A new high-tech garbage truck has joined Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council's vehicle fleet, capable of seeing what's in rubbish bins as they are being emptied into the hopper behind the driver's cabin.
The truck has a fleet tracking and monitoring system with live data recording capability.
Cameras on the front and the rear, on the bin grab and on the hopper (where the rubbish goes) are recording all the time, and have a photo-capture capability for evidence of contamination that may be appear in bins.
Mayor Cr Abb McAlister said the monitoring was necessary to ensure safe removal of general rubbish and the protection of materials that can be recycled.
"Our waste collection staff are often faced with the wrong materials being deposited in the wrong bins, for example, general rubbish being placed in the green waste bins," Cr McAlister said.
"The truck's monitoring system will give us the evidence we need to advise residents on the correct disposal method, enabling the driver to capture a photo of the house as well as the hopper in the truck."
The system includes lone worker monitoring, which is a response to the growing need to provide the safest possible workplace for employees.
The council will be able to monitor the truck's movements and get reports on service problems such as broken or overfull bins.
The truck's arrival has been welcomed by Elouera Association, an Australian disability employer (ADE) which processes some 780 tonnes of material from yellow recycle bins in Cootamundra, Gundagai, Junee, Coolamin and a small amount from Temora.
Elouera's Operations Manager, Shona Neale, says a reduction in the amount of contamination in recycle bins will make life more pleasant for the average of 15 people with disabilities who work on the sorting line at the material recycling facility at the tip on Turner's Lane.
"You'd be surprised at what comes up on a line that people with disabilities have to hand sort," Ms Neale said.
"We get dirty nappies, needles, domestic rubbish, green waste, dead animals, a whole mixture of things.
"We even get a container sometimes with kitty litter that's been used, so it's actually got faeces and urine in it.
"Some people try really hard to do the right thing, but there are a few who ruin it for everybody. If contaminated rubbish from a truck gets pushed onto our line it gets struck together, and sometimes you get oil that contaminates everything.
"The question to ask is when you put something in the recycling bin, would you be prepared to handle that yourself?"