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Waste & Recycling - Educational

Organic/Green Waste

Recycling Waste

General Household Waste

Recycle Bin Audit

Household Waste Bin Audit


This A–Z list is your detailed guide for reuse, recycling, and safe disposal options for a wide variety of everyday products and household items.

Over a two week period in February 2016 City of Mount Gambier staff conducted a waste audit of household rubbish, recycling and organics bins. The purpose of the audit was to see what Mount Gambier residents are doing well, and where improvement needs to be made in relation to the way we manage our waste.

Over the two weeks, 95 household general rubbish and 95 recycling bins were audited, as well as 25 organic waste bins. The contents of each was sorted by hand (tongs). Bins were randomly selected and sorted in large batches, preserving anonymity.

What Mount Gambier residents are doing well

  • General rubbish (small green bin) - generally there was not much glass or beverage containers in the rubbish bins.
  • Recycling (large blue bin) - there was not a great deal of contamination in the vast majority of recycling loads.
  • Organic waste (large green bin) - there was minimal contamination. The FOGO bin was the least contaminated of all three bins, only 1% contamination – an excellent result.

What Mount Gambier residents need to improve

  • General rubbish (small green bin) - put food in the FOGO bin or home compost – over 35% of the content of the general rubbish bins was food waste. Try not to waste food in the first place – there were many full or half full packets and containers of food in rubbish bins.
  • Recycling (large blue bin) - don’t put recyclables inside plastic bags. Take lids off bottles and empty the contents. Make sure all containers and packages are empty and clean of food waste.
  • Organic waste (large green bin) - put food in the organic waste bins – but no packaging. Don’t put any plastic in the organics bin.

In summary, Mount Gambier residents are doing a reasonable job of managing their waste, but improvements can definitely be made.

When thinking about waste remember to observe the waste hierarchy

  • Avoid creating waste in the first place – e.g. buy fresh food without packaging. Put a no junk mail sticker on your letterbox, if you really want a catalogue get it from the shop when you’re there.
  • Reduce the amount of waste, only buy what you need.
  • Reuse items where you can – e.g. containers for storage at home.
  • Recycle paper, cardboard and plastics in the recycling bin. Put food and garden waste in the organics bin or home compost.
  • Dispose of everything else in the rubbish bin.

Let’s work together to make Mount Gambier a clean and green city!

Waste Profile - City of Mount Gambier 2016

Residents who are subscribed to the green waste /FOGO (food organics, garden organics) service are encouraged to place food scraps into their green organics bin. This food can be thrown directly into the bin or placed in a kitchen caddy. Each household that opts into the FOGO service will receive a free kitchen caddy and compostable kitchen caddy bags to encourage greater diversion of food waste from landfill.

For information about where to purchase additional kitchen caddies or compostable kitchen caddy bags (compostable - NOT degradable or biodegradable) please refer to the following links or contact Council on 8721 2555.

Online purchase:

Local purchase is available from Banner Mitre 10, Bunnings, Woolworths and Coles Supermarkets - bags must be labelled compostable.

Recycling has many benefits for both your business and the environment.

Recycling plastic, cardboard and paper - put smaller amounts in your Blue Recycling Bin. For larger amounts purchase recycling services through a local waste services contractor (listed in the Yellow Pages).

Recycling organic garden waste, timber and food scraps - encourage staff to take home food scraps for chickens or home compost or purchase a fortnightly Green Organics Bin from Council. Take larger amounts to Council's Waste Transfer Station or to an organics recycler to be mulched.

Recycling E-Waste (electronic appliances), batteries and light llobes - take smaller amounts to the Waste Transfer Station to be recycled. For larger amounts purchase an E-Waste recycling service, listed in the Yellow Pages.

Recycling hard waste from shop fit-outs, repairs and maintenance - put smaller amounts in your blue recycling bin. For larger quantities use a local hard waste recycling service.

Dedicated bins and bin lids provide options for people to recycle at community events.

Bin lids are available, to be hired by event organizers for use at community events in Mount Gambier. The bin lids fit on a standard 240L bin and come in three colours: yellow for drink containers (with 10c deposit), blue for recyclables and red for general waste. The bins can be coupled together to make a collection station.

Mount Gambier residents send over 500 tonnes of disposable nappies to landfill every year, that’s a lot of nappies!

There are a number of alternatives to sending nappies to landfill:

  • Reusable cloth nappies - they have improved a lot since the days of terry towelling nappies and safety pins! Search the internet for ‘modern cloth nappies’ and you will find lots of options. They are great for the environment but do require washing.
  • Compostable nappies - the only fully home compostable nappy available at this point in time is the “Eenee” brand (but if you know of any others though please let us know). Their compostable pads and inserts will break down in home compost. They have a re-usable outer layer that does have to be washed, but this is less onerous than for cloth nappies. Compostable nappies are also a good environmentally friendly alternative.
  • Sustainable disposable nappies - these are disposable nappies that are made of sustainable materials, such as plant based plastics, as opposed to oil based plastics. Search the internet for ‘sustainable disposable nappies’ and you will find lots of options.
  • Home compost of disposable nappies - all disposable nappies are made up of outer layers and an inner core which is the absorbent section made up of wood pulp fibres and ‘super absorbent polymers’ (SAPs). The inner core of any disposable nappy can be composted, as it is essentially plant based. To compost the inner core simply tear or slice a wet nappy so the inner core is exposed, empty this into your compost bin, then cover with plants or other compost material. Don’t use the resulting compost on edible plants, and don’t compost soiled nappies. This simple action can reduce your nappy waste by up to 90%!