Kerbside bin audit 2014

In order to determine a benchmark for measurement for future improvements regarding diversion from landfill rates and bin contamination issues, council engaged KESAB Environmental Solutions to undertake a kerbside bin audit. The audit was conducted at the Southern Operations Centre from Monday 31 March to Friday 11 April 2014.  This is the first organisational audit of this scale and one of the largest undertaken by councils in South Australia. Nine hundred domestic and 100 business kerbside bins were collected and the contents physically audited. A total of 12.09 tonnes was audited.

On 1 April 2014 council commenced new collection and processing contracts for recycling and green organics. A contractual requirement, this audit provides us with a snapshot of an average Onkaparinga household’s waste production. This information will advise council and our contracted processors (SKM Recycling and Peats Soil) of current community recycling practices and underpin future education initiatives and assessments of services provided.

Household bins

As a snapshot, each week, the average household in Onkaparinga places approximately 20kg materials in their household bins (or just over one tonne per annum):

  • 10.36 kg waste to landfill (538 kg/year)
  • 4.75 kg recyclables (247 kg/year)
  • 4.88 kg green organics (254 kg/year)

Waste bins

Total audited: 3170.04kg

Correct content: 2321kg (73% by weight)

Divertible content: 27%

  • 27% (by weight) of the contents of the waste bins could have been placed in the recycling bin (18%) or green organics bin (9%)
  • 2% of the content of waste bins was e-waste (now banned from landfill)
  • 28% of appropriate waste bin materials consisted of disposable nappies
  • Food waste comprised 32% of waste bin materials.


Recycling bins

Total audited: 2868.51kg

Correct content: 2493kg (87%)

Contamination level: 13%

  • Contamination included bagged materials, compostable paper, wood, e-waste, textiles & dog waste.
  • Bagged materials were the largest contaminant by volume and comprise a mixture of recyclable and non-recyclable items.


Green organics bins

Total audited: 6052.35kg

Correct content: 5915kg (98%)

Contamination level: 2% (800 items)

  • Contamination included bagged materials, treated wood, plastic and food packaging.


Business bins

Waste and recycling bins were collected from businesses including offices, hair dressers, medical and veterinary clinics, real estate, bakery and café’s.

Waste bins

A total of 435.86 kg (4,700 litres) was audited equating to 8.22kg per bin.

33% (by weight) of the contents of the waste bins was: recyclable (23%), compostable (2%) or collectable through other avenues (E-Waste, clean film) (8%).


Recycling bins

A total of 422.08 kg (7,448 litres) was audited equating to 8.28kg per bin.

13.8% (by weight) of the content of the recycling bins was contamination, such as bagged materials, e-waste & textiles.