Thursday, 20 September 2007

Recycling audit

These two women came along our street the other morning. They were conducting an audit of the contents of recycling bins for the council, and leaving educative brochures. They were really friendly and ready to have a chat and help answer questions.

I learned that the polystyrene containers we had been putting in, shouldn't be. This is despite the manufacturers including the little symbol indicating they can be recycled. Apparently they break up all over the place and contaminate the rest of the contents and are too difficult to sift out at the plant. Apart from that, we got a tick of approval!


  1. Wow. Well I guess the public needs to be fed some television commercials about what is and what is not good for the landfills.

    Nice photo and good story behind it.

    I hope you get to see what we did in Japan in 1953. Sendai-shi

  2. wow. if these are your "trash" girls< I would love to see your models> he he>

  3. Big brother or in this case big sister is watching you -- sounds like the thin end of the wedge to me.

  4. Hi Is aor are wtse two women explaining how to separate garbs?

    If not its anyhow a nice action shot, very well done:)

  5. Well done! I confess to being a bit lazy when it comes to recycling. Also our collectors are not as nice as this!

  6. There's talk about how our rubbish is removed & how much we will be charged for taking away actual rubbish, rather than recycling. Like Mandy, I can imagine lots of fly tipping, or people dumping rubbish in neighbours' bins.

  7. Mandy: NO WAY! There are no fines or retribution.

    Australia was one of the earliest and most enthusiastic adopters of kerbside recycling, and my council has been doing so for a couple of decades. We moved from separate bins for different types to the "all in" recycling bin.

    BUR, recycling success depends on the waste being as little contaminated as possible, so that the company doesn't spend all its money separating non-recyclables.

    The temptation is for people to use the recycling bins for general waste (we have 2 bins), and it's important there are as few contaminants as possible or else the recyclables end up as landfill.

    From time to time, Council has a check and attempts to help people understand it. I live in an area with a lot of older people, and non-English speakers, so the personal education approach is a nice way of trying to improve compliance. As I said, it wasn't heavy-handed at all. I pride myself on being a good recycler, but I had something to learn about polystyrene. What could be better than that?

  8. Good to see your sensible attitude to these things in Australia.

    Here in the UK the signs are ominous as mandy and gail's man suggest.

    A woman in [Old] South Wales was taken to court by her local council for putting rubbish in the "wrong" bin.

  9. I have a similarly themed post today. Your photo reminds me of the "dumpster diving" I did in college with the environmental group to separate the recyclables from the trash.

    Before moving to CH, I had heard stories of Swiss neighbors or sometimes trash "officials" rooting through the garbage bags to catch offenders. We seem to be doing alright, as we haven't had any visits. As for the styrofoam/polystyrene, I know our commune recycles it, but I haven't inquired as to where they go (not in one of the bins they have outside as far as I've determined). So, for the time being, we have a big bag full of the stuff in our storage room.

  10. I din know polystyrene cups are not allowed to be in! hmmm