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Bin Tagging Education Program

Commencing in October 2020, Council will for the first time start assessing the recycling wheelie bin contents when presented on the kerb for collection. This program is part of Council's communication and education strategy, designed to address the current high contamination rates of our household recycling bins. 

The Bin Tagging Education Program (BTEP) is a direct bin-by-bin education program aimed at improving the recycling habits of the Hinchinbrook Shire households. 

The program involves a simple visual assessment of the contents of the household recycling bin, followed by individual feedback about how the household can ensure their recycling bin is as healthy as can be. 

If a bin shows little or no contamination, the bin will be provided with a green "happy" tag. A bin with medium contamination will be given an orange tag with feedback on what to exclude moving forward. Finally, if a bin is heavily contaminated it will be provided with a red "sad" tag and the waste truck driver will be instructed to empty it into the landfill compartment of the truck.  

Council will endeavour to revisit red taggers, and if their recycling bin is still heavily contaminated the bin will not be serviced at all. 

Bin Tagging Education Program Fact Sheet

Frequently Asked Questions

What is bin tagging?

The Bin Tagging Education Program (BTEP) is a direct bin-by-bin education program aimed at improving the recycling habits of Hinchinbrook Shire households. 

The program involves a simple visual assessment of the contents of each household recycling bin, followed by individual feedback about how the household can ensure their recycling bin is as healthy as can be. 

Bin Tagging has proven to be a successful strategy to reduce contamination in recycling within out Local Government areas by providing on-the-spot feedback about the contents of the recycling bin. Delivery of the program in South Australia and Western Australia has reported up to a 48% decrease in contamination. 

Why is Council bin tagging?

There is a lot of confusion about what can be placed within household recycling bins. This confusion has currently lead to high contamination levels where non-recyclables materials are placed within the yellow lid bin. High contamination levels may cause recyclables to be disposed of at the Warrens Hill Landfill rather than being processed at the Materials Recovery Facility in Townsville. 

The BTEP will help clarify any misconceptions or confusion residents may have about recycling, while also offering positive reinforcement to households sorting their wastes correctly. 

What is Council looking for?

Assessors will visually assess the contents of the household recycling bins put out for collection. 

If a bin shows no or little contamination the household will be provided a green tag. A bin with medium contamination will be given an orange tag with feedback on what to exclude moving forward. Finally, if a bin is heavily contaminated it will be provided a red tag and the waste truck driver will be instructed to empty it into the landfill compartment of the truck. 

Assessors will also be looking for the following in regard to both household bins (general waste and recycling): 

  • Overflows (waste overflowing the bin);
  • Partially open lids;
  • Incorrect placements; and
  • Damage.
What will happen with the information collected?

Council will be analysing what the main contaminants are in the household recycling bins to determine how waste education can be improved. 

Who is being tagged?

No household will be specifically targeted. Council is only assessing the contents of the recycling bins presented for collection. The number of bins assessed will depend on how many bins the assessors will manage to evaluate within the timeframe provided. 

Households showcasing heavy contamination will be revisited to ensure improved recycling practices by the residents. 

What if I don't want my bin to be assessed?

The contents of the household bins are the legal possession of the property owner when on private land. However, once the bins are put out for collection the contents become the property of Council. 

What can be the repercussions if I continue to contaminate my recycling bin?

Local Law No. 8 (Waste Management) 2018 stipulates a number of conditions that residents are required to follow in regard to the household bins. This includes that only recyclable waste is to be stored within the recycling bin.

A resident found in breach of these conditions can be fined up to $2,669.

For a copy of the Local Law No. 8 (Waste Management), please follow the link below to Council's Local Laws.

Local Laws

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