Bin Tagging and Education Program
The City of Canning is working to provide direct feedback and education to residents on how to use the green lid (general waste) and yellow lid (recycling) bins correctly.
From time to time, the City of Canning will conduct Bin Tagging and Education Programs throughout the year. You may see our Waste Education staff (who will be wearing a high-visibility vest and carrying appropriate identification) on bin day, conducting visual assessments of the contents of each household’s general waste and recycling bin.
Our first pilot of the program, which was conducted from April - July in 2019, produced very encouraging results, including large improvements in the amount of households recycling right.
What is the program about?
The Bin Tagging and Education Program focuses on reducing contamination and increasing resource recovery from the kerbside system. In most cases, general information provision alone does not necessarily change community behaviour in relation to the kerbside collection system. The Bin Tagging and Education Program uses a combination of information provision, incentives and enforcement to achieve reduced contamination and increased resource recovery.
How will it work?
Waste Education Officers will make a quick visual assessment of the contents at the top of each participating household’s recycling and general waste bins at the kerbside prior to collection on bin day. Based on their assessment, a tag is placed on the bin providing feedback about its contents and how they could recycle more and waste less. Officers will place a ‘happy’ or ‘sad’ tag on the handle of the bin, with their feedback and notes on how the bins are being used and what can be improved.
Why is the program being undertaken?
Recycling is a shared responsibility, and by everyone working together to ensure they put the right thing in the right bin we can send less waste to landfill, recycle more and reduce processing costs. By providing feedback to residents we can help to clarify any misconceptions or confusion residents may have, while also offering positive reinforcement to households sorting their waste correctly.
What do you look for when you inspect the bins?
Waste Education Officers will check each bin presented for collection for contamination (wrong items in the bin), such as recyclables in the green lid general waste bin, or contamination in the yellow lid recycling bins.
Officers will not be ‘rummaging’ through the bins, rather they will be aiming to gain a general overview of how the household is sorting their waste. Bins are only inspected to the point of determining the kind of items in the bin and Officers will not be looking at any resident’s personal information.
If you are concerned about placing personal information in your kerbside bins at any time we recommend shredding or tearing up sensitive documents before placing into the appropriate bin.
What kind of feedback will I receive?
The tags are designed with ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ faces to indicate whether the bins are being used correctly or incorrectly, and will be in line with the bin lid colours – yellow for the recycling bin and green for the general waste bin. For example, if the recycling bin is inspected and is free of contamination, you will receive a yellow tag with a happy face thanking you for doing the right thing. If items are placed into the wrong bin, a sad face tag will be attached to your bin with details of which items were placed into the wrong bin and how to put the right thing in the right bin.
What information is recorded, and how is it used?
For each inspection, Officers record details of any contamination present in each bin and the level of contamination. Community results will be reported, rather than individual households. Information about what is being placed in each bin is important for us to understand the key issues that need to be addressed when educating the community.
What happens if households keep putting the wrong things in the bin?
The Program will focus on education rather than enforcement, and similar programs in other Local Government areas have shown most residents are interested in doing the right thing when it comes to separating their waste if given the correct information.
In a small number of cases where residents’ bins show repeated high contamination following several visits, the bin will not be collected. A tag informing the resident the bin was not able to be collected will be attached to the bin, listing the contaminants and requesting they be removed before contacting the City to have the bin collected. The bin will also be taped shut to let waste truck drivers know not to empty it.
The Program is focused on education however the City may follow up any serious ongoing issues. Please note that if your bin is taped shut you will need to remove any contaminants and contact the City to arrange collection.
How are the areas selected for the program?
Not all households in Canning will be involved in the program, instead areas have been chosen to ensure a representative sample of the City’s dwelling types. This is important to understand the key issues to focus on when educating the community.
How is the program funded?
The City of Canning Bin Tagging and Education Program is funded with support from WALGA and the State Government through the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Account and administered by the Waste Authority WA (www.wasteauthority.wa.gov.au
If you would like further information please contact 1300 422 664