The DCC is cracking down on residents not chucking the right stuff in the right bins, so they have launched a new crackdown initiative to make sure you’re not throwing your glass out with your plastics. The rate of incorrect rubbish being put in yellow bins has almost doubled in the last five years, from 5.7 percent to 11 percent.
Over the next 12 weeks, yellow recycling bins will be inspected to make sure that everything is in the right bin and processed correctly. Houses that fail to get it right may get a coloured tag left on their bin, and if issues persist they will get a written letter of warning.
“The majority of Dunedin residents are keen to recycle and, for the most part, do a good job,” Dunedin City Council Solid Waste Manager Catherine Irvine says. “There are a few common mistakes people make with their recycling, and this is an opportunity to give them some guidance. For example, many people don’t realise that we can’t accept plastic bags in the yellow-lidded recycling bins, because they get tangled in the machinery at the sorting facility.”
If hazardous waste or rubbish, which should be placed in the red bins, continues to be put out with the yellow bin, flats risk having their bins removed. One of four tags will be placed on each bin: green for ‘recycling correctly’, orange for ‘a few things that shouldn’t be there’, and two red tags for ‘too many non-recyclables’ or ‘contains hazardous materials’. Bins with red tags will not be emptied.
According to Irvine, “Hazards like needles can put collection and sorting staff at risk. We are also concerned about contamination, as it affects the quality of other people’s good recycling when it gets loaded into the collection truck, and reduces the likelihood that collected materials will be recycled.”
Common items to avoid putting in yellow bins include plastic bags, cardboard milk or juice cartons, polystyrene, food waste, clothing, and glass.