Bin tagging explained!

When we talk about ‘bin tagging’ we’re not talking about graffiti – we’re talking about local councils helping residents to get it right when recycling!

May 28, 2024

Here are some of the key points of the initiative


  • It’s part of an ongoing effort to cut down on contaminants sent to waste management and resource recovery sites.

  • Even our state-leading facility loses 17% of all recycling material it receives due to contamination (items that can’t be recycled).

  • Some contaminants can be removed through hand and machine sorting, but it’s a big job that needs lots of time and resources.

  • Hand and machine sorting can't catch everything, plus it's costly and time-consuming.

The major culprits include:

  • Soft plastics – currently, they can’t be recycled.

  • Organic matter (such as food or garden waste) – it soils recyclable items so they can no longer be recycled.

  • Textiles – they get twisted up in the machines and cause jams.

  • Batteries and hazardous waste - these are just fire hazards waiting to happen!

Enter bin tagging!

Community Waste Education Officers (you can spot them wearing their hi-vis gear!) will be inspecting recycling bins when you put them out on the verge - and they will be leaving you a little feedback tag.

Decoding your bin tag

The smiley face tags are the same colour as your bin/s – red, green and yellow depending on the system used in your local area.

  • Smiley face: You’re doing a great job, and your bin is filled with all the right stuff!

  • Grey sad face: Looks like there’s something in your bin that doesn't belong there.

What do you do?

  • First - don't panic! It’s just a friendly note from your council.

  • Check the feedback: Take a look at how your bin measured up and where you can improve and become an even better recycler.

Keep an eye out for your tags and use this opportunity to improve your recycling habits.


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