Less than an hour’s drive from Melbourne city, Mornington Peninsula is a tourist and weekender retreat known for its fresh air, local cuisine, galleries, seaside villages, golf courses, spas, wineries and beaches.
Like many communities though, they are experiencing a problem with recycling contamination.
“Unfortunately, contamination continues to be a major issue here on the Peninsula,” read a press release recently put out by the Shire.
“Often the items we put in the recycling bin are soiled, for example with leftover food or sometimes items cannot be recycled at all. It is important to clean containers properly and make sure the items we throw into the bin with the blue lid are recyclable!
“If we don’t do it right, we might end up contaminating the bin or truck, making our recyclables go to landfill instead of Polytrade, Mornington Peninsula’s sorting facility.”Shire of Mornington Peninsula.
A “small minority” of households ignore the recyling recommendations and dump any old thing in the recycling bins. Unfortunately, this contaminates the entire truck, says the Shire, “undoing the good work of their entire street.”
Even if most people do the right thing, if others are not sure what to do, or don’t care, then the whole truck worth of recycling can end up in landfill.
Not only is this bad for the environment, it comes at a significant monetary cost.
“Contaminated bins cost the Mornington Peninsula Shire and ratepayers approximately $600,000 per year,” says the Shire.
In other news, a recycling truck in Perth caught fire a few weeks ago due to a combination of batteries and other contaminants in its hold. The entire load had to tipped onto the road, setting fire to some nearby lawns, and costing the council hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Apparently, this type of thing has happened five other times this year with recycling trucks due to contamination.
It makes BinSense!
At BinSense, we’ve developed a smart technological solution to this problem, preventing this kind of contamination at source.
Residents have access to a free app that ‘talks’ to their recycling bin and lets them know if the recycling is free of contamination, before they put the bin out on the street.
This same technology is also available to the recycling truck driver, so as they drive down the street, they know (ahead of time), which bins have clean recycling and which don’t.
They can then decide to pick up the specific bins, or leave them for the waste bin collection truck.
The councils will get to know which areas to target with (polite) education, and residents will better understand what to do.
In this way, we will recycle far more of our recycling and put less in landfill. This saves costs, reduces the likelihood of recycling truck fires, and is good for everyone. And the planet.
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, that we have developed.
We’re currently trialling this with various local councils in Australia, and have interest from overseas.
Contact Naren @ BinSense for more information…
Photo: Sorrento, Victoria, by Finn Whelen.