Bin Tagging Helps Residents To ‘Recycle Right’

Published on Monday, 17 February 2020 at 8:00:00 AM

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

Bin tagging is part of the rollout of the new 3-bin FOGO system that was implemented during 2019 in the City of Melville, City of Fremantle and Town of East Fremantle.

The Southern Metropolitan Regional Council (SMRC) is undertaking the education program on behalf of the three Councils, with funding support from the state government, administered by the Waste Authority.

SMRC Chairperson Councillor Doug Thompson said the program aims to educate residents about how to use the new system and provide individual feedback to improve their efforts at home.

Shared responsibility

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

“By everyone working together to ensure they put the right thing in the right bin, we can help create a less contaminated waste stream.”

“This will enable better recycling, reduce processing costs, send less waste to landfill, and in the case of FOGO—produce a high quality, clean compost.”

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

Visual inspections

Community Waste Education Officers will work in pairs to make a visual inspection of the bin’s contents prior to pick up on collection day.

They will check for contamination (wrong items in the bin), such as recyclables in the General Waste bin, or contamination in the FOGO and Recycling bins.

Following inspection, they will place a ‘happy’ or ‘sad’ tag on the handle of the bin which provides feedback about how well residents are using the bins or what can be improved.

The tags will be in line with the bin lid colours – lime green for the FOGO bin, yellow for the Recycling bin and red for the General Waste bin.

“This feedback can help to clarify any misconceptions or confusion residents may have about the new bin system and offers positive reinforcement to households sorting their waste correctly,” Cr Thompson said.

“Officers will not be ‘rummaging’ through the bins, rather they will be aiming to gain a general overview of how the household is sorting their waste and will not be looking at any resident’s personal information.”

Data recorded to understand key issues

For each inspection, Officers will record details of any contamination present in each bin and the level of contamination.

After data is collected from each round of tagging it will be analysed as a whole and results reported on a community rather than individual scale.

“This information is important for 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.

“Similar programs in other Local Government areas 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, Southern Metropolitan Regional Council (SMRC)

Phone: 9329 2700 | Email:

Teresa Belcher

Communications Manager, Southern Metropolitan Regional Council (SMRC)

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.

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