Waste audit shows contamination issues

Contaminated recycling is still an issue in Collie, according to a recent waste audit.

On Monday, August 13, waste officers from the Bunbury Wellington Group of Councils observed an audit on Collie’s recycling to assess contamination levels.

One tonne of recycling collected from household recycling bins was categorised, with the audit finding items such as plastic bags, food and drink, clothing and even nappies had been thrown in recycling bins.

Shire of Collie chief executive David Blurton said the audits were being conducted across multiple shires to learn more about contamination.

“The audits are been done to all the shires in the Wellington Waste Group so we can gauge the contamination rates to see where the contamination issues are,” he said.

He said the audits would help the shires and waste education officers determine if more education is needed in regards to what can be put in the recycling bin.

Mr Blurton said while contamination was present, the results were generally positive.

“Generally people are doing the right thing but we need everyone to contribute to the wider recycling program,” he said.

“It is important that collected recycling is uncontaminated and residents who do not do the right thing risk contaminating clean recycling that has been collected in the same loads.

“Minimising recycling contamination will become more important given changes in recycling markets, particularly in China.”

In the 11 months between July 2017 and May 2018, the shire collected more than 700 tonnes of recycling through the kerbside bin collection.

During the same period, the shire also collected 1200 tonnes of compostable material from the organics bin and just under 1900 tonnes of rubbish for landfill.

Mr Blurton said the fact that just over 50 per cent of waste was being diverted away from landfill was an ‘excellent’ result for the shire.

However he said the shire was always investigating ways to further reduce waste sent to landfill.

“We are always looking at ways to better manage our waste and a tip reuse shop being investigated by staff for establishment at the Collie transfer station is an example of this,” he said.

“We are also working with our neighbouring shires on developing a regional waste solution.”