Bin audit to reveal residents recycling habits

Starting this week Lismore City Council will be lifting residential bin lids in an effort to educate our community and reduce contamination.

The ‘Lift the Lid’ campaign is an audit program where residents’ kerbside recycling and organics bins are visually checked for incorrect items and tagged according to contamination levels.

Lismore City Council’s Waste and Services Education Officer Victoria Currie said the program is aimed at educating our community with the correct habits of recycling.

“The purpose of the program is to provide direct education and feedback to residents who may be confused or require extra assistance to recycle items in the correct bin, which ultimately means their waste can be remanufactured into new products and organic material can be made into quality compost,” she said.

“The program also allows Council to assess areas of recycling habits it can focus on for educational programs it holds for the community.”

Ms Currie also said the program was a proven success in neighbouring council areas and that this was not the first time Council had run such a program.

“The last time Council ran a ‘Lift the Lid’ campaign was in 2019, with over 500 recycling and organics bins audited across parts of Lismore and Goonellabah. It helped us understand what habits we had to help educate the community about. Waste education auditors will be extending the areas this time to around Goonellabah, East Lismore, Lismore, Girards Hill, South Lismore, North Lismore and Nimbin.”

Auditors will be hitting the streets early in the morning ahead of the collection trucks and tagging the bins to highlight whether they have had the correct recycling items or if they are contaminated.

“A green ‘Awesome’ tag will be left on bins which have recycled right and that property can register to go into a draw to win a $150 Loving Local Gift Card,” she said.

“Bins that have at least 10 per cent contamination will be tagged with a red ‘Oh no’ tag with additional information detailing what items were incorrect. Bins that have 50 per cent or more contamination will also get a red ‘Oh no’ tag with additional information, as well as a rejection sticker and will be registered with a formal contamination notice.”

Each area will receive an initial visit and then a follow-up visit two weeks later to see if there’s been a reduction in contamination rates. The program starts in the first week of December and is expected to run until June 2022.

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