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Council Audits Red Wheelie Bins

Recently, the contents of 44 household red wheelie bins were sorted at the Moree Plains Shire Council’s Waste Management Facility (WMF) as part of a regional waste audit to provide a statistical snapshot of how residents are using their waste bin and what they are throwing away instead of recycling or placing in the organic’s bin.

The ‘dirty job’ of waste audits uncovers that Moree Plains households can use their bins better by sorting cardboard, drink containers, cans and bottles into the recycling bin and not put such items into the red waste bin.

The household bins were selected randomly each day in different parts of Moree and throughout the Shire. The collected waste material was delivered to the WMF; separated, weighed and categorised. To protect householder’s privacy, personal information found in the waste and the location of collected bins was not recorded against the data. After the audit, all sorted material was either recycled or disposed of at the landfill.

This ultimate ‘dirty job’ was conducted by a waste consulting company, who specialise in the area of statistical waste analysis and was undertaken as part of a regional waste audit program being conducted by Northern Inland Regional Waste (NIRW).

Council’s Water and Waste Manger David Wolfenden explained the consultants will provide data of the types of materials that are been placed in household waste bins destined for landfill including volumes of what could have been recycled, food waste and organics that should have been placed in the yellow or green bins.

“Data collected during the waste audits will help Council identify the common waste patterns within the community and then we can develop local and regional waste strategies and provide educational programs and initiatives for the community,” said Mr Wolfenden.

“We found a large amount of food waste placed in the red bins, which should be put in the organics bins with the special compostable bags; and lots of recyclables which should be in the yellow bins.”

“Of most concern was the amount of sharps placed in the red wheelie bins – these must be disposed properly, using any one of the large or small bright yellow community sharp disposal bins in the shire. Discarding needles and syringes must be done in a manner that protects users, workers and community members, particularly children, in our community”.

The domestic waste audits are being conducted in Narrabri, Gunnedah, Tamworth, Armidale, Guyra and Walcha, and commercial and industrial waste audits are being conducted in Narrabri and Tamworth.

NIRW is a voluntary regional waste group made up of 12 member Councils across the New England North West region of NSW. NIRW is funded by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (NSW EPA) and the NSW EPA has provided funds to undertake the audit through the Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.

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