How would you like to be a Recycling Bin Inspector?

Auckland Council is asking residents to up their game when it comes to recycling and is putting teams of bin inspectors on the streets to make it happen.

Non-recyclable rubbish incorrectly put in recycling bins costs ratepayers more than $170,000 a year – and can pose a danger to rubbish disposal workers.

I’m not saying that $170,000 is small change, but if that’s the cost for the whole of Auckland, I don’t really see that as a huge financial problem.   

“Any rubbish placed in recycling bins has to be processed at high expense at the sorting facility and ends up with the whole load being sent to landfill,” says the council’s environment and community committee Chair Penny Hulse.

“The level for incorrect materials sits at around 13 per cent for Auckland. Our aim is to get that down to five per cent.”

To do that the council has introduced a new initiative involving teams of bin inspectors who check the contents of bins before they’re picked up by the recycling truck.

Where they find non-recyclable materials in the bins which are less than 10 per cent of the total volume, the resident receives an orange warning tag and the bin is collected.

However if the wrong items are more than 10 per cent of the total volume, or if there are red flag items such as nappies, hazardous waste, liquid or wire, the bin is red tagged and won’t be collected.

A letter explaining the reasons for non-collection is also put in the resident’s mailbox.

Something here doesn’t make sense.

It cost $170,000 a year for non-recyclables to be taken from the recycling stream.  And yet they employ “bin inspectors” who will almost certainly cost more to employ than $170,000 a year.

Seems to me that Auckland Council is ideologically driven and are happy to spend more on fixing the problem than it costs to ignore it.


– NZ Herald

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