City of Melville to audit households involved in Food Organics Garden Organics bin trial


SMRC representative Patrick Hay, Bull Creek residents Jenny and Graham Lambert, and City of Melville resource recovery and waste manager Steve Wacher.
SMRC representative Patrick Hay, Bull Creek residents Jenny and Graham Lambert, and City of Melville resource recovery and waste manager Steve Wacher.

CITY of Melville households involved in the three-bin Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) trial are set to be audited.

But the City says the program, to start Monday, is “about education, not enforcement”, and residents will not be fined for putting waste in the wrong bin or have people trawling through their rubbish.

The audit will include a “visual assessment” of FOGO, recycling and rubbish bins by a Southern Metropolitan Regional Council (SMRC) waste education officer on collection day.

“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,” residents were told in information provided by the City.

“Bins are only inspected to the point of determining the kind of items in the bin and officers will not be looking at any resident’s personal information.”

Feedback about how households can recycle more and waste less will then be provided in the form of tags attached to bin handles.

With the program to be run using guidelines set out by the WA Local Government Association, the tags will include happy and sad faces to indicate whether bins are being used correctly.

The 12-month, $750,000 FOGO trial was rolled out to 7000 households in Bicton, Willagee, Mt Pleasant, Brentwood and Bull Creek last October, although not all involved in the trial will be audited.

While the community has shown enthusiasm for the trial, Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said not everyone was up to speed.

“This program directly addresses any confusion by reminding residents what can and can’t go into each bin which then helps us to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, minimise processing costs and create high-quality compost,” he said.

The City said the “bin auditing education program”, to run over several months, had been used successfully in other councils across Perth.

Follow-up audits showed people continued to do the right thing, which the City believed highlighted the effectiveness of individual feedback.

The City said residents “will not be fined during the bin auditing program” but added bins that continually include the wrong waste could be taped shut.

Bull Creek resident Graham Lambert said the amount of general waste thrown out from his household each week had dropped dramatically under the FOGO trial.

“This audit is educational,” he said.

“It’s like when you bring anything new in, it takes some time.

“If everyone does their little bit, it will make a big difference in the long run.”

For information, visit www.melvillecity.com.au/fogo.

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