The Victorian Waste Management Association (VWMA) will be calling on state government agencies and appropriate local government organisations to develop a consistent set of standards for bin auditing.
It hopes the standards will also engage with the community and waste industry.
The VWMA notes what can ultimately be recycled is largely dependent on how we decide to generate and dispose of waste. It notes bin audits are a standard practice that enable efficient assessment of kerbside recycling progress.
The VWMA believes the Victorian Government needs to play a greater role in advocating to the public the importance of the waste and recycling sector to help restore public confidence in the system.
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Local governments across Australia carry out auditing of bins as a standard practice to better understand what is being recycled and what is contaminating recycling bins. Auditing is sometimes managed by local government directly, outsourced to a waste contractor or carried out by a third party. The VWMA believes this standard practice provides insights into the areas for waste education and highlights common misconceptions around recycling that can be targeted by future programs and campaigns. However, the organisation argues a lack of community understanding on this practice and waste management more broadly is fuelling a wave of negativity that is eroding public confidence.
“Recycling correctly is still one of the easiest things Victorians can do to help the environment and the economy. But we don’t always get it right,” said VWMA Executive Officer Mark Smith, adding that bin audits are an easy and cost-effective way to gauge recycling outcomes.
“Fear mongering and fuelling the fire around this topic is not constructive and does a disservice to the community and may ultimately drive costs up for residents.”