Waverley Council recycling program halves contamination rates

22 January 2021

Waverley Council’s Recycling Improvement Program reached a milestone this month with more than 100 apartment buildings now involved in the program which has helped reduce contamination rates in household recycling bins in participating buildings by more than a half.

Since 2018, Waverley Council’s Sustainable Waste Team has engaged with strata managers, real estate agents and residents to identify the key barriers to sound waste management and a clean recycling stream.

The program, which was developed for apartment buildings with more than 20 units, has helped residents reduce contamination rates in yellow container recycling bins by 58% and blue paper and cardboard recycling bins by 57%. The participating buildings comprise around 3700 individual apartments.

Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos, said reduced contamination in the recycling stream means items placed in yellow and blue recycling bins have a higher market value at their end of life and are more likely to be reprocessed into new materials.

“Broken or insufficient bins, poor lighting, unreadable signage and lack of awareness of what is recyclable are among the barriers the Recycling Improvement Program identified as preventing our community from recycling better,” Mayor Masselos said.

“By working with strata managers and our resident recycling champions, apartment buildings in Waverley are making a tangible difference to the health of our planet.”

Mayor of Waverley, Paula Masselos (centre) with recycling champions Dr Madisen Harper and Di McDonald whose apartment building in Dover Heights is participating in the program.

The program offers practical solutions to better recycling including improved signage in common bin bay areas, education materials and tools for residents, and repairing or replacing bins in poor condition.

The program has been recognised by the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association, the New South Wales Environment Protection Agency (NSW EPA) and Clean-Up Australia as a high-impact project which reduces contamination in recycling and minimises waste and litter in Waverley Council area. The program is a NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.

Mayor Masselos with Dr Madisen Harper and Zac Love from EC Sustainable, Council's delivery partner on the program.

To learn more about the program and other waste services offered by Waverley Council though our Sustainable Waste, Resource Recovery and Waste Operations teams, visit our website.

Everyone can do their bit to improve the recycling potential of their apartment building, including:

  1. Become a recycling champion and learn more about what goes in each bin. If there is a product or material you are unsure about, check out the RecycleSmart App to find out how to dispose of it responsibly.
  2. Put up signs around the bin rooms to clarify which items are accepted in each bin, you can find some great resources on our website.
  3. Talk to your strata manager about options to improve waste management in your building, including replacing damaged bins or adding bins where it is appropriate and considering a waste management by-law.


Media inquiries: 0416 075 532 or media@waverley.nsw.gov.au