The contents of 100 yellow-lidded bins outside homes in two Shellharbour suburbs will be collected, bagged and sorted next week as part of a state government recycling audit.
The investigation is being carried out to measure the success of the government’s controversial container deposit scheme, dubbed Return and Earn, which began on December 1.
The scheme gives a 10-cent refund for eligible cans and bottles handed in via reverse vending machines or at over-the-counter collection points statewide.
To determine how many eligible containers are being placed in residential bins instead of being returned as part of the anti-litter scheme, the NSW Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has selected 29 councils across the state for an analysis of kerbside recycling.
Shellharbour City Council is one of the first local government areas selected to be part of the rubbish survey, with 100 residential recycling bins across the suburbs of Blackbutt and Flinders to be sampled on Tuesday.
In a letter to residents, the council said the contents of each of the 100 bins selected would be bagged and taken to a sorting facility. The items would then be sorted by product and packaging.
“Highly experienced auditors engaged by the NSW EPA will conduct the sampling,” the council said.
“Data from audits will help determine an average number of eligible containers in kerbside recycling bins across the state.”
The council said the vehicle collecting the material would not look like the normal collection truck. It will be marked with the words ‘APC waste consultants’.
Anyone who doesn’t consent to the contents of their bin being analysed, or has questions about the audit, should call the council’s waste services team, on 4221 6242, by midday on Monday.