high, with an average of 40 per cent of bins being contaminated by non-recyclable waste.

Bradford Council – which like other local authorities has to pay a ‘landfill tax’, an extra charge for each tonne of waste that is sent to landfill rather than being recycled – is asking residents across the district to try to reduce the amount they leave out for collection.

A spokesman said: “Recycling tonnages have also increased by approximately 100 tonnes per week, but the grey recycling bins are now more likely than ever to be contaminated with non-recyclable materials.

“Recycling contamination is at an all-time high of 40 per cent. This incurs an additional cost of at least £10,000 per week to process and clean the recyclable material and dispose of the contamination.

“By re-using and recycling materials and equipment everyone can save money, reduce waste, help the environment and create a better place to live.

“Good-quality unwanted items can be taken to a local charity shop or furniture recycling projects, which are starting to open again. You can also post them on internet sites such as Freecycle or Gumtree.”

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, the council’s executive member for healthy people and places, said: “Lots of people have been taking advantage of being at home more during the lockdown and having a ‘Covid clean out’ of cupboards, lofts and garages. This has led to the huge increase in waste being collected at the kerbside.

“I urge everyone to think about what waste they produce and what they do with that waste.

“Why not pass the good stuff on to friends, relatives or neighbours to re-use? Then recycle as much as you possibly can, putting the right things in the right bins.

“We all need to play our part because looking after the environment, helping to keep the places we live and work in clean and safe, reducing waste, increasing recycling and getting involved in the community are all the right things to do.

“We need to reduce the waste we put in our green bins and increase re-use and recycling.”

People can check what goes in what bin by visiting

Other information on the site includes details of recycling centres and bin collection dates.