After two years of yo-yoing green-lid bin contamination rates, Greater Shepparton City Council has thanked the community for delivering its best ever contamination result during last month.
The result marks just the sixth time in 33 months the council has met its low three per cent contamination target.
Following much disquiet initially about the organics initiative, designed to divert thousands of tonnes of green waste from landfill annually, council’s works and waste manager Heinz Kausche welcomed the 1.83 per cent rate of contaminants found in the city’s green bins last month, but said there were still opportunities to improve.
This constituted 650 tonnes sent back to earth and just half the contamination recorded in August.
Mr Kausche said the push would move from ensuring the right waste was disposed in the right bin, to ensuring no valuable organics were being lost to the red or yellow-lid bins, with the hope of maximising organics diverted from landfill.
He said an estimated 7000 tonnes had already been diverted through the program.
Mr Kausche believed last month’s result indicated residents were heeding the message, but recognised behavioural changes took time to embed.
While conceding contamination levels had been up and down during the past 2 years, the figures were certainly trending down.
But the council has observed a significant amount of organic matter still finding its way into the general waste bin, with plastic bags, nappies, garden pots and building materials the most common items.
Mr Kausche said the council was looking at diverting as much of the organic material still finding its way into the general waste stream.
‘‘We still see a significant amount of organic matter going into the red bin,’’ he said.
‘‘That’s where we’ll focus attention into the future.
‘‘The key message is we’re getting some great outcomes, but we’re keen to do even better.’’
Mr Kausche said cameras lodged onto garbage trucks had been helpful in identifying key areas for improvement.
He said the council had rarely needed to follow through on its threat to suspend services from repeat contaminators.