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The Southern Metropolitan Regional Council (SMRC)

FOGO material on the maturation floor at the Waste Composting Facility
The 3-Bin FOGO trial in the City of Melville is now more than 6 months in, with residents being asked to take one extra step in sorting their waste and separating their food and garden waste from recycling and general waste. The trial is part of a joint project between the SMRC and the City of Fremantle, Melville and East Fremantle with the trial areas representative of a range of household types and sizes across all participating councils.

So far, we’ve diverted more than 66.5% of all household waste from landfill across the whole trial area, already achieving above the state government target of 65% by the year 2020!

Over the past couple of months, we’ve provided an extra helping hand to more than 1,200 houses in the trial areas, providing direct feedback and extra information on using the new system through a bin audit education program.

Households involved in the program had their bins inspected and were provided with either a ‘happy’ or a ‘sad’ faced tag, outlining what goes in which bin. Over the six-week period, residents in all five areas showed great improvement with the percentage of the right things in the FOGO bin increasing by 16%, recycling by 9% and general waste by 20%.

There is still room for improvement and the team has moved on to 5 new areas in April to help the community put the right thing in the right bin. We hope to see results improve even more over the coming months so keep an eye out for more information on our website and future newsletters.

The SMRC would like to assure the community that despite much media coverage surrounding the effects the China import ban is having around the country, the contents of the yellow-topped bin are still being separated and sorted and turned into new products.

The SMRC has contracts in place which see recovered and separated recyclables further processed in markets other than China and is not currently stockpiling or landfilling any recyclable materials. It is important that the community keep up their efforts in putting the right thing in the right bin and particularly ensuring hazardous items, as well as nappies, clothing and food waste are not placed into recycling bins to ensure materials are free of contamination.

For more information about which bin to put it in, please visit recycleright.wa.gov.au or download the Recycle Right App from your app store.
With the upcoming plastic bag ban coming into place from July 1, now is the perfect time to find out about some of the alternatives to single use plastic bags whilst doing your shopping. It’s easy to refuse a plastic bag when you are prepared.

Swap single use plastic bags for any of these suggestions:
* If you don’t already have a stash of reusable shopping bags at home or in the car boot, you can buy them from most supermarkets.
* Carry a reusable bag which can be folded down small into your handbag, pocket or keychain. That way, you are always prepared.
* Some stores have cardboard boxes available for customers to use instead of bags. Take advantage of this where possible and bring them back to use again.
* When going through the checkout, be attentive to what the cashier is doing, say simply ‘no bag please’.
* If you already have a few items in a reusable shopping bag and there is room, add new items to existing bags. You may not always need a new bag from every store you visit.
* If only buying one or two items, do you need a bag at all? Can you carry the items?
* Swap produce bags at the supermarket or grocery store for reusable produce bags, not only handy for fruit such as apples and oranges, but also nuts and dried fruit from the bulk food containers.
* Why not swap plastic bread bags for a reusable bread bag. There are great bread bags available. Just be ready to let the store person know before they go off to grab your loaf, so they can take your bag with them.

May is the month to compost! Get your hands dirty and find out more about compost. From backyard worm farms and compost bins to large scale alternative waste treatment processes, compost is a valuable product that can enrich the soils!

If you’d like to see come and see first-hand the machinery at the Regional Resource Recovery Centre that turns household waste into compost, the next Saturday community tour is scheduled for May 12th at 10am. Bookings are essential – contact Isabelle on 9256 9528 or via email at tours@smrc.com.au (mailto:tours@smrc.com.au) .
This year’s biggest reuse event returns this for another full weekend this October 20 and 21. Already more than 320,000 sales are registered, and this year’s goal is to have over 350,000 Australians hosting and shopping at garage sales, getting pre-loved stuff re-loved, meeting neighbours and having fun!

For more information about how you can get involved as a buyer or seller, visit garagesaletrail.com.au/.
June 5th is World Environment Day; this year’s theme is “Beat Plastic Pollution”. It’s a call to action for all of us, an opportunity to consider how we can all make changes in our everyday lives to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our natural places, our wildlife – and our own health.

Whilst plastic has many valuable uses, we have become over reliant on single-use or throw away plastic. This year’s World Environment Day provides an occasion for each of us to make changes that can help combat plastic pollution.

To find out how you can get involved go to worldenvironmentday.global
SMRC Member Council Logos
SMRC Member Council Logos

To provide feedback or request an accessible version of this document please ** contact us. (mailto:smrc@smrc.com.au)

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