Council's stern warning to bad recyclers

Melissa Buttigieg
News Reporter

Some bad recyclers are being warned they must improve their rubbish habits or risk not having their bins emptied.

The east Perth council issued the stern warning as part of a crackdown on waste going to landfill.

Households will be audited as part of a recycling “health check”, in a bid to help reduce waste contamination, according to the City of Swan.

"If your recycling bin is contaminated with even a few unsuitable items, the remaining recyclable material in that bin will go to landfill,” City of Swan Mayor David Lucas said.

A Perth council has warned bad recyclers must improve their rubbish habits or risk not having their bins emptied. Source: AAP

"You might not know what you’re putting in your bin isn’t quite right, so we want to help you learn the best practice.”

From Monday, council workers will be checking the contents of 2000 general waste and recycling bins in randomly selected areas, then leave “constructive” feedback about how each household can recycle better and waste less.

Each property audited will be checked four times over an eight-week period.

The feedback will tagged to the bin handle, instructing residents of any “contaminated items” in the recycling bin, or items in the general waste bin that can be recycled.

The council hopes the constructive advice will help residents change their recycling behaviours, and reduce waste contamination which ends up in landfill, councillor John McNamara said.

"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,” he warned.

The crackdown comes after a recent Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) audit of 2000 homes across Perth, which found only 50.7 per cent of households were recycling correctly, City of Swan CEO Mike Foley told Yahoo News Australia.

“The City is committed to implementing the best recycling practices,” he added.

Some of the most common items which contaminate recycled items include nappies, items placed in plastic bags, and food scraps. Source: Recycle Right WA

What items cannot be recycled?

Some of the most common items thrown in recycling bins, which end up contaminating the rest of the collection, include nappies, items in plastic bags, electronic waste, food scraps, aerosol cans and gas bottles, and bottle lids.

All of these items must go in regular rubbish bins.

In South Australia, similar programs have reduced waste contamination by up to 60 per cent, and increased the amount of recycling by 25 per cent, the council claims.

Each year, Australians throw away tens of thousands of tonnes in unwanted household items like electronics, computers, batteries, white goods, and furniture, which are hazardous to the environment.

These used household items can be safely dropped off at various places across the country.

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