Getting our bins sorted

Hawkesbury City Council will commence random bin inspections next week to encourage residents to improve recycling rates in their recycling and garden organics bins.

Bin inspections programs are an important aspect of community recycling education by providing instant feedback to residents about their recycling behaviours.

The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Mary Lyons-Buckett is keen to see Hawkesbury residents continue to increase their levels of recycling to “help our environment and to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill”.

“Council’s annual bin inspection program aims to encourage all Hawkesbury residents to recycle right,” Mayor Lyons-Buckett said.

“Contracted inspectors will look in our recycling (yellow lid) and organics (green lid) bins to check for contamination, which means things that don’t belong in those bins.

“So many of our residents, including children, are helping to keep contaminants out of recycling and organics bins, and we need to keep improving,” she said.

“Inspectors will check the content of bins when they are out on the kerb, but rest assured, they won’t be going through your rubbish or tipping out your bin.

“If you are doing a great job, you will receive a green Smiley Face Bin Tag. If there is contamination, you will receive a red Contamination Sad Face Bin Tag that simply explains how to sort correctly.”

When a recycling or garden organics bin is contaminated with incorrect items, the recovery process becomes less efficient and can result in valuable resources being sent to landfill rather than being reused or recycled. This causes both financial and environmental loss.

Contamination makes the service more expensive; it can cause injury to workers sorting the materials and it can also result in truckloads of recycling or green waste being sent to landfill.

All councils in metropolitan Sydney conduct similar bin inspection programs. Hawkesbury City Council has conducted bin inspections since 2013.

The bin inspection program is for educational purposes only and residents will not receive financial penalties if contamination is present.

For further information on what can actually go into your bins (such as no food scraps in the organics bin and no toys in the recycling bin), visit Council’s website for the A-Z Reuse and Recycling Guide for the Hawkesbury and the Household Waste Guide or call Customer Service on 4560
4444 for a copy to be mailed out to you.