An article published on The Conversation asks consumers to think carefully about what they are putting in their bins.
Audits of curbside collections have previously shown many people are confused when it comes to recycling, with 10 per cent of all rubbish being placed in the wrong bins.
“The most common 'contamination' items include plastic bags (both full and empty), textiles, green waste, polystyrene (styrofoam) and general rubbish,” writes Trevor Thornton a Lecturer at Deakin University.
However, the biggest waste, according to Thorton is the time spent rinsing recyclables.
“The truth is that you don’t have to do this at all because today’s recycling systems can easily cope with the levels of food often found in or on these containers, he says.
“Yet many householders still do it, either because they were never told it was unnecessary, or because they were given the information but didn’t read it. Meanwhile, we waste water, energy and time rinsing our recycling.”
The key is knowledge.
“Knowledge is a crucial element in reducing contamination and improving our recycling industry," Thornton said.
"It is important to have clear information from the right source about which items can and can’t be recycled."
All of this information and more can be found on your local council's website.