Bin Inspection Education Program

Audits and bin inspections in the City of Onkaparinga have shown that some materials are being placed in the wrong kerbside bin.  In fact, 52% of recycling bins out for collection contain some type of contaminating materials. Also, 68% of waste bins at the kerb contain standard recyclable items such as paper, cardboard, pet food containers, milk bottles, margarine tubs and more.

It might not seem much when you drop one or two items in the wrong bin at home, but with over 74,000 household bins, those ‘couple’ of items quickly become millions of items over just one month or so.

Common incorrect items in recycling bins include:

  • soft plastics (such as plastic bags and wrapping)
  • foam/polystyrene
  • clothing, fabric and shoes
  • food scraps (organic material)
  • recyclable items inside plastic bags.

Contaminated bins compromise recycling services which may lead to increased recycling costs or truck loads dumped at landfill.

In order to improve the use of our waste and recycling services, the City of Onkaparinga undertakes a Bin Inspection Education Program where teams conduct a fortnightly inspection of recycling and waste bins when out for collection.

Change takes time so bins will be inspected 4-6 times with feedback provided in the form of one of the following tags attached to your bins:

  • Thank you – please keep up the great effort
  • Alert – some items spotted in your bin that shouldn’t be in there
    Bins will still be collected
  • Unacceptable level of contamination / There’s bin a problem - unfortunately we are unable to collect these bins due to contamination or prohibited materials.
    Contaminants/prohibited materials will need to be removed before you put your bin out next collection day.

Find out more on our Bin Inspection Education Program FAQ page.

View our Recycling and Disposal Guide page for recycling and disposal options.

Find out why items can or cannot go in kerbside bins on our Recycling FAQ page.

Recycle More, Recycle Right AND WIN

By simply taking the time to ensure your bins only contain acceptable materials, you will be joining thousands of other households in our city also doing the right thing.

As part of this program, if you receive ‘Thank You’ tags on both your recycling and waste bins, you automatically go in a weekly draw to win a $50 Visa gift card. If you live in a strata or multi-unit residence please note your unit number on your bin to help us identify you in case you win the lucky draw.

Winners will be notified by phone or mail.
Bin Inspection Education Program Results

Visual inspections in 2015-16, of over 10,800 households’ and business’ bins across the City of Onkaparinga indicate that:

  • 52% of recycling bins presented for collection contain some form of contamination (inappropriate material).
  • In fact, 11.1% of recycling bins presented contain unacceptable levels of contamination – these cause a significant risk to loads being dumped at landfill.
  • With over 74,000 households in the City of Onkaparinga, this figure represents over 5,700 unacceptably contaminated recycling bins EVERY fortnight.
  • Over 68% of waste bins presented for collection contain standard recyclable items such as paper, cardboard, pet food containers, milk bottles, margarine tubs and more, which should be going in recycling bins. That’s approximately 43,000 bins EVERY week.

Recycling bins contamination

Does the Bin Inspection Education Program make any difference?

Yes, we believe it does.

So far we have engaged 7,803 households and businesses in this program, from twelve suburbs ranging from Aldinga Beach to Flagstaff Hill. Here are the results:

Waste - Participation rate 79.2% 77.8%  
Waste bins with recyclables 68.6% 52.5% bin audit down
Waste bins with prohibited materials 0.07% 0.09% bin audit up
Recycling bins - Participation rate 69.8% 71.2%  
Recycling bins with appropriate contents 48.0% 66.4% bin audit tick up
Recycling bins with low level contamination 40.9% 28.8% bin audit down
Recycling bins with significant contamination 11.1% 4.8% bin audit down

We hope that this program, ongoing information and education will help our community improve these results even further.

If you require further information on the ‘Recycle More, Recycle Right’ Bin Inspection Education Program, what can go in your kerbside bins or other disposal options please check our website or phone us on 8384 0666.