Bin Checks Prove to be Dirty Work

A team of four are spot checking recycling bins throughout the District to help people better understand what items can be put out for recycling. Just over two weeks in and it’s proving to be a dirty job.

Dirty nappies, soft plastic, food, clothing, smashed window glass, tree branches, Tetra Pak cartons, coffee cups, lids and other items of Recycling bin with rubbish inside rubbish, have been found in hundreds of recycling bins across the District.

Since checks began, roughly one in four recycling bins contained rubbish which could have contaminated the truckload, sending its entire contents to landfill at an additional cost to ratepayers of $1000 per truck.

“Visual checks are the best way for us to see what the recycling looks like, and check whether people are getting our messaging about what we can and can’t recycle”, says Council’s Solid Waste Asset Manager Kitty Waghorn.

Any bin heavily contaminated with rubbish will be left uncollected and a tag will let residents know what the offending items are so that it can be sorted for the next collection. Residents continuing to use recycling bins for rubbish on the third check will have the bin removed, and will continue to be charged for the service.

Kitty said for those who haven’t got it quite right, and where there is only a little contamination, the bin will be collected and an educational flyer will be left in the letterbox letting people know what items need to go in the rubbish.

“We’re re-checking bins again in the coming weeks to check that the message is getting through. It’s so important to get our recycling sorted so that we can keep it from being dumped to landfill,” she said.

The Council are starting to see huge improvements during follow-up checks of previously contaminated bins, and thank those residents for making the changes to recycle correctly.

What to recycle:

  • Clean cardboard
  • Aluminium and tin cans (no unattached lids)
  • Metal tins
  • Glass jars and bottles (no lids)
  • Plastic bottles and containers from the kitchen or laundry, type 1, 2 or 5 no bigger than 3 litre size
  • Aerosol cans
  • Paper no smaller than an envelope.