The council’s officers will investigate how a bin-tagging program could work in the region.
The council’s officers will investigate how a bin-tagging program could work in the region. Contributed

'Genuine emergency' prompts signing of recycling contract

A CONTAMINATION goal of less than 25 per cent is the cornerstone of a new 12-month contract for Visy Paper to conduct kerbside recycling for the Ipswich City Council.

It was part of a suite of recommendations made to councillors at a special meeting this morning.

Councillors agreed because a "genuine emergency exists", they were able to immediately enter into a new contract for kerbside recycling.

Under the contract with Visy Paper, rates of contamination would have to halve from 52 per cent to fulfil obligations.

The council will couple the contract with more education for residents and investigate the establishment of a Queensland-first, bin-tagging program.

Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli acknowledged a significant contamination reduction would be required to meet the 25 per cent goal.

"That is a considerable education program and I think we certainly need to back up education with some degree of enforcement - or we remove the bin," he said.

Significant action will be needed to reduce contamination.

The council's officers will investigate how a bin-tagging program could work in the region.

Under the tagging program, a red tag would be added to a household's recycling bin if high contamination rates were constantly recorded.

The proposal, considered by councillors this morning, would include monitoring contents of the bin as it is emptied into the collection truck.

Contamination levels of less than 10 per cent would be considered low, while rates between 11 and 25 per cent would be considered medium.

A 30 per cent contamination rate would be high.

Residents who consistently contaminate their bins would receive a letter from the council and have their bins monitored for several fortnights.

Breaches would result in a red tag before the recycling bin is removed if a third breach is reached.

Residents would then be required to pay $75 for the return of the yellow bin.

Councillor Paul Tully said bin tagging would be a public judging of people and could lead to children being bullied in schools.

"I do have grave reservations about bin tagging," he said.

"I don't think as a community we should be publicly shaming people."

More details about Cr Tully's concerns will be sought from councils across Australia that operate a bin-tag program.

Councillor Cheryl Bromage asked for the council to review the fees and sizes of bins provided to households.