BIN INSPECTIONS IN THE HAWKESBURY
Following the success of last year’s bin inspections, Council is again conducting bin inspections across the Hawkesbury to keep improving recycling rates for recycling and garden organics bins.
Bin inspection programs are an important aspect of community recycling education, providing direct feedback to residents on the way they recycle. This also helps Council develop targeted programs to help residents recycle better.
When a recycling or garden organics bin is contaminated with incorrect items, the recovery process becomes less efficient and can result in valuable resources being sent to landfill rather than being reused or recycled. This causes both financial and environmental loss.
Contamination makes the service more expensive; it can cause injury to workers sorting the materials and it can also result in truckloads of recycling or green waste being sent to landfill.
Inspections are becoming more common among councils throughout Australia, with Hawkesbury City Council’s Waste Education Contractor, EnviroCom, conducting such programs on behalf of Council since 2013.
The visual inspections are conducted on the morning of recycling or garden organics collections, predominantly in areas that have been targeted for contamination issues. The inspectors look inside recycling and garden organics bins that have been placed on the kerbside but they don’t rummage through or tip them out.
Residents will either receive a green Smiley Face Bin Tag if the correct materials were found inside, or a red Contamination Sad Face Bin Tag to assist with sorting recycling correctly in the future if incorrect items were present. Residents will also have a sticker placed on the bin as a reminder that plastic bags and other soft plastics cannot go in the recycling or garden organics bins.
The bin inspection program is for educational purposes only and residents will not receive financial penalties if contamination is present.
Fortunately, many residents already know what to place in the recycling bin and the garden organics bin.