The City of Swan in Perth is conducting ‘health checks’ on residential kerbside bins to help the community improve recycling habits and reduce waste contamination.
The bin auditing program involves city staff visually checking the contents of general waste and recycling bins in randomly selected areas.
The checks are followed by constructive individual feedback on how each household can waste less and better recycle.
Feedback will be provided in the form of a tag on the bin handle, which states if there are any contaminated items in the recycling bin or items in the general waste bin that can be recycled.
City of Swan Mayor David Lucas said while most of people have good intentions when it comes to waste and recycling, many are unsure of what to place in different bins.
“If your recycling bin is contaminated with even a few unsuitable items, the remaining recyclable material in that bin will go to landfill,” Mr Lucas said.
Mr Lucas said through individual tailored feedback residents will learn how to properly separate their waste.
According to the Western Australian Local Government Association, similar programs in South Australia have reduced waste contamination by up to 60 per cent, and increased the amount of material sent to recycling facilities by 25 per cent.
Mr Lucas said 2000 households and businesses in the City of Swan are planned to take part in the program.
Whiteman Ward Councillor John McNamara said each property selected to take part will be audited four times over an eight week period.
“We’re focusing on providing useful feedback to residents to change behaviour, however if contaminated items continue to be placed in bins by the end of the program, residents will be required to remove the contamination before the bin is emptied,” Mr McNamara said.
“There have been some recent changes around what can be recycled which can be confusing, we’re using this program to empower our community to recycle better and waste less.”
The city will use information collected through the program to understand how well recycling is understood and to determine where more information is required.