Bin inspection program tackles plastic bags

A kerbside bin inspection program is successfully reducing plastic bag contamination in Geelong residents’ recycling bins.

The program has been implemented throughout the municipality and has slashed contamination rates in some suburbs by almost 50 percent.

The program uses cameras in the recycling truck to identify plastic bags in recycling bins. The offending bins are then stickered to educate residents that plastic bags cannot be recycled through the kerbside recycling bin.

Recyclable items presented in plastic bags are one of the main contaminants found in recycling bins.

To reduce the amount of this ‘bagged recycling’, the resident also receives a bright yellow reusable bag to help them collect and carry their recycling from their home to the recycling bin.

Follow-up bin inspections show there has been a reduction in bagged recycling found in almost all suburbs since introduction of the bin education sticker and the reusable bag.

Other contaminants identified during the bin inspections include bags of general household rubbish and empty plastic bags. These items cannot be easily removed from the recycling load, which means other recyclables in the truck load such as paper, cardboard and glass could end up going to landfill.

Residents are reminded that all household rubbish should be placed in the kerbside red-lidded waste bin. Use our waste guide to check what can go in the rubbish bin.

Empty plastic supermarket bags can be returned to local supermarkets for recycling through the REDcycle program. Look out for the large soft plastics collection bin at the front of most supermarkets. Torn or damaged reusable green carry bags can also be recycled in these bins. Visit REDcycle for a full list of acceptable plastics.

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