Kiama residents have been told not to worry if they see ‘green people’ on local streets early in the morning.
Kiama council’s waste management officer Josephine St John said the ‘green people’ are council staff undertaking visual bin checks for education purposes only.
“Residents may have received a coloured tag on their bins and were wondering what it means”, Ms St John said.
“These are put on by our waste education staff that get up early each morning to provide feedback on how well residents are sorting their recycling and organic material.”
Ms St John said the visual bin check process was an important part of council’s waste management program.
“The more processors have to remove material they can’t recycle or compost, the more they charge council and in turn the more ratepayers pay through waste management charges,” she said.
Ms St John said there was a myth circulating that these staff are ‘bin police’ who would fine residents who failed to sort their waste properly.
“The tags are used to acknowledge owners who are doing well, or alert owners that a waste item has made its way into the wrong bin.
“But this is purely a feedback process and has nothing to do with council fines or the like.
“The waste education team only conduct visual bin checks and never rummage through items in the bins.”
Kiama Mayor Mark Honey praised the work done by the waste education team as part of the Organics Kiama initiative.
“Organics Kiama has been an amazing success with a huge drop in the amount of waste going to landfill and an increase in the amount of material recycled or composted”, Cr Honey said.
“Importantly, our contamination rates are really low, but we want to keep it this way, and the visual bin checks are an important part of that.”