How to use your yellow bin
Recycling 2.0 updates (April 2020): Residents can now recycle plastics with the code 5 in the mixed recycling bin. Download a Plastics factsheet by clicking here(PDF, 1MB).
(Feb 2020): Residents can place tissue boxes in the mixed recycling bin if the plastic lining is removed.
There are some important changes to what can go in your plastics, paper, cardboard and metals recycling bin.
We’re working to eliminate contaminants and rubbish from our recycling and there are a lot of items placed in yellow-lid bins that are actually rubbish and can’t be recycled.
If you put the wrong things in your recycling bin, it will reduce the quality and value of collected materials, and the entire truckload may go to landfill. This is more environmentally damaging, wastes the recycling efforts of others and costs our ratepayers more money, as landfill is more expensive.
If you are in any doubt about how to recycle an item, click below:
Current markets for recyclables
Some items that went in the yellow recycling bin before Recycling 2.0 are no longer accepted. The reason is because many of those items were sent overseas for processing, but the demand is no longer there.
We get better recycling outcomes by processing our waste locally, as it increases the value and life span of our recyclables.
There is a local market demand for plastic bottles with the codes 1 & 2, and plastic containers with the code 5, such as some yoghurt, margarine and ice cream tubs. These plastics are easily recyclable and used to make a range of common products made here in Australia.
We are consistently looking for solutions for other plastics and UHT/Tetra-Paks, but for now they cannot go in the yellow bin as there is no local demand for them.
How to recycle using this bin:
Check the item you are discarding is made from plastic bottles with code 1 or 2, and plastic containers with code 5, unwaxed paper or cardboard, or aluminium or steel cans.
Tip, rinse or scrape out any obvious solids or liquids from the container – they must be empty.
If a container has a lid, take it off. Most lids, even metal ones, are made from mixed materials and not accepted by our processor. Put plastic and metal lids in the rubbish bin.
Your recycling bin is collected fortnightly.
Items accepted in your yellow recycling bin
Cans & tins - aluminium and steel
Alfoil – rolled into a ball, about 10cm in diameter
Foil trays, in a ball to help the metal detector pick it up
Cardboard products (unwaxed and uncoated):
Tissue boxes - remove plastic insert
Pizza boxes - with food debris removed
Cereal boxes – the liner inside goes to REDcycle
Empty toilet paper rolls
Advertising material: catalogues, flyers
Uncoated deli paper
Wrapping paper, as long as it doesn’t have a metallic or laminated finish on top of the paper
Plastics codes 1, 2 & 5:
Drink bottles - codes 1 and 2
Shampoo bottles - codes 1 and 2
Laundry detergent bottles - codes 1 and 2
Food containers (eg. margarine, yoghurt or ice cream containers) – code 5
*Berry punnets and meat trays (commonly code 1, sometimes 2 and 5) are currently not being recycled. Please dispose in your rubbish bin.
What happens to your recycling
To watch a video of Australian Paper Recovery (APR) where our recycling goes for sorting, click here.
Paper and cardboard
Recycled paper and cardboard can be broken down to pulp. The pulp is then re-manufactured into paper products, similar to the way paper is made from new, raw materials.
Products made from recycled paper and cardboard conserve trees, and their production uses 50 per cent less energy and 90 per cent less water than making them from new, raw resources.
Reclaimed plastic is sorted, then shredded into chips or flakes, and washed. The plastic is then dried, melted and formed into pellets, which can be used to manufacture new products such as flooring, furniture, motor oil, detergent bottles and pipes.
Producing plastics from recycled materials saves around 88 per cent of the energy required to make plastic using raw materials of oil and gas.
Metals are sorted into scrap metal and aluminium.
Aluminium is crushed, melted and recast into new aluminium products. Scrap metal is crushed, shredded and sorted. It’s then melted and further purified before being recast into new metal products.
Making new products from recycled steel cans helps save up to 75 per cent of the energy and 40 per cent of the water needed to make steel from the raw materials.
Avoid producing waste in the first place
Although we do a good job of recycling household items, to conserve natural resources we must use less resources like plastic, paper, cardboard and metals.
Many people have already changed their daily habits and carry around a reusable coffee cup and cloth shopping bag. You can also:
choose to buy products with less packaging (loose apples, for example, not apples in a plastic tray and with a plastic outer wrap)
choose products that can be locally recycled back into new products
use bees-wax cotton wraps instead of plastic food wrap
consider eating in or taking your own lunch to work instead of taking away
when possible, say no to straws
Be informed. We recommend always checking the plastics codes on packaging when you are shopping. Different companies use different plastics for their packaging so make a point of being informed about what you are buying.
Council is continually exploring other recycling options, such as Redcycle, and welcomes your suggestions.
Do you need to dispose of something that can't go in your recycling bin or isn't listed?
Take a look at our Hard waste collection service or Which bin does this go in? page.
If your recycling bin has not been emptied, please contact Council on 9932 1000 or complete the Missed bin collection online form.
Lost, damaged and stolen bins
Council will replace or repair your recycling bin if it has undergone normal wear and tear, or if it is stolen. A Statutory Declaration may be required.
If you have lost your recycling bin or it has been stolen or damaged, please contact Council on 9932 1000 or Report a damaged or missing bin online.