The bin tagging program is a direct, household-by-household educational program aiming to improve the recycling habits of residents and reduce contamination in their general waste and recycling bins.
The program involves a simple visual assessment of the contents of each household’s general waste and recycling bins, followed by individual feedback about how each household can ensure their recycling and general waste bins are as healthy as can be.
The feedback is provided in the form of tags attached to the bins, explaining whether or not the bins have the correct items in them.
Who will be taking part?
Households are selected randomly across the City of Stirling to take part and auditing the content of recycling, green waste and general waste bins presented for collection.
Why is the City tagging bins?
Recycling rules in WA have changed, and it’s important to know what can and cannot be placed in your bins. While most of us have the best intentions with our waste and recycling, unfortunately many of us are putting the wrong things in our bins.
The aim of the project is to reduce the waste we send to landfill and improve recycling rates in the City of Stirling through education. Through tailored feedback on the contents of your bin, you’ll learn whether you’re on the right track, or how you can improve.
According to WALGA, in South Australia, the use of bin tagging has reduced contamination in bins by up to 60% and increased the amount of recycling by 25%. We are striving to achieve this in the City of Stirling.
What information do you record?
Our auditing team will record any contaminants in your bin that are visible from a visual assessment. The auditors simply lift the lid and observe the items in your bin that they can see from lifting the lid.
What will be done with the information?
We’ll be analysing what the main contaminants are in peoples bins, in order to determine how we can improve our waste education. We will also be analysing whether the auditing program results in any household-by-household improvements over the six-week period.
Who has access to the information?
City of Stirling staff members.
My bin was tagged, but I didn't know I was doing anything wrong - what does this mean?
We recognise that some of the recycling rules have changed, and it can be difficult to keep up to date with what’s acceptable to recycle, and what’s not.
That’s why we’re undertaking the bin tagging program. You’ll receive specific feedback on how to get it right next time.
What can contaminate my recycling bin?
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. Our recycling facility does 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. Your entire bin of recyclables can end up in landfill as a result
- 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 your nearest participating supermarket
- Electronic items such as TV’s and computers Most of these items are recyclable, but not through your kerbside recycling bin. They should be taken to the Recycling Centre Balcatta or this service can be booked as part of our on demand services
- Household hazardous items such as batteries and globes These items are recyclable, but not through the recycling bin. Take your household batteries and globes to your nearest City of Stirling Library, our Administration Building, or the Recycling Centre in Balcatta.
I don't want the City to look in my bin, what can I do?
We are undertaking this program to improve the way our residents recycle. Our auditors are conducting a simple visual check by lifting the lid of your bin and will not be going through the contents.
If you would like to be removed from this audit please contact the Waste Education Officer from the City of Stirling to discuss your concerns.
How are the areas selected for the program?
Not all households in Stirling will be audited. They will be selected at random across a range of areas within the City.
How is the program funded?
This project is funded by the State government and administered by the Waste Authority.
Community waste education
The City is engaging with residents to inform them on how to best use the three bin system to reduce waste going to landfill. Part of the process is to work with communities and interest groups within the City.
The City provides:
- Workshops for community and interest groups
- Presentations at community events
- Stalls and community engagement at events.
The program is free and conducted by experienced presenters/educators.
For more information, please contact the Waste Education Team on (08) 9205 8555 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.