Bin a GREAT Sort Program

Bin a GREAT Sort Program

Kwinana Bin a GREAT Sort Program  

Register to be a GREAT Sort                              

The City of Kwinana’s ‘Bin a GREAT Sort’ Program’ (BGS) is a residential waste and community education program that aims to: 

  • Reduce the amount of waste going to landfill  

  • Reduce contamination in recycling and waste bins  

  • Improve the recycling habits of households  

  • Reduce the amount of money the council spends on waste disposal fee’s (savings which would ultimately be passed onto you, the ratepayer). 

  • Protect waste industry workers, trucks, infrastructure from serious harm 

To improve the recycling habits of residents and reduce contamination in waste and recycling bins, we are launching the Kwinana ‘Bin a GREAT Sort’ Program. 

As part of this program, the City’s Community Waste Engagement Officers will visit a random selection of approximately 2000 houses, across the City, for a bin tagging program which aims to assist residents to use their council provided bins and service correctly.  

There are GREAT Sorts in Kwinana

Your landfill bin is the last place for waste. With a bit of waste sorting at home, it could be empty each week! There are many GREAT Sorts on every street in Kwinana who put 60% less waste into their landfill bin by doing these five GREAT things:

  • G is for Gifting things to charity, swapping or selling.  
  • R is for Recycling only these 5 things: Metal cans, cardboard, paper, glass and plastic (bottles, jars and containers)  
  • E is for Earth-cycling food scraps and garden waste into compost.  
  • A is for Avoiding excess packaging and disposable containers.  
  • T is for Taking soft plastics, batteries, e-waste and chemicals to local drop-off points.  

Let’s keep recycling simple! Remember it’s just the five items below that go in your yellow top recycling bin! 

  • Plastic bottles and containers (rinsed, lids off)
  • Cardboard (flattened) 
  • Aluminium and steel cans (rinsed) 
  • Glass bottles and jars (rinsed, lids off) 
  • Paper (excluding shredded paper, paper towels and tissues) 
 

Frequently asked questions 

Who will be taking part?

Across the City of Kwinana approximately 2000 households will be randomly chosen to take part in the Bin Tagging Program. The City’s Community Waste Engagement Officers will be checking the content of the kerbside general waste and recycling bins presented for collection in the randomly selected areas. Households selected to take part will be visited multiple times over an eight-week period (subject to COVID-19). 

Why are you looking in bins?

Recycling in WA has changed and it’s even more important than ever to put the right things in the right bin. The City has communicated these changes in a number of ways, including visits to schools, community workshops, waste and recycling guides sent direct to households, newspaper articles and social media campaigns. 

We know our community is passionate about recycling and try their best to recycle correctly. We also know that there is increasing confusion about what can be recycled at home. A recent survey conducted by the City revealed that half of residents don’t feel like they receive enough information about waste and recycling. 

The aim of this project is to reduce waste to landfill and improve recycling rates in the City of Kwinana through education. This will save our ratepayers money as well as making our recycling stream stronger and more effective. 

Through tailored feedback on the contents of your bin, you’ll learn whether you’re on the right track, or how you can improve. 

According to WALGA, bin audits can reduce contamination in kerbside bins by up to 60% and increase the amount of recycling by 25%. We want to achieve this outcome in the City of Kwinana for the benefit of our community and the environment. 

How do you choose where to inspect?

Waste and recycling collection days, truck rounds and topography have all been factored into the random selection of households. 

How will I know if I am a selected property?

This program is designed to improve your recycling behaviours, to benefit the environment, improve waste recovery and reduce what goes to landfill. 

The City's Community Waste Engagement Officers will not be going through your kerbside bin and will only do a quick visual check. 

What happens if there is contamination in my bin?

If the wrong items are in either the general waste or recycling kerbside bin , the Community Waste Engagement Officers will a leave tag with a sad face and comments on what can be changed. In the case of repeated severe contamination, your kerbside bins can be taped shut and will not be collected until you remove the contamination. 

Is bin tagging an invasion of privacy? 

No,  once placed on the verge, your kerbside general waste and recycling bin and its contents are the property of Local Government, who are the providers of this collection service. The Council has authorised Community Waste Engagement Officers to look in the bin.  Therefore, auditing the materials of the bin (in this case for the purpose of identifying contamination and to educate), is not considered illegal. 

