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Recycling

Council provides a 240 Litre Recycling bin as part of the standard kerbside waste collection service; this is only for domestic recyclables - essentially paper, cardboard, aluminium, steel cans, glass bottles and jars, and rigid plastic bottles or containers from your bathroom, kitchen or laundry. There are a number of free and low-cost recycling options offered at Council's Waste Facilities, and some businesses offer recycling of certain products.

What can I put in my Kerbside Recycling Bin? What happens to it?

Bass Coast's kerbside Recycling is processed by Visy - watch this video to find out what happens to your Recyclables.

  • Paper and cardboard - newspapers, magazines, cereal boxes, egg cartons, books, pizza boxes (no pizza please!), envelopes (you can leave the plastic window in). Watch this video to find out what happens to your Recycled paper and cardboard.
    • No thanks - no paper towel or tissues, no waxed cardboard, no takeaway coffee cups or lids
  • Plastic - rigid plastic bottles and containers from your bathroom, kitchen or laundry - including milk bottles, cream bottles, soft drink bottles, detergent containers, clean chemical containers, biscuit trays, shampoo bottles, spray bottles and yoghurt containers. It's better to put the lids on if you can (the lids will get recycled this way) and it's fine to leave labels attached! Watch this video to find out what happens to your Recycled plastic.
    • No thanks - definitely no plastic bags or soft plastics! No loose bottle tops, no liquids, no disposable plastic plates or cutlery, no polystyrene and no toys
  • Glass - glass bottles, glass jars - all colours. It's better to put the lids on if you can (the lids will get recyced this way) and it's fine to leave labels attached! Watch this video to find out what happens to your Recycled glass.
    • No thanks - no drinking glass, no bakeware, no window glass, no liquids and no loose bottle tops
  • Steel - food cans, pet food cans, aerosal cans (empty only). Watch this video to find out what happens to your Recycled steel.
    • No thanks - no steel appliances, no coat hangers, no metal poles, no pots and pans, no cutlery
  • Aluminium - drink cans, aluminium foil (scrunched in a ball), disposable serving trays, aerosal cans (empty only). Watch this video to find out what happens to your Recycled Aluminium.
    • No thanks - no coat hangers, no liquids, no pots and pans

All of these items should be placed loose in your bin. Do not bundle papers or put recyclables in plastic bags, as they will be sent to landfill.

Check out the "Which bin does THAT go in?" page to find out what can and can't go in your kerbside Recycling bin. Got questions? Contact Council's Waste Services team.


Recycle items loose, not in a plastic bag

Keeping it loose! Plastic bags containing recycling are a major contaminant in household recycling bins and prevent items from being recycled into new products. When items are placed in a plastic bag, they are diverted to landfill as they can’t be sorted. The plastic bags can get caught in the machines and damage equipment at material recovery facilities. Recycling in bags also poses a health and safety risk to staff who manually sort recycling as the contents of the bag is not visible and may include sharp objects.

Is it okay to put recycling in a paper bag?

No. Items should always be placed loose in the recycling bin. Items that are in a bag (plastic or paper) or any type of container when placed in the bin, can’t be sorted. You can use a basket, plastic tub, or even a cardboard box to collect your recycling and once full, tip the contents into the recycling bin so all items go in loose.

The only exception to this is shredded paper. Pop shredded paper in a paper bag or wrap in newspaper so it doesn't blow away when your bins are emptied.

Free Recycling at Council's Waste Facilities

You can deposit a number of recyclable products free of charge at any of our Waste Facilities. These are located in Wonthaggi, Inverloch, Grantville and Cowes.

