AN EAGLE-EYED Dunfermline homeowner has questioned the point of families separating items for recycling at home after spotting a binman dumping paper and landfill rubbish in the SAME truck.

Stewart McIlwaine, of High Beveridgewell, was shocked to see the worker empty the blue paper bin and grey landfill bin into the lorry on his street, an incident described as "regrettable" by Fife Council.

Because he had seen the same thing happen earlier in the year, he was ready with his phone in August to record the refuse collectors when a build-up of bins suggested a repeat was likely.

"I knew it was going to happen because it has happened before," he told the Press.

"I saw they were emptying the two bins and thought I would take a video. 

"It is shocking. I heard about the council complaining that people are not recycling properly. I do try and put things in the right bins but when you see them doing this, you wonder what the point is.

"We would get the bins done on a Thursday and sometimes they are lying until the Saturday and sometimes they are there the whole week. I have phoned up a few times because it is such a narrow street, to have a load of bins out it is pretty awkward."

In last week's Press, Fife Liberal Democrats community safety spokesperson, Councillor Margaret Kennedy, expressed dismay that failing to put waste in the correct bins had led to Fifers throwing away nearly £2 million last year.

Fife Council admitted then that more than 3,400 tonnes of waste from brown bins – nearly 10 per cent of the contents of all brown bins in Fife – had to be landfilled in 2016 while 529 tonnes of incorrect waste was found in grey bins – a contamination rate of more than 3.5 per cent.

Martin Kingham, the council's service manager, said: “The photograph shows a paper bin being loaded onto a landfill vehicle by one of our waste collectors back in August.

"The paper bin was still on the street as access problems had meant it couldn't be emptied the previous week. The standing instruction for this is for a vehicle carrying the same recyclable material to attend later to try and access any missed bins.

“Under no circumstances are our teams authorised to empty a recycling bin into a landfill vehicle, unless there is good reason to do so – for example, an abandoned heavily-contaminated bin, preauthorised for landfill. We are investigating the circumstances of this regrettable incident.”