If there is waste that you have specific concerns about place it in an envelope/bag in your general waste bin.  

Will there be infringements?

No, this program is for educational purposes only. If repeated, severe contamination is recorded, kerbside bins will be taped shut and will not be collected until the contamination is removed.  

What information do you record?

We will record the types of contamination, if any, and the level of that contamination. We will also record if a kerbside bin is at capacity or too full. This information will be recorded against the property address and be used to track improvement over time. It will also be used to determine entry into the prize draw. We will also record the names of winners of prizes for our financial auditing requirements. 

The data gathered as part of the audits will help to provide feedback to our community to encourage positive change. It will also assist the City with managing and future planning our kerbside collection services. 

Who will have access to the information?

City of Kwinana’s staff and the West Australian Local Government Association (WALGA)

 

Why is the waste bin inspected? Can’t I put anything in this bin, especially if my recycling bin is full?

With the changes to recycling in WA, our community is being encouraged to ‘leave it out of the recycling bin when in doubt’. Some people are concerned about contaminating their recycling bin and are putting recyclable items in their waste bin. Our auditors will be checking the waste bin to see if there are recyclable items so they can let you know. 

You’ve also told us that sometimes your recycling bin is full, so you have no choice but to put recyclables in the waste bin. We understand that this is a challenge, and future bin options will include the opportunity to upgrade to a larger 360L recycling bin to assist with this. 

Why can’t I bag my recyclables?

Recyclables that are put in plastic bags in the kerbside recycling bin do not get recycled. The Material Recovery Facility (MRF) which sorts your recyclables  cannot open or empty the bags – instead they get sent to landfill. 

Why can’t we recycle bottle tops and lids

The bottle tops/lids are too small to be processed in the facility and they get stuck in other waste streams (such as glass)  which contaminates and devalues the recovered product. Bottle tops/lids can be recycled through the current Container Deposit Scheme network.  

What are soft plastics and why can’t they be put in my recycling bin?

When soft plastics such as shrink wrap, bubble wrap, plastic bags, bread bags, frozen food and veggie bags etc. are included in the yellow-topped co-mingled recycle bin, they generally tend to get contaminated with other materials such as paper. 

Accordingly, recyclers that operate sorting facilities also known as materials recovery facilities (MRFs) have advised local government that light/soft plastics are no longer recyclable through the co-mingled recycling stream in the yellow-top bin. 

If you want to recycle soft plastics you can collect them at home and take them to your nearest Coles or Woolworths stores. 

A full list of soft plastics that are accepted through the program can also be found at the REDcycle website. 

I'm getting conflicting messages on my tags. Soft plastics go in recycle bin. Put soft plastics in recycling bin only to be told to take soft plastics to Coles or Woolworths for recycling. Why can't YOU, recycle them if they're recyclable?

As per the above response by source separating soft plastics there is an option for residents to recycle them using the Redcycle bins provided by Coles and Woolworths. 

The information on the tags as below, is provided to inform residents of this available option. As a learning the City will amend the wording on the tags to reflect that this is an option. 

Why does so much packaging still have recycling symbols but councils say they can’t be recycled ie: some meats trays.

In one sentence, this comes down to the fact that there is no viable end market for some of these products and/or the cost of recycling these products is more than the cost to manufacture new products. 

Recycling logos for manufactured products is promoted nationally by the Australian Packaging Covenant which is a co-regulatory not for profit national organisation that partners with industry and government to promote efficient recycling. They may in the future become recyclable and the logos, such as the plastic number help identify the type of plastic used in the production. 

For further information on what can be currently recycled, please check the Recycle Right website www.recycleright.wa.gov.au or download the free app recycleright.wa.gov.au 

 

How do we dispose of the bin tags? Can they be recycled?

The tags have been printed on recycled paper and are able to be thrown into your yellow lid recycling bin. 

The tags also provide a handy checklist of what items can be recycled, so you are also welcome to keep this tag for future reference. 

Why doesn’t the City of Kwinana have a three bin system ?

The City of Kwinana’s Waste Strategy completed in 2017 identified the current 2-bin system with waste being sent for energy production and recycling in the yellow-topped bins as the best method for the City of Kwinana. This position was established based on environmental, governance, economic and social factors. For this reason, the City of Kwinana doesn’t have a three bin system. 

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