Recycling contamination on the increase and could cost ratepayers

Monday, 27 February 2017

Geelong’s limited landfill capacity is needlessly being filled up with recyclable materials, simply because people are not putting their rubbish into the correct bins. And it has the potential of costing the City – and ratepayers - hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Recycling contamination in the region is increasing, with a recent report showing the contamination rate has reached 9.53 per cent.

William Tieppo - General Manager City Services 

"If the trend continues, ratepayers will have to pay a penalty cost imposed by the organisation that manages the City’s recycling facility.

If contamination passes the 10 per cent mark, the revenue the City receives will drop significantly, if we hit that, the cost to ratepayers will be about $350,000 per year.

We are urging everyone to make sure they’re putting the right items in the right bins.
One of the most common mistakes is people putting their recyclables into plastic bags prior to placing them in the recycling bin.

This leads to all this material making its way into landfill.

Plastic bags are a huge problem, so don’t use them to tie up your recycling or green waste. Instead keep recyclables and green waste loose and in the correct bins.

Paper, cardboard, glass and rigid plastic – such as strawberry punnets and ice cream containers – can all go in your yellow lid recycling bin. Soft plastics – like glad wrap and bread bags – and other general rubbish go in your red lid rubbish bin."

In an effort to curb recycling contamination the City will start a bin inspection program next month.

Residents’ privacy will be respected as part of the bin inspection program, which is used by a number of councils nation-wide.

Cameras will be fixed to selected recycling trucks to help monitor where rubbish has been incorrectly placed in yellow lid bins.

Our staff will place a sticker on these bins, informing residents that plastic bags – or whatever the items may be - don’t belong in the recycling bin.

The bin audits will help us target the recycling bins where we are repeatedly seeing the wrong items, so that we can inform these people and change behaviour.