Why are bin audits necessary?
Now that the new recycling service has been rolled out across the district, we are focusing on ways to limit contaminated recycling from being collected by our recycling trucks. Bin audits are one way educating the Waipā community around what they can and can't put in their bins.
What happens when contaminated recycling gets picked up?
When the wrong material gets mixed in with the right recycling, it compromises the whole truck load. As it is very difficult to separate out and can pose a health and safety risk to the contractor, it can often mean the whole load ends up being sent to landfill.
Why can't bin inspectors remove the contaminated recycling and leave it beside the recycling bin?
Contamination can be a number of different items such as broken glass, hazardous material or bags of general refuse. This poses a health and safety risk.
Is Waipa the only council who carry out bin audits?
No, many other councils around the country consider bin audits to be best practice and have been conducting them since their recycling services started. Auckland City Council have said their bin audits have reduced the amount of contaminated material that gets picked up and have also helped to change peoples' recycling habits.
Is contamination a big issue in Waipā?
For the most part, residents have been doing the right thing and placing the correct recycling into the right bins. Unfortunately, a small group are putting the wrong things into their recycling. We have found items such as soft plastics, shower heads, paint tins, glass jars with lids on, dirty recycling and even full bags of rubbish. While there may only be small quantities of contamination, they compromise other recycling and can lead to a whole truck load going to landfill. It doesn't take much contamination to cause a problem.
Will the auditors be emptying the bins or just looking under the lid?
The auditors will be looking under the lids of wheelie bins that are on the roadside waiting for collection. They may shift the bin from side to side to get a better look at what is in the bins however they will not be going through the material.
Will the bin auditors be issuing fines?
No, bin auditors will not be issuing fines. For bins that contain wrong items, stickers and flyers with information are placed on the bin and in letterboxes to let residents know what the issue was with their bin. They will then need to remove the contaminant before their next recycling collection date.
What type of contamination is typically found in recycling?
The most common types of contamination we have found in recycling are soft plastics such as cling wrap and plastic bags, cartons, jars, polystyrene and unrinsed containers.
Will the bin audits come at an extra cost to the ratepayers?
No. The audit is a part of the contractual requirements for our recycling collection service.
What data will they be collecting?
The bin auditors will collect information about types of contamination and the property it was found at.
Who has access to this data?
The contractor and Waipa District Council's waste minimisation and customer service teams will have access to this information.
What do I do if my bin has been stickered?
If your wheelie bin has been stickered, please remove the contaminant and dispose of it into your rubbish bin. The sticker and flyer that will be left in your post box will tell you what item needs to be removed. You will then have an opportunity at the next collection day for your wheelie bin to be collected.
Where does all the recycling go?
The recycling goes to a collection bay on the outskirts of Te Awamutu where it is compacted and bundled before being transported to Auckland for sorting.
Aren't bin audits against the privacy act?
No. The bin audits do not violate the privacy act. Once the wheelie bin is on the berm, it's in the public domain. They key point here is that audit is about checking the recycling bins to make sure they do not include dirty material, household rubbish or incorrect items.
How can I find out more information about what goes in my wheelie bin?
For more information check out our website, www.waipadc.govt.nz/recycling or have a go at our awesome recycling game recyclewaipa.co.nz.