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Recycling and garden organics Bin Inspection Program

young girl holding recycling bin

As part of Council’s waste education program, we conduct visual inspections of recycling and garden organics bins. Visual inspections of bins allows Council to provide households with feedback on their waste disposal behaviours and gather contamination data for targeted education campaigns.

Check your recycling knowledge

What can go in the recycling bin changes and is different between Council areas. It’s always good to check and keep up to date with the latest information on what can go in your bins.

Find out more about what can go in your:

Contamination means there’s something in the bin that doesn’t belong there.

When the wrong thing is placed in the bin it has a big impact on our collection and recycling process. Incorrect materials can damage trucks and machinery, endanger drivers and workers at the Material Recovery Facility and increases the cost to provide the service to our community.

All bins that have been inspected will receive feedback on whether the items in the bin are correct.

If everything in the bin is acceptable, a blue star for recycling and a green star for garden organics will be placed on the bin.

If there was a small amount of unacceptable material, a sticker identifying the unacceptable material will be placed on the bin. 

Where a bin is majority contamination, or has a hazardous material in it, the bin will be rejected and have its lid stickered shut.

Yes, if your bin lid was stickered shut then it means that we found high levels of contamination and your bin could not be emptied.

You will need to remove the contamination and call Council on 1300 88 22 33 or 9298 4598 to arrange a collection. 

Recycling bin contamination 

Maroondah has an average contamination rate in our recycling bins of 13 per cent which is 2.5 per cent higher than the state average of 10.5 per cent (Sustainability Victoria, August 2020).

Contamination of recycling leads to greater costs for Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) when sorting our recycling into different materials. This reduces their efficiency, contaminates other materials which could have been recycled, and in some cases, endangers workers and breaks machines resulting in MRFs having to close temporarily so machinery can be repaired. 

The main items that go into recycling bins that shouldn’t be there are plastic bags and other soft plastics, paper towel, tissues and containers with food or liquid in them.

Garden organics bin contamination 

The average contamination rate of Maroondah’s garden organics is 4 per cent which is 1 per cent greater than the average metropolitan Melbourne Council. 

The main item that goes into the garden organics bin which shouldn’t is ‘oversized’ materials such as branches longer than 40cm in length and logs which are greater than 10 cm in diameter. 

Large items break our trucks and they take too long to turn into compost, even when using industrial composting technologies.

Other items that are incorrectly going into the garden bin are loose soil, rocks, treated wood, animal faeces, bagged garden waste, textiles and recyclable packaging. 

26/03/2021
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