A notice found on a bin at Springfield Lakes alerting the resident to incorrect materials found in their yellow-lid recycling bin.
A notice found on a bin at Springfield Lakes alerting the resident to incorrect materials found in their yellow-lid recycling bin.

'Three strikes and you're out': New approach to recycling

SERIAL offenders will be given three warnings about contamination levels in their recycling bin before the service is cut off.

It's a policy that isn't set in stone but could form part of Ipswich City Council's new, "aggressive" approach to education and enforcement.

Bin tagging, a model used in South Australia, is being investigated by council officers in the effort to reduce contamination rates from 52% to less than 25%.

It means residents whose bins are too contaminated to be processed by recyclers will be notified and educated about what can and can't go into the yellow lid bins. That's strike one.

If the bin still contains incorrect material the following fortnight, a sticker will be placed on the bin for all to see. That's strike two.

Mayor Andrew Antoniolli said if that resident's bin required another tag during the next collection, the service would be removed. Strike three.

Reinstating the recycling service will come at a fee.

"Firstly, we'll be educating a property owner or resident who has a non-compliant bin with a first notice," Cr Antoniolli said.

"Then the second notice is likely to be a tag on the bin then if there are any future tags on the bin, the service will be removed

"If we do find a person who is non-compliant, we need to work out why they are non-compliant and work with them, to assist them... to improve our contamination levels," Cr Antoniolli said.

Truck drivers will be responsible for ensuring the city's 70,000 bins are compliant, including using cameras.

As a further step to reduce contamination, truck loads of recycling waste will be sorted at the waste transfer station by council staff before being sent to the new contractor Visy.

The council is also reviewing what should and should not go into the yellow-lid bins with the possibility of removing all glass from the recycling stream, given there is a limited market for glass recycling and breakages can contaminate an entire load.

Cr Antoniolli said there would still be some residents that would not comply.

"If that means removing their service, then so be it," Cr Antoniolli said.

"We hope within three months will have a consistent level of contamination."

That gives residents six services to improve.

Cr Antoniolli said the council would look to make messaging around recycling simpler in hopes of achieving a 15% rate of contamination by this time next year.