What can contaminate my recycling bin? Why are Shire staff looking in my bins?
There are certain things that should and shouldn’t be placed in your recycling bin. The things that shouldn’t are considered contaminants.
When the wrong thing is placed in your recycling bin, the remaining recyclable items become contaminated and end up in landfill. In fact, one contaminated bin can contaminate an entire truckload of recyclable material.
The most common bin contaminants include:
- Recyclables in bags - Recyclable items must be placed loosely in the recycling bin, and not in a bin bag. Recycling facilities do not open or empty bags for safety reasons, which means that any bagged recyclable material ends up in landfill
- Dirty containers - Please rinse your containers first before placing them into your recycling bin. Recyclable materials can sit around waiting to be recycled for months on end, so we need to ensure that recyclables are as clean as possible, without any food waste. Otherwise, they can contaminate a whole bundle of recycled waste
- Lids - Keeping lids on containers, bottles or jars can affect the recycling process and cause contamination, so we ask you to please remove any lids from recyclable items before placing them in the bin
- Nappies, food and green waste - These items don’t belong in the recycling bin as they will contaminate the other clean recyclable materials.
- Flexible/scrunchable plastics - This includes plastic bags. These get mixed up with paper and cardboard recyclables at the recycling facility and mean that our recycling is not as clean as it could be. Instead, return these items to the REDcycle bin at Woolworths.
The Shire of East Pilbara is participating in a Bin Tagging Program to provide residents with direct feedback on how to improve recycling habits. The collection of household bins is a Council run service, and this program aims to increase recycling and reduce contamination in the recycling bin.Who will be looking inside my bin?
The Shire of East Pilbara’s Waste Services team will be conducting the checks over the specified weeks. No private information will be shared and the checks are to identify whether correct items are being placed in the correct bins.How long is the Bin Tagging program going on for?
The Bin Tagging Program will last for four weeks, with the potential for another two weeks if required, due to weather, or if we find we need to do another visit. It is planned to start on the 14th April.Why was my bin tagged?
The Shire of East Pilbara is working with the WA Local Government Association on this educational program, to help reduce recyclable materials sent to landfill. All homes in Newman are participating in the program in an effort to provide ongoing, long-term benefits for our community and the environment.What does this tag mean?
The bin tags are a simple, easy way for our team to let you know how you did during the specific visit.What if someone else has loaded their rubbish in my bin?
If you get a ‘Thank You’ bin tag, you’re recycling well – so keep doing what you’re doing.
If you get the ‘One Small Favour’ tag, please take note of the minor changes highlighted on the tag. This program is about education, so don’t be discouraged if you get this tag, but we ask you to learn from it and make the necessary change.
If you get the ‘Not Able to Collect’ tag, it means there have been repeated high levels of contamination in the recycle bin. Your bin will be taped shut and the waste truck driver won’t collect it. The tag will include a list of contaminants in the bin and a request for them to be removed before you contact the Shire on 9175 8000 to have your bin collected, which we will happily do, once it is free from the contamination.
GENERAL WASTE BIN:
If you get a ‘Thank You’ bin tag, we didn't see any recyclables in your general waste bin – so keep doing what you’re doing and note any tips we highlight on the tag.
If you get the ‘One Small Favour’ tag, we noticed recyclable items that are better placed in the recycling bin. Please take note of the minor changes highlighted on the tag. This program is about education, so don’t be discouraged if you get this tag.
If you are concerned this has occurred and would like to raise it with the Shire, please call the Waste Services team on 9175 8000.Am I going to get fined for what is in my bin?
Residents will not be fined for what’s in their bin or if the bin cannot be collected due to contamination levels in the bins. The program is about providing educational feedback to our community and we look forward to working together to improve how well we all recycle in Newman.Why did the Shire choose this program?
The Bin Tagging Program is State Government approved and is administered through the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA)
. Recent recycling audits have shown that contamination rates are still too high for recycling to be taken to a materials recovery facility for recycling. According to WALGA, the bin tagging program in South Australia reduced contamination in bins by 60% and increased the amount of recycling by 25%. The Shire of East Pilbara’s participation does not cost ratepayers, as the program is funded by the State Government. The aim of this on-the-ground program is to improve recycling practices and reduce recyclable materials sent to landfill.