Glass levels in general waste halves since new program introduced


Geoff Atkinson (communication and education manager Mindarie Regional Council) with Joondalup councillor Russ Fishwick. Photo: Martin Kennealey
Geoff Atkinson (communication and education manager Mindarie Regional Council) with Joondalup councillor Russ Fishwick. Photo: Martin Kennealey

AUDITS have shown glass in general waste from four local government areas has halved since a ‘No Glass’ campaign started.

Waste authority Mindarie Regional Council (MRC) initiated the campaign late last year in the cities of Joondalup, Vincent and Wanneroo plus Town of Victoria Park.

It encouraged residents to put glass in their recycling bins rather than the green-lid general waste bins, and used stickers on bin lids.

MRC education manager Geoff Atkinson said audits of waste trucks showed a 54 per cent drop in visual glass, while recycling tonnages increased by up to 29 per cent.

Mr Atkinson said glass volumes received at the Tamala Park recycling centre also increased by 38 per cent.

The campaign, which won the local government award at WA’s 2016 Infinity Awards on September 15, aimed to reduce glass contamination in compost produced from general waste at MRC’s resource recovery facility (RRF) in Neerabup.

“Glass in compost produced by the RRF dropped to levels well within the Australian standards; from 1 per cent before to 0.4 per cent after the campaign,” Mr Atkinson said.

“This showed that glass had shifted away from the green top bin with residents diverting it to the yellow top bin and elsewhere (presumably if their recycling bin was full).”

MRC chairman and Joondalup councillor Russ Fishwick said congratulated the team on winning the Waste Authority award.

“The importance of initiatives like the ‘No Glass’ campaign cannot be underestimated,” he said.

“The reduction in glass in the waste that is supplied to the RRF not only improves the quality of the compost but it encourages greater take up and use of the product.

“Glass levels, however, will quickly rise again if people don’t keep diverting their glass, so I encourage residents to continue to support this campaign and maintain the effort by putting their glass in their ‘yellow top’ recycling bins and not in their ‘green top’ general waste bins.”

The campaign’s immediate effect in 2015 saw glass levels dropping to record lows since the Neerabup facility opened in 2009.

The participating member councils achieved reductions in glass contamination of between 42 and 54 per cent.

Visit www.wasteauthority.wa.gov.au .