Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 both empowers local authorities to specify the conditions of the waste collection service they provide and requires them to inform the recipients of those conditions by way of a section 46 notice. Section 46(4)(d) is the section which allows the local authority to require householders to place specific materials in particular receptacles (or compartments of receptacles) for collection.
The degree of contamination has a big impact on the value of recyclates, even if the contamination is with other recyclates. It is for this reason that householders are often required to wash and separate their waste prior to collection.
Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, local authorities now also have the power to issue fixed penalty notices to those who fail to comply with section 46 notices.