More than 17 per cent of what Ballarat residents put in yellow-lidded recycle bins ends up in landfill, the City of Ballarat has admitted.
The revelation comes just weeks after the council completed a detailed audit of its waste management systems.
It has now started a review of the results and is deciding how to reduce the amount of contamination and waste going to landfill.
But Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions chairman Ian Rossiter saw the 17 per cent figure as a warning sign.
“It’s now up to the community to step up,” he said.
“They’ve got to make sure they’re recycling correctly not only in the home but in public places.”
A spokeswoman for City of Ballarat said plastic bags, clothing and toys were often wrongly placed into the yellow-lidded recycling bin.
“Plastic bags can be recycled at supermarkets but not in your kerbside bin (and) containers should be scraped clean or emptied, as this helps prevent a recyclable item going to landfill,” she said.
“We would like to see residents put more recyclables into the recycling bin over sending it to landfill.”
It comes more than six months after the City of Ballarat’s green bin collection service was introduced and met with chaos and confusion.
But now more than 600 kilograms of green waste is composted daily, the council spokeswoman said.
In the first months of last winter up to 600 tonnes of green waste was collected monthly but this climbed after spring’s big wet to more than 1,200 tonnes each month.
From July 2016 to end of February, there has been more than 6,900 tonnes of green waste collected in Ballarat.