Bin audit FAQ
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 of educating the Waipā community around what they can and can't put in their bins.
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.
Contamination can be a number of different items such as broken glass, hazardous material or bags of general rubbish. This poses a health and safety risk.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
The most common types of contamination we have found in recycling are soft plastics such as cling wrap and plastic bags, cartons, polystyrene and unrinsed containers.
No. The audit is a part of the contractual requirements for our recycling collection service.
The bin auditors will collect information about types of contamination and the property it was found at.
The contractor and Waipa District Council's waste minimisation and customer service teams will have access to this information.
If your wheelie bin has been stickered, please remove the contaminant and dispose of it into your rubbish (landfill). 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 recycling to be collected.
You can remove your sticker once you have taken the contaminated items out and put the bin out on the kerbside for the next scheduled collection.
If you leave the sticker on then the driver may think it’s been newly audited and will not collect it.
If your recycling is continuously contaminated, your collections can be suspended for three months and you will need to reapply to begin this again for the property. If this happens, you can contact us to discuss on 0800 WAIPA DC (924723).
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.
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.