Bin tagging program

The bin tagging initiative is an education program delivered by the City of Canning with the help of the WA Local Government Association (WALGA). The program provides direct feedback to residents on how to use the green lid (general waste) and yellow lid (recycling) bins correctly. The aim of the program is to help residents reduce their waste and recycle the right items.

The bin tagging program has been running since 2019 and its sixth round is scheduled for Spring 2022. The bin tagging program is all about educating, learning and improving. The program has proven during previous rounds to substantially decrease contamination in the kerbside bins.


How does the program 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. They do not rummage or tip out the contents of the bins. A ‘happy’ or ‘sad’ tag will be placed on the bin providing feedback about its contents and how the household could recycle more and waste less. If items were put in the wrong bin, the tag will detail which items they are and how to use the bins correctly in the future. Waste Education Officers will also collect data about contamination which will help the Waste Reduction team educate the broader community.

What happens if households keep putting the wrong things in the bins?

The Program focuses on education rather than enforcement, however in a small number of cases where a bin shows repeated high contamination over three visits, it will not be collected. A tag informing the resident that the bin couldn’t 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.

Please note that if your bin is taped shut you will need to remove all contaminants and contact the City to arrange collection – 1300 422 664.

When will the next bin tagging round take place?

A sixth round of bin tagging will be undertaken from mid-October to mid-December 2022. For this round, ten areas have been selected in different suburbs of the City (East Cannington, St James, Ferndale, Riverton, Canning Vale, Queens Park, Wilson, Cannington, Parkwood and Willetton). 

Why is the program being undertaken?

Confusion lingers in the community about what goes in each bin and what materials are recyclable or not. Bin tagging helps clarify misconceptions and answers questions that many members of the community may have. In previous rounds, after repeated visits, contamination decreased, and better waste management behaviours were recorded. Furthermore, reducing contamination in kerbside bins decrease waste service costs.

What do Waste Education staff look for when they inspect the bins?

When making a visual assessment of the bins, Community Waste Education Officers look for contaminants and for a general overview of how the household is sorting their waste. The bin taggers will also identify if the bins are overflowing or if hazardous waste is found.

Will I get a fine if I put the wrong thing in the wrong bin?

No, the bin tagging program is an education program.

Are Waste Education Officers allowed to look through my bins – is it not a breach of my privacy?

Your kerbside bins once on the verge are the City property. The Waste Education Officers are authorised to look in the bins. They will not rummage through the bins and will only have a look at the content sitting at the top.

How will the data recorded be used by the City?

The Waste Education Officers will be collecting data about contamination in the kerbside bins. This information will help create education programs targeted at the main contaminants found during the bin tagging program. The data will be mainly used on a community level rather than on an individual basis. Information identifying participation will not be published.

I got a sad tag, what does it mean?

A sad tag on your kerbside bin means that our Waste Education Officers found items that shouldn’t be placed in this bin. The tag will specify which items are in the wrong bin and where they should be placed next time. The bins will be inspected on three different occasions and personalised feedback will be given to the residents which should help reduce contamination.

I got a happy tag, what does it mean?

Well done, a happy face means that our Waste Education Officers found no or very little contamination on the top of your bin. Please still have a read through the tag since it details what goes in the bin and tips on how to use it properly.

For how long will the program run for?

The program runs over a period of eight week and the bin taggers will be inspecting kerbside bins every fortnight when the recycling bin is presented on the kerbside for collection.

How does the City select areas?

The Waste Reduction team chooses areas at random in zones that haven’t been tagged in previous rounds. The aim of the program is to educate as many City residents as possible.

Will the bin tagging program increase my rates?

No, bin tagging is part of the City’s pre-existing waste education program. Also, if residents put the right thing in the right bin and contamination reduces, the City will save money on disposal and contamination fees.  

Why can’t we bag recyclables?

Recyclables that are put in plastic bags won’t be recycled. Bags are not opened or emptied at the sorting facility – staff can’t safely tell what is in there, so it is pulled from the conveyor and sent to landfill. 

Why can’t I put soft plastics in the yellow bin?

Soft plastic such as crisp bags, lolly wrappers, bread bags, shopping bags and bubble wrap is not recyclable through the kerbside recycling bin. Soft plastics wrap and tangle around machinery at the Material Recovery Facility necessitating a full stop of the operations to clear it up. On top of that, soft plastics contaminate the paper and cardboard stream which reduces its value and recyclability. Fortunately, you can still recycle soft plastics by taking them to your local Coles or Woolworths and placing them in the REDcycle dedicated bins (

I still have questions, who can I contact?

You can call the City at 1300 422 664 or email the Waste Reduction team at
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