Recycling rates have improved by 53 per cent in some areas of the City of Swan, after the City conducted a bin ‘health check’ across 2,000 households and businesses.
City staff carried out the bin audit between April and June, starting with a visual check of general waste and recycling bins in randomly selected areas and following up with individual feedback about how each household could recycle better and waste less.
City of Swan Mayor David Lucas said the intention of the audit is to help our community understand how to improve their recycling habits and reduce recycling contamination, particularly following recent changes to recycling rules.
“We’ve seen an incredible effort from our community – it shows if we all do a little bit, together we can make a real change,” he said.
“We can all reduce how much waste goes to landfill by recycling properly – apart from the environmental benefits, reducing landfill also reduces the cost to the ratepayer, and this means funds can be reinvested into our community.”
Items that contaminate recycling bins include plastic bags, nappies, food waste, dirty containers and bottle lids.
“Not only do these items contaminate clean recyclables, they also get caught in the machinery used to process recyclable waste,” Mayor Lucas said.
Whiteman Ward Councillor John McNamara said Malaga was one of the areas with the greatest improvement, with a 39 per cent improvement in recycling over the course of the audit.
“We are very grateful to our business community in Malaga for working with us – we are the first Council to carry out this program in an industrial area, and to see this commitment is fantastic,” he said.
“Recycling should always be loose in the bin and not in a plastic bag, and we were really pleased to see a 75% drop in bagged recyclables across both industrial and residential properties.”
The audit also saw a 41% reduction in soft plastic contamination which includes plastic bags and other ‘scrunchable’ plastics.
Soft plastics cannot be processed through yellow lid recycling bins – they can only be recycled through REDcycle program collection bins at participating supermarkets.
The City will use the information collated through the audit to understand how well recycling is understood in its community, and where more education is required.
The City plans to continue the program in other areas to help everyone recycle better and waste less.