The media has come alive with reports of a Sydney council tagging recycling bins that contain contamination…

Randwick council has – reportedly – ‘come under fire ‘ for a system called ‘bin tagging’, whereby inspectors walk around looking in residents’ recycling bins.

If they spot contamination, they leave a cardboard ‘tag’ (or note) explaining to the resident how to recycle correctly. There are no penalties, just polite information.

One wonders why this is ‘news’; but the media love a bit of tension. Once they found out that a nearby Mayor had decried the act as “communism”, it hit the headlines and even TV news.

Ch7 News, 24th Nov 2020

A similar trial in WA last year hit the front page of The West Australian, again focussing on the privacy and spying angle.

Perhaps this goes to people’s concerns at having their rubbish picked over, as if that somehow betrays secrets.

When you read through the media reports though, most people see bin tagging as a responsible and understandable act by the councils, who are trying to recycle as much of the recycling as possible.

Randwick council has a noble goal of recycling 75% of its recycling materials, which is hard to do if some of it has broken ketchup bottles, plastic bags and Maccas wrappers strewn through it. One contaminated bin can ruin the otherwise clean recycling materials of an entire collection truck.

Meanwhile, Christchurch city council in New Zealand have managed to get their recycling rates up to 80%, by placing a large gold stars on the kerbside of successful recyclers.

They also send letters out to those who consistently fail to recycle correctly.

It makes BinSense!

If people don’t like the idea of other people rifling through their bins and being left a note, then maybe we have the answer.

Why not give the residents 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?

Why not give this same technology to the 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. Good for everyone. And the planet.

BinSense has developed a world first sensor that can detect contaminants WITHIN the recycling bineducating residents on whether they have recycled correctly, and telling the recycling truck drivers whether the bin has clean recycling or not.

We are currently trialling this with various local councils in Australia, and have interest from overseas.

Contact Naren @ BinSense for more information…


Photo by Rodolpho Zanardo from Pexels



BinSense has developed a world-first patent-protected 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.

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