ALL of Moyne Shire's paper and plastic recycling has gone to landfill for at least six months due to residents recycling incorrectly.
The council revealed the significant consequence to The Standard of people not changing their recycling habits after the council introduced a fourth bin for glass in February.
It means about 500 tonnes of recycling from residents' yellow bins has gone to the tip since then.
Moyne Shire mayor Daniel Meade said despite a new glass-only bin, people had continued to put glass in the yellow bin, which meant an entire truckload could become contaminated and paper and plastic recycling contractors would not accept it.
He said council workers would now inspect yellow bins and could refuse to pick them up if the contents was wrong.
"If you have put glass in the yellow recycling bin, your bin may not get picked up," Cr Meade said.
"We are working hard to improve our recycling rates and minimise the amount of landfill."
Moyne Shire environment and regulation manager Robert Gibson said diverting the recycling to landfill cost the council a similar amount to recycling it.
"The issue isn't just about cost, it's more about doing the right thing and making better use of recyclable materials instead of sending them to landfill," Mr Gibson said.
The council contracts Australian Paper Recovery to recycle paper cardboard, and good quality plastics and cans, but it cannot accept glass.
"APR sorts recyclables from your yellow recycling bin for reuse by Victorian remanufacturers," Cr Meade said.
"These companies are demanding clean product - paper and plastics that don't have shards of broken glass in them.
"It is not possible to reuse paper and cardboard to create products like egg cartons or fruit trays which are used to carry food, if there's any chance they may have pieces of broken glass stuck to them."
Separately, the council collects glass in a purple bin and Warrnambool's Fulton Hogan use it for road making. Glass has been successfully recycled since February.
A recycling crisis gripped many Victorian councils last year and led Moyne Shire to speed up a transition to a four-bin waste system.
The crisis forced at least 600 tonnes of Moyne's recycling to landfill after former contractor SKM collapsed last year.
The Barwon South West Waste and Resource Recovery Group's Ashley Pittard said the state government had mandated that Victorian councils provide a glass-only system by 2027.
"Moyne is one of the few councils in the state that have a purple bin already," Mr Pittard said.
"To their credit they are being as proactive to the community as possible.
"There will always be some risk in being innovative."
More information on the correct use of the four kerbside bins is online.
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