Media response - Tagging bins

Read Council's full response to the Daily Mail article.
 
Yarra Ranges Council has been regularly checking and tagging recycling and green waste (now FOGO) bins for eight years. We employ a contractor to do checks of recycling and FOGO bins prior to them being collected.
The inspection records any contaminating items (i.e. items that are not accepted, for example, soft plastic food packaging). If the bin is clear of visible contamination, a green “thank you” tag is placed on the handle. If contaminating items are seen, an orange “please take note” tag is placed on the handle. The contactor writes on the orange tag the type(s) of contamination they saw. The tags also include a list of accepted items for the respective bins.
The tags are purely for educational purposes and tagged bins are still emptied. If a resident receives a tag when someone else put the item incorrectly into their bin, the resident can disregard the tag.
The tags are made of cardboard and fully recyclable. They are placed directly onto the bin handle to ensure the message makes it back to the correct resident. This is particularly important in areas where bin collection is not directly in front of a single house (for example, multi-unit sites or rural collection points).
  
The program currently checks 450 FOGO bins and 450 recycling bins per fortnight. We randomly select areas for checking each day from across the municipality. Similar checks are conducted in councils across Melbourne.  Our program is part of Council’s ongoing work to improve the quality of material collected for composting and recycling. Keeping our FOGO and recyclables free of contamination means that they can be better used to make new things, whether that’s high quality compost or new bottles and jars.
Council is aware of the recent discussions about the program in social media. However, in eight years of running this program, we have received a very small number of enquiries or complaints. In most cases, a conversation with the concerned resident has helped them understand why they received the tag, and how to improve their recycling behaviour in the future.