Recycle correctly and you could win $100. Don’t and you could be fined and have your recycling and green waste pick-ups suspended. These are among the measures Mornington Peninsula Shire Council is rolling out as part of a carrot-and-stick approach to reduce contamination of recyclables, which is costing the shire $600,000 a year.
The council will begin random bin inspections, rewarding householders who are recycling correctly by entering them in a monthly draw to win a $100 voucher. Bins with some incorrect items will be tagged to let the householders know which items can’t be recycled. If contamination continues, the council will call, visit or send a letter to provide tips.
However, “significantly contaminated” bins will not be emptied to prevent contaminating the truck load. Continued significant contamination will result in a fine and suspension of the council’s recycling or green waste service.
“A contaminated bin or truck load is not only a burden to the environment, adding to landfill, but also comes at a significant cost,” Mayor Despi O’Connor said. “Contaminated bins cost the Mornington Peninsula Shire and ratepayers approximately $600,000 per year.”
• The most common recycling mistakes are:
• Bagging recyclables (must be loose)
• Household rubbish (rubbish bin)
• Food waste (compost)
• Garden waste (green waste bin, compost, or tip)
• Soft, scrunchable plastics (recycle at supermarket)
• Textiles (repurpose, donate, or rubbish bin)
• Polystyrene (rubbish bin)
The council is also holding two ‘virtual recycling’ tours in May to show residents what happens to their recyclables. They’re on Tuesday, May 11, from 12.30-1.45pm; and Thursday, May 13, from 7-8.15pm. You can register here and find out more about what you can and can’t put in your recycling bin here.