Bin audits help reduce plastics

Monday, 1 May 2017

Bin audits have successfully reduced the number of plastic bags being incorrectly placed in recycling and green waste bins.

A total of 3,525 recycling bins and 2,757 green waste bins in Newcomb, Belmont and Bell Post Hill were inspected, by means of cameras fixed to collection trucks.

The audits showed recyclables being tied up in plastic bags was the leading cause of recycling contamination. They also showed that residents who have a capacity issue were using the alternative bin for their rubbish.

People who had incorrectly placed plastic bags in their yellow or green lid bin had a sticker placed on it letting them know that plastic bags don’t belong there.

The bin audits showed that a number of bins were in need of repair, so 108 bins were repaired as part of the inspections.

This was the first stage of the bin audit program, which is in response to the region’s climbing recycling contamination rate that currently sits at 9.53 per cent.

Audits will now be rolled out in Corio, Waurn Ponds, Whittington and Geelong West.

Will Tieppo - Director City Services

“Plastic bags were overwhelming the most common item incorrectly placed in recycling and green waste bins.
More than 86 per cent of recycling contamination and 79 per cent of green waste contamination was due to plastic bags.
In almost 80 per cent of cases, the educational stickers led to a change in behaviour with follow up bin audits showing plastic bags had been removed from recycling bins.
We’re really trying to push the message to keep recyclables loose and not in a plastic bag, so we’ve given the people we’ve noticed that are doing this a reusable recycling bag. They can use this bag to collect their recyclables in and then empty it into their yellow lid bin.”