Walsall residents are being asked to think before they recycle as part of a fresh education campaign.
Items such as paper, tins, glass plastic bottles, plastic tubs and cardboard can be processed and re-used, Walsall Council say.
But other items such as black bags, nappies and TVs cannot and are seeing loads of recycling refused.
A leaflet is being sent to around 100,000 homes with a back-to-basics reminder.
Cllr Tom Ansell, Walsall Council cabinet member for environment, said: “It all boils down to asking people not to put the wrong things in their recycling.
“We’re really happy to put to bed some of the wilder speculation about the recycling and explain the situation at the moment.
“No we’re not ‘scaremongering’ to try and encourage people to leave out less recycling because our contractor can’t handle it. Far from it.
“We’ve changed the people who deal with our recycling because our contract came to an end and this new one represented the best agreement possible.
“Waste now goes to Casepack in Leicester to be processed after we carry out a provisional check at the Fryers Road site in Bloxwich.
“Just to confirm, they’re not struggling with volumes. Far from it. Their unit is running within capacity, as we understand it.”
However, across the country are being much stricter in what they are allowin, Cllr Harris says.
He added: “In the trade things which are not on the list are known as ‘contaminants.’ That’s everything from TVs and blankets to food waste and nappies.
“Basically, we want people not to put things they can’t recycle into their recycling bins.
“New leaflets are being distributed to 110,000 homes with a very back-to-basics message of what is allowed. From hard won experience, adding detail on many items confuses matters. People don’t always heed the message that only white clean food trays can be processed. They’ll include coloured ones which are still dirty.
“Taking a hard look at things, in retrospect we could have used things like social media and press releases as well as leaflets and we’ll look to do this in the future.”