A new article published on The Conversation is asking consumers to think carefully about the items they are putting into the bins.
Audits of curbside collections have previously shown many people have got their wires crossed 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.
Thornton goes on to ask people to think about how much time and water they waste rinsing their 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.”
They key, according to Thornton, is knowledge.
“Knowledge is a crucial element in reducing contamination and improving our recycling industry," he added.
"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.
This article was first published on Better Homes and Gardens.