Recyclables you can dispose of free of charge include:

  • Scrap metal- aluminium, steel, white goods, large and small appliances (refrigerators and air conditioners must be already degassed)
  • Car bodies - must be free of tyres, oil, fuel and gas tanks (only accepted at Grantville)
  • Glass - bottles, jars, most other types of glass (no window or mirror glass)
  • Plastic - bottles and containers
  • Paper and cardboard - newspaper, milk cartons, office paper, cardboard (packaging and strapping must be removed)
  • Used motor oil - up to 20 litres
  • Batteries - household (including Lithium) and vehicle - batteries can be dangerous and have the potential to cause harm or damage if disposed of in your kerbside bins. They can cause an explosion or fire, even after they enter landfill
  • Empty paint tins - scraped clean
  • Garden and garage equipment - metal tools, lawn mowers
  • Paint - Wonthaggi only. Limit of 100 Litres
What can't I put in my Recycling Bin?

Contamination is one of the biggest problems associated with recycling. A small number of incorrect items in the recycling bin will not cause the whole truck to go to landfill. But putting the wrong things in the bin means that it is expensive and difficult to sort, so by recycling correctly, we can make a big difference overall.

To prevent this, the follow items can't be disposed of in recycling bins:

  • Polystyrene and foam products
  • Syringes - sharps containers can be collected from Council free of charge
  • Plastic bags, food wrappers and soft plastics such as plastic wrap. These can be recycled at Coles and Woolworths
  • Household waste
  • Broken glass or glass from windows, mirrors, pyrex and broken ceramics
  • Clothes, shoes or any other fabric materials
  • Children’s toys
  • Liquids including paint and oil
  • Timber or building materials
  • Sheet plastic
  • Nappies
  • Electronic equipment
  • Batteries - Lithium, car and household batteries can be dangerous and have the potential to cause harm or damage if disposed of in your kerbside bins. They can cause an explosions or fire, even after they enter landfill. The best way to dispose of your old batteries is to take them to your nearest transfer station - its free! Household batteries can also be recycled at your local Aldi store.

Check out the "Which bin does THAT go in?" page to find out what can and can't go in your kerbside recycling bin.

What items are commonly put in Recycling bins that shouldn't be?

Recycling mistakes - please keep these items out of recycling bins:

  • Soft plastics:
    • Check if your plastic is soft by doing the scrunch test – if it can be made into a ball keep it out of recycling. Collect it instead and drop it off at a REDcycle bin, which is located at most major supermarkets. Visit www.redcycle.net.au for further information.
  • Clothing, shoes and other textiles:
    • These don’t go in the recycling bin and can clog machines. There are many alternative disposal options, including donating, selling, or swapping. If it's not good enough to be reused, it must go into your red-lidded landfill bin.
  • Polystyrene (Styrofoam):
    • Polystyrene packaging and boxes cannot be recycled in household services because they break into small pieces which are too small to recover. They become litter and can clog the machines. Polystyrene can be disposed of in your red-lidded landfill bin, or taken to any of Council's waste facilities (Landfill waste rates apply).
  • Food waste:
    • Food waste can be disposed of in your green-lidded Organics bin - unless you've got chickens or a home compost heap to feed.
  • Waxed cardboard
    • Cannot be recycled - pop it in the Landfill bin please.
  • Coffee cups and coffee cup lids
    • This is a very confusing one - takeaway coffee cups and lids must go in the Landfill bin. Sometimes cups or lids have a recycling symbol, sometimes they say they’re compostable – but they are never acceptable in Council’s Recycling or Organics bins. Of course, remembering your reusable cup is the best option, or take the time to stay and drink your soy latte at your favourite local café.
  • E-waste:
    • Any item with a cord, plug or battery is e-waste and cannot be disposed of in any household bin. E-waste can be disposed of at Council's waste facilities in Wonthaggi, Cowes and Grantville.
  • Household chemicals:
    • Household chemicals cannot be disposed of in any household bin as they could explode or leak and can harm your family and pets, release toxic fumes, and damage the environment. Household chemicals include chemical cleaners, detergents, bleach, fertiliser, car wax, and nail polish and removers. Take advantage of Sustainability Victoria’s Detox Your Home service and drop off your unused household chemicals at an event closest to you. Visit www.sustainability.vic.gov.au to check dates and locations.

