MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire mayor Cr Despi O’Connor took to the streets last week to promote responsible recycling.
She staffed a pop-up stall at Rosebud on Wednesday 13 January and again at Mornington the next day to encourage residents to fill in a shire survey which asked what they think needs to be done to encourage everyone to recycle correctly and to put only suitable items in the bin.
The survey finished on Sunday and the results will start to be collated this week as part of the shire’s draft waste contamination policy.
“As a community we need to get better at recycling,” Cr O’Connor said. “Some locals still think our recyclables are sent to landfill and many are confused about the process and need more information about how to get it right.”
There are concerns a small minority of households continue to disregard recycling rules, regularly putting the wrong things in their bins – such as food scraps and plastic bags – and undoing the good work of their street.
“A truckload of recyclables contaminated with a significant amount of non-recyclable material has to be sent to landfill,” Cr O’Connor said. “That’s not just a huge cost to the environment, it’s a huge financial cost, with the shire – read ratepayers – paying about $600,000 a year to deal with it.
“Victoria’s average recycling contamination rate is 10.4 per cent while the Mornington Peninsula’s rate is significantly worse at 15.4 per cent. We need to reduce this rate.”
The shire’s recycling goes to Polytrade to be sorted, baled and sent to manufacturers to be made into new products. Containers need to be clean and items thrown in the bin with the blue lid must be recyclable.