A telephone survey is probing residents in Maitland and across the Hunter about their waste and recycling habits in a bid to understand their needs at a household level.
Hunter Joint Organisation of Councils has this month instigated the indepth survey across the Maitland, Cessnock Dungog, Port Stephens, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Singleton, Muswellbrook, Upper Hunter and MidCoast Local Government Areas (LGA).
Independent company Taverner Research is asking residents a wide range of questions about their garbage and recycling habits including what they do with items like empty paint cans, asbestos, fluorescent lights and soft plastics.
Residents are also probed about what they do with their food waste, organic waste, and if they try to reuse plastic items in their home.They are also asked how the community could improve its recycling efforts.
Hunter joint organisation chair, and Cessnock Council Mayor Cr Bob Pynsent said every member council had to reduce the amount of waste that went into landfill. He said that would also reduce the levy payable to the state government and make councils more sustainable.
"The 10 councils in the Hunter all face the same issue of the waste levy, so each council needs to be smarter with the amounts of landfill that they accept," he said.
"We've got to devise programs that divert waste from that weigh bridge and the waste levy.
"Recycling is continually a changing landscape and we need to adapt to that.The last thing we want is recyclable material going into landfill and contamination is one of the reasons why it could end up there."
The survey is part of Hunter Joint Organisation of Councils' Better Waste and Recycling Fund, which is funded through the NSW Environment Protection Authority.
The data will be collated later this year and Hunter Councils will distribute the information to its member councils.
It comes after a collaboration with Hunter Research Foundation in 2018 recommended Hunter Councils conduct community research on waste and resource recovery habits in its member council LGAs.
It is believed the survey results will help councils created targeted awareness campaigns that will improve waste and recycling outcomes.