Wanaka and Queenstown residents could earn “superstar” recycling status if they can stop presenting “dirty” recycling to the people who hand-sort the contents of yellow kerbside bins.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council will this month begin labelling household recycling bins “superstar”, “almost awesome” or “contaminated”.

Those who get a “contaminated” sticker will get their rubbish back to sort themselves and an information pack with recycling tips.

Council  waste minimisation officer Kath Buttar said the bin checks should improve the standard of recycling processed at the Queenstown Wakatipu Recycling Centre.

“Putting the wrong items in recycling bins not only makes it harder to meet recycling quality standards, but it also impacts the recycling crew .. We want to stop rubbish or dirty recycling going in the recycling bin to make their job easier and more pleasant,” she said.

It is the first time the council has done district-wide checks.

The checks will be made early in the morning before rubbish and recycling trucks do their rounds.