Bin Tagging and Audit Education Program

The City of Melville has moved to a 3-bin Food Organics, Garden Organics (FOGO) system. As part of the roll out of the new 3-bin FOGO system, the City of Melville will be running a bin tagging and audit education program in the coming months.

The bin tagging and audit education program is modelled on a South Australian program and has also been successfully carried out in a number of WA Local Governments.

The program is aimed at educating residents about how to use the new 3-bin FOGO system and provides them with individual feedback to improve their efforts to correctly sort their waste at home.

3-Bin FOGO Audit Education Program FAQs

How will it work?

Waste Education Officers completing bin audits will make a visual inspection of the contents of bins presented for collection on.

Following this visual inspection, Officers will place a ‘happy’ or ‘sad’ tag on the handle of the bin, providing feedback and more detailed information about the use of the bins or what can be improved.

Why is the program being undertaken?

Recycling is a shared responsibility, and by everyone working together to ensure they put the right thing in the right bin we can create a high quality, clean compost, send less waste and recycling to landfill and reduce processing costs.

By providing feedback to residents we can help to clarify any misconceptions or confusion residents may have about the new 3-bin FOGO system, while also offering positive reinforcement to households sorting their waste correctly.

What do they look for when you inspect the bins?

Waste Education Officers will check each bin presented for collection for contamination (wrong items in the bin) such as recyclables in the red-lidded general waste bin, or contamination in the lime green-lidded FOGO bin and yellow-lidded recycling bins.

Officers will not be ‘rummaging’ through the bins, rather they will be aiming to gain a general overview of how the household is sorting their waste. Bins are only inspected to the point of determining the kind of items in the bin and Officers will not be looking at any resident’s personal information.

If you are concerned about placing personal information in your bins at anytime we recommend shredding or tearing up sensitive documents before placing them into the appropriate bin.

What kind of feedback will I receive?

The tags are designed with happy and sad faces to indicate whether the bins are being used correctly or incorrectly, and will be in-line with the bin lid colours –

  • Green tag for the FOGO bin
  • Yellow tag for the recycling bin
  • Red for the general waste bin

For example, if the FOGO bin is inspected and is not contaminated, you will receive a green tag with a happy face thanking you for doing the right thing.

If items are placed into the wrong bin, a sad face tag will be attached to your bin with details of which items were placed into the wrong bin and how to put the right thing in the right bin for next time.

What information is recorded and how is it used?

For each inspection, Officers record details of any contamination in each bin. After the data is collected from each round of auditing it is analysed. Results from bin audits will be provided to the community and will not include individual results.

Information about what is being placed in each bin is important for us to understand the key issues that need to be focused on when educating the community.

What happens if households keep putting the wrong things in the bin?

The program will focus on education rather than enforcement, and similar programs in other Local Government areas have shown most residents are interested in doing the right thing when it comes to separating their waste if they are given the correct information.

In a small number of cases where residents’ bins show repeated high contamination following several visits, the bin will not be collected. A tag informing the resident that the bin was not able to be collected will be attached to the bin listing the contaminants and requesting they be removed before contacting us to have the bin collected. The bin may also be taped shut to let waste truck drivers know not to empty it as it will contaminate the rest of the truck.

The program is largely focused on education; however, we will follow up any serious ongoing issues.

How are the areas selected for the program?

Households and areas are chosen at random.

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