The City of Ballarat's new no-glass recycling regime continues to have its teething problems, as bin inspectors begin patrolling the streets.
Some residents were surprised to find tags advising soft plastic had been found in their bins - one, who asked not to be named, said he and his wife had been judiciously sorting their recycling, avoiding glass, but still found a tag on their bin.
They suspect a drinking cup lid from a nearby fast food outlet may have been the culprit.
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Council has been quick to state 'kerbside recycling officers', who are contracted to work for at least the first three months, do not issue penalty notices and do not rummage through bins.
"The Kerbside Recycling Officers are out ahead of the collections to inspect the contents at the top of bin," a council spokesperson said in a statement.
"Their role is educative and to provide an opportunity for residents to have a discussion about their recycling, or to ask any questions.
READ MORE: Where can I drop off my glass?
"If residents are unsure about any item that can go in their recycling bin, they are encouraged to reference resident information received as part of the education campaign, or to follow the campaign's catchphrase, if in doubt - take it out."
The plastic rings on milk cartons and any lids should be removed as well.
Plastic and glass items should be washed to ensure there's no food waste left.
Council is also attempting to keep up with demand for crates to store glass items - in a statement last last week, it confirmed it was working through a backlog of orders and additional people are out delivering them.
The Ballarat Greyhound Racing Club glass drop-off skip bin has been moved to the northern end of the car park, while frequent daily inspections of the seven sites across Ballarat will continue.
"Commercial operators are asked to refrain from using the glass drop-off sites - as these are for domestic use only and not designed to accept large volumes," the statement said.
"Light commercial operators can deliver up to 2 x 240 litre bins at the Gillies Street Transfer Station or can contact Council for advice."
The resident whose bin was tagged asked council for a list of soft plastic items which cannot be recycled, which is copied below.
Kerbside recycling, if found to not be contaminated when it's sorted in Ballarat, will be remade into products like egg cartons and plastic shipping pallets by Australian Paper Recovery in Melbourne.
Soft plastics can be recycled at many supermarkets in special red bins.
Council is also encouraging people to phone 5320 5500 if they notice overloaded skip bins at glass drop-off sites.
Glass can also be dropped off at the Gillies Street Transfer Station for free.
What soft plastics should I keep out of my recycling bin?
- Biscuit packets (outer wrapper only)
- Bread bags (without the tie)
- Bubble wrap (large sheets cut into A3 size pieces)
- Cat and dog food pouches (as clean and dry as possible)
- Cellophane from bunches of flowers (cut into A3 size pieces)
- Cereal box liners
- Chip and cracker packets (silver lined)
- Chocolate and snack bar wrappers
- Confectionery bags
- Dry pet food bags
- Fresh produce bags
- Frozen food bags
- Green bags (Polypropylene Bags)
- Ice cream wrappers
- Large sheets of plastic that furniture comes wrapped in (cut into A3 size pieces)
- Netting produce bags (any metal clips removed)
- Newspaper and magazine wrap
- Pasta bags
- Pet food bags (chaff/horse/chicken) - both the plastic and woven polypropylene types (but not woven nylon) - cut into A3 size pieces and shake free of as much product as possible.
- Plastic Australia Post satchels
- Plastic carrier bags from all stores
- Plastic film wrap from grocery items such as nappies and toilet paper
- Plastic sachets
- Potting mix and compost bags -
- both the plastic and woven polypropylene types
- (cut into A3 size pieces and free of as much product as possible)
- Rice bags - both plastic and the woven type (if large, cut into A3 size pieces)
- Snap lock bags / zip lock bags
- Squeeze pouches with lid on (e.g. yogurt/baby food)
- Wine/water bladders - clear plastic ones only.
These items can be put in the red bins at most supermarkets.
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