Drug syringes have been found amongst garden waste collected by Erewash Borough Council forcing recyclable waste to go to landfill.
The discovery meant that more than two tonnes of compostable waste had to be sent to landfill because of contamination fears.
Workers sorting through the recycling found the hypodermic needles when brown bins were emptied -and were forced to abandon sifting through due to safety concerns.
A spokesman for Erewash Borough Council said: “The discovery of the syringes meant a wasted effort by residents who had properly recycled the good, compostable waste.”
It prompted the authority to reiterate what should and shouldn’t be put in brown bins.
The spokesman added: “We would like to remind residents that brown bin collections are for garden waste only as the drive for a greener and more environmentally-friendly Erewash continues.”
It is not clear whether the syringes had been used or where the bin that contained them had been collected from.