Bin tagging encourages residents to ‘recycle right’

Published on Monday, 21 February 2022 at 9:12:55 AM

Media Release

21 February 2022

A bin tagging program will re-commence mid-late February in selected households across the region to help educate residents to ‘recycle right’.

The program continues on from the introduction of the 3-bin FOGO system that was implemented during 2019 in the City of Melville, City of Fremantle and Town of East Fremantle. This is the third year the program has been run.

This year, the Resource Recovery Group is undertaking the education program on behalf of two of its Member Councils—City of Melville and City of Fremantle—with funding support through the Better Bins Program, administered by the Waste Authority.

Resource Recovery Group Chairperson Councillor Doug Thompson said the program’s purpose is to educate residents about the correct of use their kerbside bins by providing individual feedback.


Shared responsibility

“Recycling is a shared responsibility,” Cr Thompson said.

“By everyone putting the right thing in the right bin, we can help create a less contaminated waste stream, which will enable better recycling, reduce processing costs, and send less waste to landfill.”

“Additionally, a clean FOGO stream will help to produce a high quality, clean compost.”


Visual inspections

To ensure feedback to households is fair and consistent, areas chosen for bin tagging will be both targeted and chosen at random.

Community Waste Education Officers will work in pairs checking for contamination (wrong items in the bin), such as recyclables in the General Waste bin, hazardous waste in the Recycling bins and plastic food packaging in the Food Organics/Garden Organics (FOGO) bins.

They then place a ‘happy’ or ‘sad’ tag on the handle of the bin which provides feedback to the resident on how well they are using the bins or what can be improved.

“Often there are misconceptions or confusion, and this feedback provides residents with the correct information and positive reinforcement that they are sorting their waste correctly,” Cr Thompson said.

“No personal information is gathered and officers will not be ‘rummaging’ through the bins.”  

Data recorded to understand key issues

The Community Education Officers will record details of any contamination present in each of the three bins and the level of contamination for each inspection.

The data will be analysed as a whole community and results will help us to understand the key issues that need to be focused on when educating the community,” Cr Thompson said.


What if I do it wrong?

The program will focus on education rather than enforcement.

“The past programs have shown most residents are interested in doing the right thing when it comes to separating their waste if they are given the correct information,” Cr Thompson said.

In a small number of cases where residents’ bins show repeated high contamination following several visits, the bin will not be collected.

A tag informing the resident that the bin was not able to be collected will be attached to the bin, listing the contaminants and requesting they be removed. The bin will also be taped shut to let waste truck drivers know not to empty it.


What if I do it right?

Incentives will be offered for households that consistently ‘recycle right’ with no contamination, as well as households that show the most improvement.


More information

Elizabeth Wilkerson

Waste Education & Projects Officer, Resource Recovery Group

Phone: 9329 2700 | Email:


Teresa Belcher

Communications Manager, Resource Recovery Group

Phone: 0488 594 324 | Email:


For more information on how to recycle right, visit or download the Recycle Right app from the App Store or Google Play.

 - Ends -

L-R: Feedback will be provided on the bins following inspection via the placement of a tag with a happy or sad face.

Notes for Editors

About Bin Tagging program

In 2015, WALGA successfully piloted this Program with the Town of Kwinana, City of Joondalup and Town of Cambridge. In these Local Governments, correct recycling rates increased substantially. A follow up audit a year later showed that correct recycling behaviour has continued.

One of the reasons for the Program’s success is that while the community’s attitude and enthusiasm towards recycling is generally very good. A simple lack of knowledge about what is and isn’t recyclable can cause some confusion. The program directly addresses this barrier by reminding us what can and can’t go into recycling bins.

Common contamination/recycling mistakes


  • Recyclables (paper, cardboard, cans, glass, hard plastics) must be placed loose in the recycling bin (not in bags). Our sorters do not open or empty bags for safety reasons and the recyclable material ends up in landfill.
  • Items such as nappies, food and green waste in the recycling bin contaminate the other recyclable materials in the bin. This can mean that the entire truck load of recyclables may go to landfill as they are no longer of good quality. Place nappies in the general (red) waste bin, and food/green waste in your FOGO bin.
  • Soft plastics cannot be sorted in our Materials Recovery Facility, so please place in the general waste (red) bin or take to your local REDCycle drop off points found at many supermarkets.
  • Most electronic items such as TVs and Computers are recyclable – just not through the kerbside recycling bin, they should be taken to an e-waste drop off day or one of the local transfer stations/landfills.
  • Hazardous materials like light bulbs, paint, pesticide, batteries, solvents and gas bottles, can all be recycled but not through the kerbside recycling bin. They can cause explosions or fires. To find your nearest drop off point visit
  • Textiles can’t be recycled through our facility. If they are still in usable condition, they can be donated through charity shops. If not, they should be placed in the red-topped general waste bin.


  • Plastic bags will not break down during composting, so compostable liners or newspaper should always be used to wrap food before placing it in the FOGO bin. Replacement liners are available from your Council.
  • Plastic and polystyrene packaging will not compost, so please remove food from packaging before placing in the bin.
  • Coffee pods (even compostable ones) should not be placed in the FOGO bin as they do not break down sufficiently.
  • Tissues are fine in the FOGO bin as they break down, but please place other toiletries in the general waste (red) bin.

About Resource Recovery Group

Resource Recovery Group (RRG), formerly known as the Southern Metropolitan Regional Council (SMRC) is one of five regional councils in the Perth metropolitan area and is a local government entity and was established in 1991. The RRG region currently spans 75km2 with a combined population of over 145,000 people. Its Member Councils are the City of Fremantle, City of Melville and Town of East Fremantle. 

The RRG operates the Canning Vale Centre which processes recyclables, as well as food and garden waste collected from household bins and verge collections.

The Centre’s Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) currently processes around 100 tonnes per day or 30,000 tonnes per annum of recyclable materials from the yellow-topped bin.  It recovers 83% of materials. The MRF utilises state of the art technology to separate and sort the following materials:

  • Glass – sorted, crushed and transported to a local contractor where it is processed for use in road base
  • Paper and cardboard – sorted into different categories, baled and sent to international markets to be processed into new products
  • Plastics - sorted into different categories, baled and sent to international markets to be processed into new products
  • Steel and aluminium cans – sorted into different categories, baled and sent to domestic and international markets to be processed into new products.

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