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Bin inspection program

We conduct random bin inspections throughout Merri-bek to:

  • Ensure residents are putting the right items in the right bin
  • Reduce the impact of contamination

Contamination occurs when people put incorrect items in their recycling bin or food and garden organics (FOGO) bin.

Contamination is a significant problem in Merri-bek. We have a recycling contamination rate of 30%, which is around 10% higher than the state average.

How do I know if my bin was inspected?

All inspected bins will have a tag or a sticker placed on them.

Bins that contain no contamination will receive a 'well done' bin tag.

Contaminated bins will receive a 'warning' bin tag or a 'rejection' sticker, indicating that items were found in the bin that shouldn't be there. These households will receive information on how to use their bins correctly.

A 'warning' bin tag alerts the household that a moderate level of contamination was found in the bin but the bin was still collected.

A 'rejectionsticker alerts the household that a high level of contamination was found in the bin and, as a result, the bin was not collected.

  • If your bin has been rejected (not picked up) following an inspection you will need to:

    1. Remove the incorrect items indicated on the sticker
    2. Call us on 9240 1111 to arrange collection

You can see which items are allowed in each bin on the following pages:

What happens if I put the wrong thing in my bin?

When you contaminate a recycling bin with incorrect items, the recycling process becomes less efficient and valuable resources can be sent to landfill rather than being reused or recycled. This causes both financial and environmental loss.

The contamination of your bin:

  • makes the service more expensive
  • poses risks to workers sorting the materials
  • can result in truck loads of recycling or food and garden waste being sent to landfill

Contamination can also be hazardous for workers at the Material Recovery Facility. Some items can cause fires or result in odours. These can result in fines for the facility or even closure.