Whether it's putting out dirty containers or leaving the milk in the bottle, we all know someone who doesn't recycle properly.
Those days are now over in Christchurch: if you break the rules enough times, the council will now confiscate your bin.
The council’s compliance team, or ‘plastic patrol’ will now be combing the streets of Christchurch, to regulate your recycling.
“We'll actually leave a notice of contamination and then follow-up from there, if there is no improvement, we will have to remove that bin,” says Ross Trotter, Resource recovery manager at Christchurch City Council.
The Christchurch City Council has been inundated with contaminated recycling ever since the lockdown.
Even now, nearly 30 per cent of loads breach their maximum threshold.
So far, 246 bins have been confiscated to date after consumers left everything from the wrong type of plastic, to contaminated food waste, in their recycling bins.
Although locals have expressed fear people will wrongly dump rubbish amid the new rules, but there is an upside to the crack-down.
Because, if you recycle properly you'll now get a gold star.
“There's definitely a lot of interest in getting a star on your bin and your neighbours knowing you're an excellent recycler,” says Tania Lees, - contract supervisor for recycling at the council.
The vast majority have only needed a warning and can then apply to get their bin back.
“What we're doing is protecting those people who are doing it right,” Trotter says.