‘Recycle right’ reminder for households to reduce contamination

Maroondah residents are being reminded of the importance of not placing general waste into their ‘blue-lid’ recycling bin to avoid contamination of items which can be recycled.

Councillor Mike Symon, Council’s representative on the Metropolitan Local Governments’ Waste Forum, said despite the recycling crisis that had impacted some Victorian’s Councils, Maroondah’s recycling has continued as usual.

“We want to ensure residents that the materials they are placing in their recycling bin are still being recycled by our service provider,” Cr Symon said.

Cr Symon said it is important that our community continue to keep their rubbish and recycling in their correct bins.

“While we acknowledge most households in Maroondah were recycling correctly, there is still more that we can do to reduce contamination.

“While the majority of householders are diligent when it comes to correctly sorting their recycling waste, there are some residents who may be confused as to what can and can’t be put into their recycling bin,” he said.

Cr Symon said it was essential that residents only placed appropriate items in their recycling bin.

“It is crucial households know what can and can’t be put in the recycling bin. This not only reduces the amount of waste going to landfill but ensures materials that can be recycled have the chance at a second life,” he said.

A recent inspection of 6,495 randomly selected household recycling bins across Maroondah found almost half (44.45%) contained ‘contamination’ items – such as food packets and wrappers, disposable straws, pots and pans, coat hangers, plastic covered magazines and newspapers, plastic bags, general rubbish, nappies, tissues and paper towel.

“Fortunately, the majority of bins inspected had a low contamination rate – less than three items,” he said.

Each year, Council’s waste team runs a residential bin inspection program. The program involves waste education officers visually inspecting the contents of Maroondah’s household recycling bins and providing individual feedback on residents’ recycling behaviour.

If contamination is observed (rubbish), households receive a notification sticker outlining what item was incorrectly placed in their recycling bin. If the bin had no contaminants, residents receive a ‘well done for recycling right’ sticker.

Cr Symon 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.

“Maroondah residents have proven that they are great recyclers. In fact, Maroondah has one of the highest landfill diversion rates amongst Victoria’s 79 councils,” he said.

“Unfortunately, there are certain items not suitable for recycling which are still finding their way into recycling bins.

“Non-recyclable items, especially soft plastics such as plastic bags, bread bags and cling wrap, can block machinery and contaminate other recyclable material.

“Also, recyclable items should be kept loose and out of plastic bags, even bags that are labelled as ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘biodegradable’. If they are in a plastic bag, the whole lot has to be removed. Plastic such as rigid plastic bottles and containers can however be placed in your recycling bin,” Cr Symon said.

The data collected from household bin inspections will be used to monitor recycling behaviours and as the basis for future waste education programs.

Recyclable items

What CAN go in your ‘blue-lid’ recycling bin:

  • paper and cardboard
  • rigid plastic bottles and containers
  • metal cans and foil
  • glass bottles and jars.

Non-recyclable items

Please DO NOT place the following items in your ‘blue-lid’ Council recycling bin:

  • plastic bags/straws
  • batteries
  • paper towel/tissues
  • nappies
  • light bulbs
  • ceramics
  • pyrex/window glass
  • food scraps
  • rubber
  • wood
  • polystyrene.

View a full list of items and recycling tips in our recycling guidelines

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