What is bin tagging? How will it work?
Bin tagging is a program that provides direct, household-by-household educational feedback aiming to improve the recycling habits of residents, reduce contamination, and increase resource recovery in your FOGO and recycling bins.
According to the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA), bin tagging can increase the recycling rate by 25% and decrease the contamination rate in bins by up to 60%. We want to achieve this outcome in the City of Bayswater for the benefit of our community and the environment.
Why is the program being undertaken?
Community Waste Education Officers completing bin tagging will do a quick visual inspection of the contents of presented kerbside bins before they are collected. Following this visual inspection, the officer will place a ‘happy’ or ‘sad’ tag on the handle of the bin, and where required, provide personalised feedback and more detailed information about the usage of the bins and/or what could be improved. This feedback can help educate and clear up any confusion you may have about what goes in which bin. Remember that this program is for educational purposes and no fines will be issued as part of the program.
One of the reasons this program has been so successful across Perth, is that while the community’s attitude and enthusiasm towards recycling is generally good, the variety of packaging available can make it confusing to know which types of packaging can be recycled via the kerbside system. This program can help clarify any confusion your household may have and assist with the transition to the new three-bin FOGO system.
What do they look for when they inspect the bins?
Your bins are a shared responsibility, and by everyone working together to ensure the correct items are put in the correct bins, we can reduce contamination and decrease the amount of materials sent to landfill. Recycling and FOGO services have the potential to greatly reduce the amount of money that local governments spend on waste management; savings which would ultimately be passed onto ratepayers. However, when these services are not used correctly, it increases the overall cost of providing these services.
By providing tailored feedback to residents, we can help to clarify any misconceptions or confusion residents may have with the three-bin FOGO system. We know that there may be some items residents are unsure about, particularly with recycling bins, and this program is a great opportunity to provide the correct information about what goes in which bin.
This program will follow the Western Australian Local Government Association's (WALGA) guidelines for bin tagging.
What type of feedback will I receive?
Community Waste Education Officers will check each kerbside bin for contamination (incorrect items in a bin), such as recyclables in the FOGO (lime green lid) or red lidded general waste bin, or food and items in tied plastic bags in the (yellow lidded recycling bins.
Officers are looking for items that could contaminate the FOGO, recycling or general waste bins, and gaining an overall view of how residents in the City are sorting their waste. They will not be looking at, or collecting any personal information.
If you are concerned about placing personal information in your bins at any time, officers recommend shredding or tearing up sensitive documents before placing them into the FOGO bin.
What information is recorded, and how is it used?
The tags are designed with a ‘happy' or ‘sad’ face to indicate whether the bins have the correct items inside or a change is to be made. The tags are placed on the handle of the bin and match the lid colour. For example, a recycling bin with the correct items inside will receive a 'happy' yellow tag. If items that are non-recyclable are placed into your yellow lidded bin, a 'sad' face tag will be attached to your bin with details of the incorrect items, plus information on how to improve your recycling in the future.
There may also be some specific written feedback depending on the items in the bin. For example, "Please place shredded paper in your FOGO bin".
Will I be fined?
For each inspection, the Community Waste Education Officers will record what tag the bin received, if there is any contamination present and the level of contamination. These results will be reported at a community rather than individual level and will help the City identify areas to focus education in the future.
Please remember our Community Waste Education Officers are only interested in items that can contaminate bins and not your personal information.
What happens if households keep putting the wrong items in the wrong bin?
Please remember the bin tagging program focuses on education, not enforcement, and no fines will be issued. This tagging gives your household the chance to improve the usage of your FOGO, recycling and general waste bins.
If you are confused about any of the feedback you have received, please contact the City of Bayswater's FOGO team on 9272 0964.
If you happen to see our friendly Community Waste Education Officers at the kerbside and you have questions, please feel free to have a chat with them.
The program is focused on education and not enforcement. Other Councils throughout Perth have implemented similar bin tagging programs and found the majority of residents wanted to correctly sort their waste and were happy to have the education and feedback.
In a few cases where some bins have recurring levels of high contamination, the bin will not be collected. A 'cannot collect' tag will be attached to the bin informing the resident why the bin was not collected and what contaminated the bin. The tag will request the resident to remove the contaminant and/or incorrect items, before placing the bin out for collection on the next scheduled pickup day. The bin will be taped shut so it will not contaminate the rest of the waste collection truck.