Just 6% had recycling rejected in latest inspections

Just 6% of Dunedin residents had their recycling rejected in the Dunedin City Council’s latest round of recycling inspections.

The council inspected 7000 yellow-lidded wheelie bins from August 24 to October 16 and only a fraction received the red "oh, no" tag, a council spokeswoman said.

In the recycling audit, 20% received a green tag, noting "very good" recycling practices.

A yellow tag, indicating a few incorrect items, was issued along with reminders in 74% of cases.

Yellow-lidded bins no longer take caps and lids, or number 3, 4, 6 and 7 plastics or soft plastics, the spokeswoman said.

Rubbish was found in 6% of bins in which case red tags were issued and the recycling was rejected.

No black tags were issued for hazardous material.

In the year ended June 30, 594 tonnes of plastic was recycled in Dunedin.

That was 20 tonnes more than the previous year when 574 tonnes was diverted from landfill, the spokeswoman said.

The recycling inspections were first done in 2017 to help people improve their recycling, reduce contamination and keep the people who collected and sorted recycling safe, the council said.

The percentage of non-recyclables being put in recycling bins has been increasing in recent years and was now above the national average of 9%.

Residents who failed an inspection on a third visit, could have their bins removed and the service unavailable for three months.

In July, council waste and environment solutions education and promotions officer Catherine Gledhill said the council would collect only cans, aluminium, paper, cardboard and type 1, 2 and 5 plastics in the yellow-lidded bins.

At the time she said the council would be looking for the 6% of households that were "using the recycling bin as a rubbish bin".

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