Preparing your recycling for collections

Learn more about what goes in which bins, crates, wheelie bins and bags.

Green recycling crate filled with glass bottles.
Remember not to overfill your crate – it's unsafe for our collectors

This is our basic guide for preparing your rubbish and recycling. To find out more about which items can and can't be recycled check out our What to do with your waste search.

Preparing your recycling

  • You can recycle plastics with the recycling symbol and number 1, 2 or 5 in your kerbside recycling. see guide (68KB PDF)
  • Remove lids and wash your plastic, tins and cans. Do not squash them – squashing makes them harder for the machine to sort.
  • Place all recycling materials loosely in your bins or bags so they can easily be collected or emptied.

Note: The items below can’t be recycled. We suggest you consider avoiding these products in order to reduce your waste.

  • Plastic meat trays – even if they have the recycling symbol and number 1, 2 or 5.
  • Plastics with no number or a number 3, 4, 6 or 7.
  • Polystyrene, soft plastic and Tetra Pak.

Suburbs

Inner-city

Recyclable materials

See the following table for what you can or can't recycle, or view our downloadable Guide to recycling in the suburbs.

Recyclable materials Examples

Plastics

You can recycle unsquashed rigid plastics with the recycling symbol and numbers 1, 2 or 5. This includes most plastic drink bottles, food containers and cleaning product containers.


  • drink and milk bottles (clean and no lids)
  • food containers (clean)
  • cleaning product containers

  • Note: Meat trays, polystyrene, soft plastic and Tetra Pak cannot be recycled in kerbside recycling.

Paper and cardboard
  • newspapers and magazines
  • egg cartons
  • office paper and envelopes
  • domestic junk mail
  • cereal boxes
  • toilet paper rolls
  • cardboard boxes, including pizza boxes (but remove pizza scraps and cheese residue)
  • brown corrugated cardboard
  • books (remove plastic cover)

  • Note: It can't be recycled if it is waxed or foil-backed, has plastic or food on it or if it is smaller than a credit card.

Tins and cans
  • aluminium drinking cans
  • food tins (clean and not squashed)
  • pet food tins (clean and not squashed)
Glass
  • glass bottles and jars (lids removed and clean)



Don't put these in your recycling Examples
Hazardous items 
  • sharp/broken objects
  • medical syringes with needles
  • batteries
  • aerosols such as fly spray, spray deodorant and cream cans
  • paint and oil
  • all types of gas bottles / cylinders
Specific types of glass
  • broken glass
  • ceramics
  • drinking glasses and cups
  • glass bricks
  • light bulbs and fluorescent tubes
  • medical and lab glass containers
  • mirrors
  • Pyrex
  • TV tubes and computer screens
  • vases and ornamental glass
  • window glass
General waste
  • food and liquid
  • cloth or clothing
  • bottle and jar lids
  • nappies
  • takeaway coffee cups and lids
Wax-coated, lined cartons or light-proof
  • Tetra Pak juice cartons
  • potato chip tubes
  • powdered hot chocolate tubs
Specific types of plastic and metallic wrap and packaging
  • plastics with numbers 3, 4, 6 and 7
  • plastics with no number
  • plastic bags
  • polystyrene 
  • bubble wrap
  • cling film
  • tin foil
  • meat trays - even if they have the recycling symbol and number 1, 2 or 5
Green waste
  • lawn clippings
  • weeds

Bulk recycling

If you've got more recycling than can be suitably collected you can take it to the Recycle Centre at the Southern Landfill. They have bulk bins for free, domestic recycling.