Maroondah City Council: Multi-unit development recycling program

The objective of this project was to identify the most cost effective education approach to reduce recycling contamination, maximise resource recovery and decrease illegal dumping of rubbish at a sample of six multi-unit developments (MUDs).  


The project was developed in response to feedback gained from a combination of sources: visual bin inspections, Maroondah City Council’s waste collection service provider and council staff. All sources indicated the MUDs were consistently presenting contaminated recycling bins for collection and were regularly dumping rubbish on nature strips without a Council hard waste booking. The issue is exacerbated as increasing numbers of MUDs are built within the municipality.

The project included applying four different education approaches to six MUDs from within the municipality to determine the most cost effective education approach. The education approaches applied were:
1.    providing under-the-lid recycling bin stickers
2.    installing permanent bin corral signage
3.    mailing out information
4.    conducting a door knock and providing occupants with recycling trays.

The effectiveness of the education interventions were evaluated by conducting periodic visual bin audits prior to, and post implementation, of each education type. Garbage bins were inspected for resource loss whilst recycling bins were inspected for contaminants. The bin volumes were also recorded in order to identify potential capacity restraints, whilst dumped rubbish data was collected from visual inspections and from the council hard waste contractor.  
Analysis of the visual audit data revealed that a combination of under-the-lid recycling bin stickers, information mail out and an education door knock day achieves the best results in terms of reducing contamination, resource loss and volumes of dumped rubbish. However, the most cost effective education approach was providing under-the-lid recycling bin stickers (at a cost of $1.75 per unit/dwelling).

On average, across all sample MUDs, the program resulted in a 14 per cent reduction to recycling contamination, a 0.17 per cent reduction to resource loss rates, and a reduction of 1.33m3 of dumped rubbish per week.

The results also found that in-the-home recycling trays reduce instances of bagged recycling entering the recycling stream and that significant improvements to disposal behaviours can be realised from conducting visual bin audits alone (ie. residents became more aware that Council considers waste management an important issue and changed disposal behaviour).  

For more information about this project please contact the Waste Education Officer at Maroondah City Council on (03) 1300 882 233.

For more information about the Metro Fund contact metro.fund@mwmg.vic.gov.au or ph: 8698 9800.

Project resources:

  • Recycling MUDs MF R2 Final Report - Maroondah Report 1.3 MB

    This final report outlines the outcomes, findings, project highlights and recommendations for the Maroondah City Council 'Recycling MUDs: Solutions to waste management in Maroondah's Multi-Unit Developments' project. This Metro Fund Round 2 project aimed to identify the most cost effective education approach to reduce recycling contamination, maximise resource recovery and decrease illegal dumping of rubbish at six MUDs in the Maroondah municipality.

  • On Call Hard Waste Collection Service fact sheet - Maroondah Fact sheet 1.2 MB

    This fact sheet was developed by Maroondah City Council Metro Fund Round 2 'Recycling MUDs: Solutions to waste management in Maroondah's Multi-Unit Developments' project. The fact sheet outlines the processes and key information relating to hard waste collections, including hard waste reminders to residents and a list of the items which can and cannot be placed out for collection.

  • Easy guide to waste and recycling bin services - Maroondah Promotional item 867 KB

    This brochure was developed by Maroondah City Council Metro Fund Round 2 'Recycling MUDs: Solutions to waste management in Maroondah's Multi-Unit Developments' project. The brochure outlines the items that should be placed into the waste, recycling and organics kerbside bins.

  • Recycling sticker - Maroondah Promotional item 384 KB

    This sticker was developed by Maroondah City Council Metro Fund Round 2 'Recycling MUDs: Solutions to waste management in Maroondah's Multi-Unit Developments' project. The sticker identifies which materials can and cannot be placed into the residential recycling bin.

Last updated: 04/03/2016