Community education is a critical component of any kerbside collection service and can occur at any stage in delivery. A well-designed community education campaign can significantly reduce contamination and increase diversion rates. It is important that community education is conducted on an ongoing basis. Councils who invest time and resources in community education typically have higher diversion rates and lower contamination rates.
Contamination in recycling bins (commingled recycling and organics) is not always due to a lack of care or concern by householders, but is often based on a misunderstanding of what can be recycled.
Research shows that even the most committed recyclers make mistakes when determining whether a particular item is recyclable or not. In fact, committed recyclers make mistakes, like repeatedly recycling old or broken drinkware glass and crockery, more often than disengaged recyclers. Encouraging householders to place the correct items in the right bin for collection is fundamental to maximising recycling and minimising contamination.
For more information on kerbside recycling behaviours, you can read Sustainability Victoria’s report ‘Drivers and Barriers Affecting Kerbside Recycling Behaviour in Victorian Households in 2014’
A guide for councils and their contractors to help plan and carry out physical audits of household garbage, recyclables and organics collection services.
The food and garden waste collected from kerbside organics bins in Nillumbik Shire was too contaminated to be recycled into compost. In response, the council launched Bin Blitz: a bin inspection and education program that reduced the number of contaminated bins by 63 per cent in just nine months.
A third kerbside bin was introduced to collect food and garden organic waste. Before launch, councils rolled out a behaviour change and education program, resulting in high diversion and low contamination rates.
Opportunities for greater consistency and preferred service standards for kerbside collection in Victoria, including performance outcomes and targets.
Diversion of food and garden organics from landfill is becoming a priority for councils in Victoria. Here you can find information about kerbside organics collection services including guidance and resources to inform decision making.
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