Good recyclers are being rewarded with a blue or green star on their recycling and garden organics bin as part of Council’s annual residential bin inspection program.
More than 800 Maroondah households have so far been rewarded with a star for meeting the blue and green star standard when it comes to recycling.
As part of its waste education program, Council conducts bin inspections for household recycling and garden organics bins to check if waste is being disposed of correctly.
The residential bin inspection program involves waste education officers visually inspecting the contents of Maroondah’s household recycling and garden organics bins and providing individual feedback on residents’ recycling behaviour.
Bins which are found to contain unacceptable material will be provided with a sticker on the lid of the bin identifying the materials that were incorrectly placed in the bin.
Councillor Mike Symon, a Council representative on the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group Forum, said that while Maroondah households had so far made a positive impact on waste reduction through recycling, there was always more that could be done and learnt about recycling and to reduce cross-contamination.
“Maroondah’s residents and businesses have proven that they are great recyclers. In fact, Maroondah has one of the highest landfill diversion rates amongst Victoria’s 79 councils, with over 26,500 tonnes of recycling and green waste diverted from landfill in 2019-20,” Cr Symon said.
“Unfortunately, there are certain items not suitable for recycling which are still finding their way into recycling and garden organics bins,” he said.
“Contamination refers to materials that are placed into recycling and garden organics bins which don’t belong there. Non-recyclable items, especially soft plastics such as plastic bags, bread bags and cling wrap, can block machinery and contaminate other recyclable material.
“When it comes to bagged recycling, those materials need to be placed loosely into the recycle bin. Paper towel and tissues are other common mistakes. Plastic such as rigid plastic bottles and containers can however be placed in your recycling bin,” Cr Symon said.
Each year, the average Maroondah household disposes of 286 kilograms of garden waste, 11 kilograms of which is considered unacceptable material or a ‘contaminant’, including oversized tree branches and logs.
“Large items can break our trucks and they take too long to turn into compost, even when using industrial composting technologies,” Cr Symon said.
“Contamination can cause all your recycling efforts to go to waste. Objects that can be recycled are a valuable resource and the cost of sending waste to landfill will continue to rise – so the more we recycle right, the less we send to landfill,” he added.
Data collected from household bin inspections will be used to monitor recycling behaviours and as the basis for future waste education programs.
Did you receive a blue star on your recycling bin?
Council is rewarding householders who have shown to be good recyclers.
To say thank you for your recycling efforts, you’re invited to enter the draw to win one of 10 $100 Croydon Cinema vouchers.
Any household that received a star is eligible to enter.
*Entries close Friday 21 May.