Bin tagging

Between May and July 2024 our Waste Busters team will be looking at yellow and green bins to thank and congratulate the growing number of residents who are doing a great job, and support those that need a helping hand.

Tagged yellow and green bins sitting on the kerb outside a house


How it works

The Waste Busters will be lifting the lid on green and yellow bins to visually inspect bins. We will only be looking at materials at or near the top of the bin.

Waste Buster inspecting green FOGO bin

If your bin receives a ‘Thank you’ tag around the handle, it means that from what the Waste Busters could see, you have sorted your waste correctly. Congratulations!

If you find a card in your letterbox, it means the Waste Busters found something in the bin that didn't belong. The card will let you know which items didn’t belong.

If you receive a card, do not worry! Your bin will still be emptied on schedule, unless it's heavily contaminated or contains hazardous waste.

What belongs in my yellow lid recycling bin?

Your yellow lid recycling bin is only for bottles, cans and containers from your kitchen, laundry and bathroom, and for paper and cardboard. Items must be loose so they can be sorted at our recycling facility.

Remember to put recycling in loose!

Items contained in a plastic or paper bag will not be recycled. Bagged items may not be safe for workers at our recycling facility to open and sort through. 

Bagged recycling in plastic
Do not bag recycling

Do not place soft plastics in your yellow lid bin

Putting soft plastics in the recycling bin is a common mistake. Soft plastics can get caught in machinery and create hazards. Soft plastic belongs in the red lid bin.

Soft plastics
Soft plastics cannot be recycled

Do not put batteries in your recycling bin or garbage bin. 

They can cause fires in trucks and at recycling facilities. Drop off batteries at your local supermarket or at Council's Community Recycling Centres.

Graphic of battery with prohibition cross through it
Batteries do not belong in the bin

Find out more about recycling

What belongs in my green lid FOGO bin?

Your green lid Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) bin is for ALL food scraps, including meat, dairy and bones, as well as garden clippings.

Your FOGO is used to create compost for farmers, so it’s important that other waste items are not placed in the green lid FOGO bin. 

Find out more about FOGO


Why is my bin being inspected?

Bin tagging programs are proven to be one of the most popular and effective forms of waste education.

It is important that the right items end up in the right bin. Placing waste items into the right bin ensures that recycling is turned into new products and that FOGO is turned into quality compost – making everyone's efforts worthwhile.

By looking at bins, we can provide tailored feedback to households that need support.

Which bins are being inspected?

We are inspecting green lid Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) and yellow lid recycling bins.

What will you do with this information?

Data collected will be used to identify common contaminants to inform future waste education programs. Individual households will not be identified during reporting.

What do I do if I receive a "Thank You" tag?

Please continue doing the great work of sorting your waste into the right bins. You can remove the tag from your bin and stick it up in your home, or leave it on the bin for others to see. If you live with others, pass on the congratulations to them too. You may also wish to share on socials – everyone loves a good news story!

What do I do if I receive a card in my letterbox?

Please read the card. We will circle the items we saw that do not belong in the FOGO or Recycling bin. Share the card with your household if you live with others, so they know too.

I didn't put the wrong thing in my bin, why did I receive a card?

If an item was noted on your card and you (or someone in your household) did not place it in your bin, then it may have been placed there by someone walking past. We understand that this can happen. If you are doing the right thing, please continue!

Will my bin still be collected?

Yes, your bin will be collected. Our aim is to congratulate people on their good work and provide help to anyone who needs it. However, if we notice your bin has items that do not belong on an ongoing basis, the Waste Busters may reach out to you for further assistance.

I didn't receive a tag or a card, why?

The Waste Busters will inspect as many bins as possible, however we will not get to every bin in the Inner West during this round. If we don’t inspect your bins and you have questions about FOGO or recycling, we encourage you to get in touch with our Waste Busters or look at our A-Z guide.

I live in an apartment building. Will my bins be looked at?

No, we will only look in bins at houses at this stage. The Resource Recovery team will be looking at designing a separate apartments waste education program later this year.

Are you allowed to look inside my bin?

Yes. Household bins are owned by Council. We will not go onto your property to look at your bin. We will only look at bins that are placed at the kerb for collection.

What happens when there are too many items that don't belong?

Your bin will still be collected. If there are too many items that don’t belong in your bin, it may need to be collected by a garbage truck and taken to landfill. This means the contents of the bin won’t be recycled and turned into new materials. We will let you know when this happens by leaving a sticker on your bin.

Is this program a good use of public funding?

Bin-tagging programs are common practice at councils across Australia. Councils can be financially penalised if the truckloads of recycling and FOGO that arrive at processing facilities are highly contaminated. Reducing contamination—through educating residents—can reduce the financial penalty associated with contamination.

What do I do if I am not sure which bin an item goes in? 

The Waste Busters would love to hear from you! Email or call 9392 5000 and ask to speak to a Waste Buster. We can answer any questions you have about waste, recycling, FOGO or the bin tagging program. We also offer tailored waste consultations at your home or over the phone.

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Page last updated: 16 May 2024