What to keep out of your recycling bin

Placing non-recyclables in recycling bins not only clogs up machines but increases the cost of recycling.

Using kerbside recycling bins to recycle household items reduces the amount of waste that goes into landfill. However, contamination of the recycling remains one of the biggest challenges for Council kerbside collection programs.

During the process it is difficult to separate out non-recyclable from the recyclables items, impacting on the quality of the new material produced.

Redland City Council reports that its recycling processing plant detects:

  • 20 plastic bags per minute
  • 1 dirty nappy per minute
  • Enough syringes to fill a wheelie bin every month

Below we have listed some of the most common contaminants and provide alternative disposal methods. If in doubt, check with your local Council. Items not suitable for kerbside recycling bins

\*\*Item\*\*\*\*Correct disposal\*\*
\*\*Nappies\*\*Standard waste bin
\*\*Plastic bags, plastic wrap\*\*Recycle at your local supermarket through the REDcycle program \[(find a store)](https://www.redcycle.net.au/where-to-redcycle/), or place into your standard waste bin.
\*\*Food scraps\*\*Establish a home compost system \[(check out this Fact Sheet on Composting)](https://www.cleanup.org.au/files/clean_up_australia_composting_factsheet.pdf) or place into your standard waste bin
\*\*Waxed or coated cardboard boxes\*\*Standard waste bin
\*\*Paper or cardboard that is contaminated with oil or grease (eg pizza boxes)\*\*Standard waste bin
\*\*Batteries\*\*Recycle through a battery recycling program (see \[Five easy to recycle household items](/posts/five-easy-to-recycle-household-items))
\*\*Medical waste, needles and syringes\*\*Check out your local council requirements as disposal guidelines vary
\*\*Light bulbs\*\*Standard waste bin
\*\*Green waste (vegetation, mulch, grass clippings, garden pruning)\*\*Home compost system or green waste bin
\*\*Scrap metal\*\*Take to your local Council waste recovery centre
\*\*Polystyrene such as coffee cups, meat/packaging trays\*\*Standard waste bin. For larger quantities, check out the drop off locations at
\*\*Drinking glassware, pyrex or crockery\*\*Standard waste bin or, if in good condition, donate to a charity shop
\*\*Clothing\*\*If in good condition, donate to a charity shop
\*\*Containers that housed hazardous chemicals or motor oil\*\*Standard waste bin

Food remnants, lids soft wrapping should be removed from recyclable items before they are placed in the recycling bin.

All recyclable items must be loose in your recycling bin. It is important that items are not placed into plastic bags, boxes or other items as they are generally sent to landfill.

Find out more Planet Ark Moreton Bay Council Kerbside Bins Sunshine Coast Council Recycling Bin Collection Redland City What goes in each bin

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