Why are Central Queenslanders wheelie bad at recycling?

IT'S not laziness that's behind the contamination of recyclables at the Rockhampton Landfill.

I reckon it's a deliberate act by people who don't care which bin they're loading up.

I believe the placing of incorrect waste material in yellow recyclables has more to do with a reckless need to offload excess garbage than making an honest mistake.

It's out of sight out of mind as the recycling truck drives away.

But Rockhampton councillor Neil Fisher said he didn't think many people were putting incorrect waste in the recycling bin on purpose.

He said council was looking at increasing public education as a means to improving the current rate of contamination.

Manager of Rockhampton Waste and Recycling Craig Dunglison said the contamination levels had increased since the introduction of the wheelie bins.

The rate of recycled tonnages is actually at the same level as before, but the contamination levels have gone up.

"With this wheelie bin system we should be running to around 10 to 12% (contamination) but we're running at 22% so it's well above what it should be and we want to work positively with the community to reduce that level,'' he said.

"Sometimes people just don't know or are rushed when they're putting out their rubbish so it's just about educating people and trying to encourage a bit more effort when recycling."

But it's not out really of sight when it goes in the bin after all.

The council has cameras that can detect contaminated bins and the houses they come from so officers can send out education material and three warnings. But what happens after the third warning?

I can only imagine it will be a fine, and it should be a hefty one, as that is the only education some people will learn from.



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