Sitting in the banks of the Vermilion River is the fourth largest city in Loiusiana, Lafayette.
In a recent inspection of kerbside recycling bins (or ‘carts’ as they are known locally), only 30%-50% of the materials were found to be recyclable.
In a TV news piece and related news article, KLFY 10 interviewed council staff who were putting ‘Oops’ tags on bins that had not recycled correctly.
The council’s ‘Feet on the Street’ program is aimed at educating residents about putting the right materials in the recycling bins.
The first part of the program rolled out last year, with stickers placed on the bins showing what should go in recycling, and what should not.
Around 20,000 recycle bins are collected every week by the city, and with such a high degree of contamination, much has to be taken to the landfill, rather than sent off to recycling facilities.
The next phases started in January this year, tagging errant bins with an ‘Oops Tag’. This tells the resident their recycle bin will not be emptied. Lafayette City’s Environmental Quality Manager Bess Foret hopes people will get the message.
“Your recycling won’t get collected, if you don’t fix that problem,” Bess Foret told local TV channel KLFY.
“That’s something we really want people to take in mind. It’s important that it’s corrected. So, they’re putting the right thing in the recycling cart.”
Republic Services has the garbage and recycling contract with LCG.
“You can’t do anything with contaminated material,” said Chuck Lagrange, of Republic Services. “Contaminated material is garbage. You need to have material that you can process. That’s what we’re aiming for.”
Items that don’t belong in the recycling bin can contaminate the recycling material. When that happens, items in the bin go to the landfill, instead of being recycled, defeating the purpose of recycling.
It also makes the whole process more costly. Ultimately, if it’s not done right, whatever is in your recycle bin won’t be picked up and hauled away. That might make some people upset, but Foret says it’s for the good of the recycling program.
“We don’t want to be the mean guy, and not pick up your recycling. We do want people to understand that it’s important,” said Foret.
It makes BinSense!
BinSense has developed a world first sensor that can detect contaminants WITHIN the recycling bin, educating residents on whether they have recycled correctly, and telling the recycling truck drivers whether the bin has clean recycling or not.
We have an international patent on this technology, and we’re currently trialling this with various local councils in Australia, and have interest from overseas.
Contact Naren @ BinSense for more information…
Photos – from KLFY 10.