Residents in a Victorian council could be fined as much as $660 for placing incorrect items in their household recycling bins.
The Mornington Peninsula Shire has adopted the new crackdown, which will come into effect from July 1 and include random bin checks.
Those who are correctly recycling will go into a monthly draw to win a $100 voucher, but those who have disposed of the wrong items will receive a tag on their bin letting the household know which items can’t be recycled.
Significantly, contaminated bins will not be emptied, and those misusing the bins three times in six months will be fined between $330 and $660.
If the bins are misused four times in six months, their collection will be banned for three months and the household will still be required to pay the $327 waste levy.
“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 in a release on the shire’s website.
“Contaminated bins cost the Mornington Peninsula Shire and ratepayers approximately $600,000 per year.”
According to the council, the top seven misplaced items in household recycling bins are:
- Bagged recyclables (free your items! Pop them loose in the bin)
- Household rubbish (put in general rubbish bin)
- Food waste (compost or use up your leftovers)
- Garden waste (pop it in a green waste bin, compost or take it to the tip)
- Soft, scrunchable plastics (take it to your local supermarket for recycling)
- Textiles (repurpose, donate or if it’s not salvageable put it in the rubbish bin)
- Polystyrene (straight in the general rubbish bin)
Cr O’Connor said “we know recycling can be confusing”.
“The shire’s waste education program aims to encourage households to recycle correctly.”