Contamination

Bin inspection
Bin inspection

What is contamination?

Contamination is any material that is not permitted to be placed in either the yellow lidded recycling bin, or the green lidded garden organics bin. These items may not be allowed for a variety of reasons. Contamination by placing the incorrect materials in the recycling and/or garden organics bin may result in the contents being unsuitable for reprocessing. In many cases just one bin containing contaminated material may result in an entire truckload being rejected for reprocessing, and as such it becomes unusable and is disposed of to landfill at a much greater environmental and financial cost.

Plastic bags are the most common contaminant found in recycling. Remember, plastic bags must never be placed in your yellow lidded recycling bin - they should be reused, returned to a supermarket with a special plastic bag recycling station, or disposed of in your waste bin.

Contamination management

City of Canada Bay and waste and recycling contractor SUEZ work together to reduce contamination in the recycling and garden organics bins. A number of tools are used to educate the community about sustainable waste management practices and correct service use.

Bin checks by collection vehicle drivers and Education Officers

All SUEZ collection vehicles are fitted with cameras to allow the contents of the bins to be viewed as they are being emptied into the trucks. At other times, an Education Officer may check the contents by lifting the lids on the bins. Residents who place incorrect items in the recycling or garden organics bins may receive a letter to remind them of the materials which should be placed in the bin. Heavily contaminated bins may not be emptied as the contents are not suitable for processing. In theses instances, residents are required to remove the contaminants from the bin before it can be emptied. Where ongoing contamination of a bin occurs and where the resident has received several letters addressing the issue, Council may suspend the service.

Contamination in units

A number of resources are available to residents, members of the body corporate, strata managers, site managers and real estate agents to assist with reducing the levels of contamination in shared recycling and garden organics bins. The following educational material can be provided for free, on request:

  • Waste service guides
  • Multilingual waste service guides (includes information in English, Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Italian and Korean)
  • Contents stickers for the recycling and garden organics bins
  • Recycling bin bay signs.

For more information about contamination management or requesting the above resources, please contact the Waste Hotline on 1300 551 659.

Page last updated on: 08/10/15
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