Recycle Right Or Go Without
Kerbside recycling collection services has been suspended at 67 households after Bass Coast Shire Council found ongoing issues with contamination of residents’ recycling bins.
Gippsland Regional Waste Management Group board member, Cr Bradley Drew, said educational efforts by Council’s Waste Services team had helped fix issues at over 1,200 properties across the Shire.
“That is a fantastic achievement, but unfortunately around five per cent of problem properties have not taken responsibility to fix the issue voluntarily,” Cr Drew said.
“We’ve tried bin stickers, educational letters and posters, followed by a formal Notice To Comply.
“At a relatively small number of households or holiday homes where issues continue, Council really has no option but to suspend a recycling bin service, or in some cases, even issue a fine to encourage positive behaviour change.”
Poor waste disposal practices at a relatively small number of properties puts at risk tonnes of material collected for recycling by thousands of other people.
Council data shows the areas with the highest number of repeat recycling bin offenders are Wonthaggi (21), Cowes (15), and Ventnor, Cape Woolamai and Sunset Strip (12 in total).
Council staff asked 10 Wonthaggi residents about the issue, with 70 per cent of people strongly agreeing that a property’s recycling bin service should be suspended if it is not being used right.
“I definitely agree. If they’ve been told about the problem and it keeps happening, then I agree there should be consequences,” resident, Danielle Peters, said.
Fellow resident, Alistair Lowe, also agreed.
“It’s not hard to do the right thing, especially if just a few bad bins can ruin a whole truck load of other people’s recycling.”
When asked how long is fair to suspend a recycling service, most people said two months, compared to three months initially proposed by the Council.
“After speaking directly with some residents, we have taken their comments on board and repeat offenders will have their service suspended for two months, or four recycling collections,” Cr Drew said.
When asked at what stage is it fair to fine a resident $200 for recycling bin contamination, all 10 respondents answered after the third offence, with the common ‘three strikes’ concept mentioned.
“The exception was if a property has already had their service reinstated after a suspension period and they are still not recycling properly,” Cr Drew said.
“More than one person said they think it is fair to fine those people straight away.”
For information on how to recycle right, visit www.basscoast.vic.gov.au or call 1300 BCOAST (226 278).