A dead ferret has been found in a recycling bin in Sunderland.
The animal was discovered in a blue bin, prompting a plea from the city council to residents over potentially contaminated waste.
Other items found in blue bins included soiled nappies and discarded slippers.
Coun Michael Mordey, Portfolio Holder for City Services at Sunderland City Council, said: "I've just visited the site where material from Sunderland's blue bins is recycled.
"The site is in Hartlepool and as our city's waste was being processed there were soiled nappies in the blue bins, fluffy slippers in the blue bins, and what looks like a ferret.
"These items can't be recycled however hard the staff at the recycling plant work to separate them out, and this contamination means some of the recycling is rejected and sent for energy from waste.
"The key aims of recycling are to maximise the amount of cans, glass, plastic, cardboard and paper we collect to reduce the environmental impact caused by producing new materials. "