‘We should be fining people who misuse their recycling bins’
THE "street cleaner" of Collingwood Park, who spends his mornings picking up rubbish in an effort to clean up Ipswich, wants the council to crack down on residents' misuse of recycling bins.
Ipswich Lions Club president Andy Brodersen walks about 40km a week on his daily mission and suggests residents be fined if they don't clean up their act.
The 83-year-old hopes a new Ipswich City Council team will take steps to address the issue.
A third round of council audits of yellow top bins completed in February last year found the citywide contamination rate to be at 22.3 per cent.
"One in five people don't respect the yellow bin rules and they put rubbish in them … resulting in our council having a problem with selling clean waste," Mr Brodersen said.
"It very clearly requires a very determined effort from the council and the previous council has not been prepared to do it. They've just ignored it."
Mr Brodersen said coming across contaminated yellow top bins in his travels was all too common.
"According to (the council's) governance, that bin should not be emptied and the household should themselves take the bin to the rubbish depot," he said.
"On many previous occasions when I have reported such misuse of the yellow bin, nothing has happened.
"It seems it's full of 'what should happen' but no direction as to whether 'it happens'."
He had also noticed a number of public green 'hanging' bins had "disappeared" and larger items like doors and part of a car were being left on streets for months without being picked up.
Mr Brodersen believes the best course of action is the introduction of "walking inspectors", recycling rules reinforced to every household and fines handed out to those who don't comply.
"Have warning stickers printed for first time offenders, and all offenders also to receive a 'notice of offence' with repeated instructions and information that next time they offend they will receive a $200 fine," he said.
"It's the only system that offenders take notice of."
A council spokesman said yellow tip bins are collected by the council and loads are transferred to the Riverview Refuse and Recycling Centre to be bulked up and transported to VISY for further recycling.
"It depends on what the contamination is (e.g. asbestos would necessitate the dumping of a whole load) but in general the transfer station staff can push contamination aside in the pit and some clean material will be loaded into the recycling truck," he said.
Another round of kerbside bin auditing to track composition of the red top and yellow top bins and contamination rates for the yellow top bins is planned.
"The auditing work is planned in the next three months," the spokesman said.