A council has tightened its recycling rules after finding nappies and chicken in the bins.

Hertsmere Borough Council has told residents that the brown bin will not be collected if they contain full plastic bags, even if they have recycling inside.

The brown bins are used for glass, cartons, plastic, cans, empty plastic bags and cardboard items.

Environment portfolio holder, Councillor Jean Heywood, said: "Full plastic bags have never been accepted by our recycling facility but they now have a zero tolerance policy. Their machinery cannot sort full bags of recycling and some bags don’t even contain recycling - we’ve found tied up bags of rubbish, nappies and a chicken.

"There’s no way of knowing what’s inside a bag until it’s too late so if your bin contains full bags, it will not be collected.

"We are aware that some of you are finding that your brown bin is getting full quickly and we are working on how we can resolve this. Putting items in loose will help make more room and please flatten/tear up cardboard to help it fit in and squash cartons, plastic bottles and cans. If you have five or more people in your household you may also be able to get a bigger brown bin."

For more information about recycling or to enquire about a bigger brown bin please visit www.hertsmere.gov.uk/recycling or call 020 8207 7480.