Operation Lockatoo

Lockatoo logoAsset 1.png

Keeping cockatoos
out of kerbside bins

Council will fit locking mechanisms to kerbside bins across Lorne to help stop clever cockatoos from opening bin lids and pulling out rubbish.

Operation Lockatoo started in November 2023 and will fit locking mechanisms to residential

  • Landfill bins (red lid)
  • FOGO bins (lime-green lid) and
  • Recycling bins (yellow lid).

The lock-fitting program follows on from trials of nine different bin modifications and locking mechanisms fitted to 500 kerbside bins across Lorne during the last two years.

What are the mechanisms and how do they work?


A stainless steel mechanism featuring two large springs that apply constant pressure to keep the bin lid closed. The lid opens completely when the bin is emptied into the truck, ensuring no light-weight rubbish is trapped inside the bin. Householders only need to flip the lid closed after the BinM8 has been emptied.

Litter Lock

A plastic moulded clip with a long arm that extends down the side of the bin. A hinge attached to the bin body holds the arm in place. The clip securing the lid automatically releases when the arm of the collection truck picks up the bin.

The BinM8 and Litter Lock were selected after evaluating feedback from residents who had a mechanism fitted to their bin, as well as observations from collection truck drivers, and Council staff.

Download the evaluation report summary(PDF, 2MB)

When will my bins be fitted with a mechanism?

Fittings will be completed on a street-by-street basis on Mondays and Tuesdays, excepting public holidays from November 2023 through to April 2024.

You cannot make a booking or appointment to have a mechanism fitted to your bins.

Put your bins out for collection as normal. Our lock-fitting team cannot enter your property, so you can help them by:

  • Leaving your empty FOGO, landfill or recycling bins (only those without a mechanism) on the kerbside until 3:30pm on Tuesdays until a mechanism is fitted.

  • Taking all your bins back inside your property on Tuesdays after 3:30pm.  Under Council's Community Amenity Local Law, penalties will apply for bins left on the kerbside 48 hours after collection day.

Landfill and FOGO bins will be prioritised because cockatoos mostly target these bins. The following lock-fitting schedule is planned:

  • December 11 & 12 - Area 1
    Targeting the following streets: Albert, Alsop, Armytage, Bay, Charles, Francis, George, Hird, John, Topp, Wallace, Lorne Avenue and Ocean Road South.
    If you live in this area, help the lock-fitting team by:
    • removing homemade locks or lid weights from your bin e.g. wooden blocks inside the lid etc
    • writing your address on your bin lid in permanent marker (this helps us identify bins belonging to your property).
  • December 18 & 19 - Area 2
  • December 25 & 26 - no lock fittings
  • January 1, 2024 - no lock fittings
  • Tuesday, January 2 - Area 2
  • January 8 & 9 - Area 1

Download the map to check which area you live in.(PDF, 1MB)

Please note, this schedule is subject to change.  If you have the Surf Coast Rubbish and Recycling All (SCRRApp) and your notifications are turned on, we can keep you up to date on when we are planning to be in your area.

I already have a locking mechanism on my bin

Bin M8s and Litter Locks already fitted to bins as part of the trial will remain on the bin. Working gravity locks will also stay on landfill bins.

All other mechanisms fitted by Council, or homemade mechanisms installed by residents, will be removed from bins.

Is my bin lock-ready?

Mechanisms will not be fitted to bins with damaged lids or broken handles, as this will impact the effectiveness of the locks.

Locks will also not be fitted to bins without the correct lid colour:

  • FOGO – lime green
  • Recycling – yellow
  • Landfill – bright red


If your bin lid or handles are damaged, or you have the incorrect lid colour, contact Council to organise a free repair or replacement:

Council's contractor can only complete lid changeovers or repairs when your bin is on the kerbside. Contact us when you or a neighbour is available to put the bin out, and take it back inside.

Top six bin rules

  1. Do not overfill bins

    Overfull and open bins are easy targets for cockatoos looking for their next meal.

    Bags of waste sitting next to landfill bins will not be picked up by the collection truck. If it doesn’t fit in the bin, wait until the next collection, or take it to the transfer station.

    Find your closest transfer station

  2. Close the lid, and engage the bin lock

    Some bins are already fitted with BinM8s and Litter Locks. Ensure the lid is fully closed and the Litter Lock is engaged when you put your bins bin on the kerbside for collection.

  3. Put ALL food waste in the FOGO bin

    Audits of kerbside bins in Lorne revealed that 24% of the contents of the red-lidded landfill bin is food waste. ALL food waste (even seafood leftovers, raw & cooked meat, citrus & dairy products) should go in your FOGO bin, which is collected every week in Lorne township.

  4. Put bins out on the right day

    Bins left on the kerbside for extended periods attract hungry cockatoos. Bins should be placed out 24 hours before collection day, and taken back inside the property 48 hours after they are emptied.

    Under Council’s Local Law, penalties may apply for bins on the kerbside outside these timeframes.

  5. Do not feed cockatoos

    Hand feeding cockatoos or leaving out wild birdseed mix can spread disease from bird to bird, or birds to humans. Cockatoos are also becoming aggressive and pestering people for food.

  6. Report spilt litter

    Call Council on 5261 0600 or at info@surfcoast.vic.gov.au

Do not feed the cockatoos

Cockatoo’s natural diet is berries, seeds, nuts and roots and there is plenty available in the bushland surrounding Lorne. Feeding wild bird seed mix to cockatoos, King Parrots and other wildlife can make them dependent on humans for their survival, and may cause nutrient deficiencies.

Human food such as bread, chips and meat (and other leftovers and scraps they find in kerbside bins) can also make them sick, and may even kill them.

Keep wildlife wild!

  • Hand-fed cockatoos are bored cockatoos. When cockatoos don’t need to forage for their natural foods, they spend their “leisure time” chewing on buildings.
  • Neighbouring homes could be suffering cockatoo damage as a direct result of one homeowner’s handfeeding of wildlife.
  • Feeding allows for the easy spread of disease from bird to bird (Psittacine Beak & Feather Disease), and from birds to humans.
  • Feeding encourages pests such as mice, rats and introduced bird species, as well as feral cats and foxes.
  • Native birds need to teach their young how to forage for a wide variety of natural foods.

Cockatoos are a protected native species under the Wildlife Act 1975 and it is an offence to injure or kill them.

The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) is the responsible authority for all wildlife including cockatoos. To discuss cockatoo management, contact DEECA on 136 186.

All food waste goes in the FOGO bin

Please sort your food waste correctly!

Cockatoos are foraging in the landfill bin to find your leftover food, scraps and peelings.

As they search for food, they pull out other rubbish and drop it onto the street.

Put all food waste FOGO bin (lime-green lid), which is emptied weekly in Lorne township.

Find out more about your FOGO bin