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Update on recycling

The City of Ballarat would like to thank all of the residents who are working with us to keep glass out of the kerbside recycling bins.

The take-up by residents to drop off their glass bottles and jars at the free City of Ballarat-operated sites across the municipality as part of our Pass on Glass campaign has been fantastic. It's really important that we get our recyclable products as clean as possible.  Clean means not just no residue in the bottles but also not putting food scraps or bagged rubbish in the recycle bins.  Its great to see residents using their reusable shopping bags to drop of their glass bottles before going shopping and using the bags again.

There has been a slight increase in the amount of material sent to landfill however this is line with the seasonal increase we experience each year between September and November. We will continue to monitor this.

The City of Ballarat has increased service regime from twice per week to four times per week, as well as an on-call service. Some sites with high demand, such as Big W in Alfred Square, and the site adjacent the Ballarat Greyhound Racing Club now have two skip bin services. We will continue to identify the potential for additional sites to be added.

Yes, there has been a number of loads go to Australian Paper Recovery with one load rejected due to major contamination. There is still a large amount of bagged rubbish and bagged recycling, some of this is diverted at the transfer station.  While the glass per cent is now less than 5% there have been loads ranging from 10 to 20%.

We are encouraging residents to remember the three main ingredients of their bins:

* Paper - cardboard, newspaper, magazines, office paper

* Aluminium and steel cans

* Plastic bottles and containers from the kitchen, bathroom and laundry.

Our Kerbside Recycling Advisors have completed more than 26,000 surveys. Initially, we saw 40-45% of yellow-lid recycling bins tagged and advisory information provided to residents. In recent weeks this has declined to just below 30% and we continue with our aim to see this drop to under 5%. We have significantly reduced the amount of glass observed in yellow-lid recycle bins to below 5% . The main contamination concern and education focus remains on plastic bags, bagged recyclables and bagged general rubbish. We will continue to encourage residents who are unsure about their waste to contact us either for general information or if there is a specific item they are concerned about.

The City of Ballarat has commenced investigation with some of the glass. Depending on its success, and processing throughout potential, there may be opportunity to increase the number of Pass on Glass drop-off sites. While the City of Ballarat wants to improve the accessibility, the identification and inclusion of additional sites will also be driven by being able to manage the sites to ensure accessibility and cleanliness. 
In December, we plan to begin trials of real-time fill-level sensors that will provide automatic alerts when the skips are approaching full. 
Drop-off sites are checked regularly throughout the day.  This includes existing staff as part of their routine work with some additional inspections for the high rotation sites. 
The glass is going to two facilities in Wendouree where it is either being aggregated or sorted.  There is still investigations going on into finding continuous offtakes for the material.  We are working to get at least two outlets for the material.   There is not a guaranteed offtake market locally for these products yet.
We are in discussions with several potential partners. The trials will also help us to understand the quantities required to crush, how to remove metal or plastic from the glass.