WASTE and recycling bins were emptied into the same waste truck by a team working along the seafront.

The contents of both the black and blue bins were tipped into the same bin lorry in front of surprised members of the public at the weekend.

Justine Butler took pictures as she watched the team at work.

She said: "We are all told to do our bit for the environment by recycling so how come BCP Council seem to think it's acceptable to empty general waste and recycling into the same bin lorry all along the length of the beach?

"We may as well chuck anything in either one."

Black bins are marked General Waste and have red stickers on them.

Recycling bins are blue with green stickers and the words: "No carrier bags please."

The council has defended its actions claiming the waste was already contaminated.

Councillor Mark Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Cleansing and Waste said: "Due to the contamination levels found in the seafront recycling bins, our waste and refuse team unfortunately had to empty both the general waste and recycling bins into the refuse truck.

"When it arrives at the local disposal site there is the opportunity to separate it out then."

Bournemouth Tourism regularly promotes its Leave Only Footprints campaign, urging members of the public to dispose of their litter carefully during visits to the coast.

It says around 2,000 tons of waste are collected every year from the seafront and claims 45 per cent of it is recyclable or organic material. The rest is processed for energy with a small percentage sent to landfill.