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Improvement in all waste categories by Baw Baw Shire residents in 2023 audit
Baw Baw Shire residents improve waste disposal across categories; audit shows reduction in contamination, but education needed on correct soft plastics disposal.
A recent audit into council's kerbside collection service has shown positive improvements across all waste categories, highlighting that Baw Baw residents are not wasting the opportunity to dispose of their rubbish correctly. The audit investigated all of Baw Baw Shire Council's kerbside waste streams, including domestic garbage, recycling and garden waste, between 5 September and 16 September 2022.
Garden waste contamination reduced, but education needed on correct disposal of soft plastics before FOGO introduction in 2024
Contamination reduced significantly
The most significant reduction of contaminated waste was found within commingled recycling down to 11% compared to 14.88% in 2021. Similarly, recyclables incorrectly disposed of in regular garbage was also positively reduced from 12.83% to 12.16% in 2022.
Garden waste has also shown a reduction in contamination from 3.32% in 2021 down to 1.21%, further supporting Baw Baw's readiness for the introduction of FOGO, where food organics will be accepted in the garden organics bin, which is anticipated to be introduced across the Shire in 2024.
Audit reveals opportunities
The audit has also revealed opportunities for improvement and further community education, particularly with regards to incorrect disposal of chip packets, shopping bags and soft plastics packaging, which are regularly found within commingled recyclable bins. Residents are reminded that soft plastics currently need to be disposed of in the garbage bin.
When disposed incorrectly, unacceptable items found in the green waste and recycling bins can contaminate recyclable product streams, potentially damage recycling processing equipment, and may lead to increased recycling processing rates for highly contaminated loads.
For more information about what can and cannot be placed in the recycling bin, residents are encouraged to refer to council's A-Z Guide to Recycling and Waste or look it up on Sustainability Victoria's 'Can I recycle this?' online tool. For all resident information on Waste Services, visit council's Environment, Recycling and Waste page.
Mayor Cr Annemarie McCabe said, "We are pleased to see the 2022 audit results have shown positive improvements across all waste categories, showing that Baw Baw's bins are cleaner than ever!"
"The reduction in contaminated waste within commingled recyclable bins in particular is a great step as it means that fewer recyclable items are ending up in landfill."
"We all have a responsibility to make sure we are recycling and disposing of our waste correctly. If you are unsure, I encourage you to check out the handy "Guide to Recycling" available on our website." Ms McCabe said.
Pictures from Baw Baw Shire Council website.
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