Recycling - do the right thing

I have just had a briefing with Unley Council about an initiative to increase our rate of recycling via our rubbish bins ie. to get more residents to do the right thing.

Here is more information ...

In accordance with our Waste Management Strategy (2013-2017) and Council overall objective to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill,  we are undertaking a ‘Recycle Right’ bin tagging campaign which lets residents know if they are recycling correctly or if they need further understanding of what can and cannot be recycled. 

There are many benefits associated with recycling right. 

·       Diverting materials away from landfill
·       Saving water and energy
·       Helping conserve non-renewable resources
·       Saving on the cost of materials unnecessarily going to landfill
·       Reducing contamination

Our recent audit showed that 53% of the waste bin contents were compostable and 13% recyclable. 

Contamination in the recycling and green organics bins ranged from materials placed in plastic bags (not loose), entire watering systems, miscellaneous and industrial metal, and materials that could have been given to charity. (For example: good quality items, textiles, DVDs and toys).  

Whilst contamination in the organics bins was relatively low there was very little food waste evident – meaning, a high volume of food is still being placed in the waste bin.

Currently, the City of Unley pays $39 per tonne for processing recyclables, $32 for processing organics and $97 per tonne for waste to landfill.   Placing items in the right bin can increase diversion from landfill and reduce costs.

Active engagement (tagging) phase
The ‘Recycle Right’ campaign involves a series of fortnightly recycling and organics bin inspections.  For 2 to 4 fortnights in a row, a team of 2 will inspect all waste, recycling & organics bins presented for collection. Tags will be used to represent their findings.

Commencing 22 May 2014, approximately 300 visual inspections will be conducted across 150 homes in Parkside across two recycling collections and 150 homes in Forestville across the two organics collections.

Data of the bin tagging program will be promoted via Council’s quarterly magazine, Unley Life, and updates on Council’s website.

Community Engagement
To initially engage the community in the program, in the fortnight prior to the tagging, Council will:

·  Place an article in the Unley Life Column in the Eastern Courier Messenger
·         Letterbox drop a postcard to homes in the tagging area, that also provides education of what can be recycled and how
·  Liaise with councillors and council staff about the program
·  Survey residents to assess if the campaign was useful and if they need further information
·  ** Residents have the ability to be excluded from the bin tagging campaign, by notifying Council**
Do the ‘Right Bin’ to win
As an incentive, and to attract attention of the householder, a $90 gift card & Kitchen Caddy prize will be awarded each week to a randomly chosen property whose bin is found to contain no contamination.

If a recycling bin contains no contamination, a yellow tag (smiley face) thanking the resident for doing the right thing will be attached to the bin lid.

Residents may be asked to share their stories on the City of Unley website.

If the bin contains some form of contaminants, a ‘greyed out’ tag (with unhappy face) will be attached to the bin informing the resident of the contaminant.

Similarly, bin tags for Blue Waste and Organics bins will also be provided.

If you require any further information about the ‘Recycling Right’ campaign or what can be recycled, please contact Council on 8372 5417.


  1. This is an excellent initiative.
    As a keen recycler I get frustrated by some people who make little effort.

  2. I too am annoyed by neighbours who don't recycle properly.
    Hope this helps.


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