Use your bin correctly, or risk losing the collection service for a period, seems to be Greater Shepparton City Council’s message to repeat bin contaminators.
The council’s threat to cut off the waste services of those not judged to be using their bins correctly time and again was last month formalised into its waste policy.
Cr Seema Abdullah said any suspension of service needed to be coupled with education and follow ups with residents by the council, adding the hardline stance demonstrated how serious the council was on waste.
It recently voted to adopt a revised policy on kerbside landfill waste, recycling and organics collection.
A key element identified by officers was the introduction of sanctions for properties that contaminate their recycling and organics bins, a council report to last month’s meeting outlined.
‘‘The implications for contractors downstream are significant and lead to otherwise recyclable material going to landfill,’’ the report read.
‘‘Other adjoining councils have introduced similar sanctions to those proposed within the policy and recommend these sanctions as a key deterrent to ongoing contamination.
‘‘The kerbside collection contractor has provided video and photographic evidence to identify recalcitrant offenders.’’
The revised policy outlines the educative and enforcement process through which contaminators’ service can be removed.
According to the revised policy, ‘‘If contamination is found in the collection process, in the first instance, the contaminated bin will be stickered and a letter sent to inform the resident that the incorrect material was placed in the bin.’’
In the second instance the council will send a follow-up letter to the property occupier informing them that the bin was again presented for collection with contamination.
In the third instance the bin collection will be suspended for the property, while the user must commit to abide by the requirements in using the bin appropriately.
Then, in the fourth instance, the bin will be removed from the property and not replaced until the user commits to abide by the requirements to use the bin appropriately.
‘‘The council’s staff will support the household to change behaviours to use the bins correctly as far as practical to avoid escalation of the problem,’’ the policy reads.
Cr Abdullah said any suspension of service had to be followed up with more communication with those offenders.
‘‘I expect the council officers to be making the follow-up checks and making sure residents have understood their responsibility,’’ she said.
‘‘Education has to play a big role. It’s about changing those habits, you have to be persistent with the message.’’
Cr Abdullah said the revised policy formalised the council’s response and said regular contaminators should be aware the council was taking incorrect bin disposal seriously.
‘‘Some of the key offenders need to get the message we are serious,’’ she said.