Bin inspection program
Council conducts random inspections of recycling and food and garden organics bins throughout Merri-bek to ensure residents are putting the right items in the right bin and to reduce the impact of contamination.
Contamination occurs when people place incorrect items in their recycling bin.
Contamination is a significant problem in Merri-bek, where we have a recycling contamination rate of 17 per cent, which is 7 per cent higher than the state average.
How to know if your bin was inspected
All households that have their bins inspected will receive a tag or a sticker on their bin.
Bins that contain no contamination will receive a well done bin tag.
Contaminated bins will receive a warning bin tag or a rejection sticker, indicating that incorrect items were found in the bin which shouldn't be there. These households will also receive a notice in their letterbox with information on how to recycle correctly.
A warning bin tag alerts the household that a moderate level of contamination was found in the bin but the bin was still collected.
A rejection sticker alerts the household that a high level of contamination was found in the bin and, as a result, the bin was not collected.
What to do if your bin is rejected
If your recycling or food and garden organics bin has been rejected (not picked up) following an inspection you will need to remove the incorrect items indicated on the sticker before calling Council to arrange a follow up collection.
Visit recycling collection to see which items are allowed in each bin.
Impact of contamination in recycling bins
When a recycling bin is contaminated with incorrect items, the recycling 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, poses risks to workers sorting the materials and can result in truck loads of recycling or food and garden waste being sent to landfill.
Contamination can also be hazardous for workers at the Material Recovery Facility, some items can cause fires or result in odours that result in the facility being fined or even closed down.