While these items can’t go in your recycling bin at home, some of these items can be taken elsewhere to be recycled. Visit our Which Bin Does THAT Go In? page to find out which bin the item goes in or where to take it.

What are the top recycling tips?
  • Avoid the waste in the first place! Remember to take your reusable shopping bags, reusable water bottle, reusable coffee cup every time you leave the house.
  • Check the "What Can I Put In My Recycling Bin" section above, or check the Which Bin Does That Go In? page to find out which items are accepted in your recycling bin.
  • Collect your recycling in a basket, plastic tub or cardboard box. Once full, take it to your recycling bin and tip out the contents so all items go in loose. Keep any plastic bags out of your recycling.
  • When placing recyclable plastic containers and glass bottles and jars in the recycling bin, make sure they are empty of food and liquids – give them a quick rinse or scrape to remove residue, there’s no need for them to be spotless. And if you have food stuck on an item that could be recycled, like a pizza box, only add the clean section to recycling.
  • Make sure your visitors and guests know what and how to recycle when they visit. Provide internal coloured bins that match your kerbside bin colours, and have helpful educational material available.
How can Victorians trust that their recycling does not end up in landfill?

Right now, an estimated 80% of what Victorians put in their recycling bins gets reprocessed to be turned into new products like roads, footpaths, glass jars, planter boxes and benches. 10% of Victoria’s commingled household recycling (the yellow bin in most council areas) is immediately removed as contamination and sent to landfill. This contamination includes food, plastic bags and textiles. A further 10% is typically sorted out at the next processing stage because it is too small or too contaminated to be recycled. You can increase Victoria’s recycling rate by ensuring you recycle correctly.

For a short time in 2019, recycling collections in some Victorian council areas were sent to landfill. Changes to global recycling markets in 2019 left many recycling businesses with few buyers for some materials. This led to an oversupply and a major drop in the value of these materials.

These challenges forced one large recycling company to go out of business in October 2019, which left several council areas without a recycling sorting service. While some council areas soon gained new services from alternate recycling providers, many had no choice but to send recyclables to landfill during that time. Another provider has taken over the sorting facility since December 2019 and recycling resumed in all remaining areas.

To prevent these issues in future, the Victorian Government released its plan Recycling Victoria: A new economy in 2020. The plan will transform Victoria’s recycling sector, cut pollution and boost economic growth and jobs.

What is the Victorian Government doing to improve the recycling system?

What is the Victorian Government doing to improve the recycling system?

Across Australia and around the world, governments are grappling with how to waste less and recycle more. It's a big, complicated problem and there's no easy, quick fix.

In 2020, the Victorian Government released Recycling Victoria: A new economy, a plan to invest $380 million to fundamentally transform our recycling sector to build a circular economy.

This campaign is part of the Recycling Victoria program to reduce waste and make more productive use of our resources.


Can I get an additional Recycling Bin?

Yes, there is the option to have an additional 240L bin. There is a fee of a $102.04 for 2022/23 financial year. For more information or to arrange an additional bin, please contact our Waste Services Team on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211.

E-waste - NEVER in your bins

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Electrical and electronics are banned from landfill and cannot be accepted in any kerbside bin. E-waste must go to a designated e-waste drop-off point.

E-waste refers to any item with a plug, battery or cord that is no longer working or wanted. Most items contain valuable materials that can be recovered and reused, contributing to economic and sustainability outcomes across the state and in Gippsland. Recovering these materials also helps alleviate the strain put on the environment by stopping hazardous elements leaching into the ground when dumped in landfill.

Inverloch Transfer Station does not accept disposal of any e-waste (TVs, computers, small electrical appliances, fans, etc). This is due to changes in the Environmental Protection Act to the way e-waste needs to be stored and the limited capacity of the Inverloch Transfer Station site to provide this storage. Batteries and whitegoods can still be disposed of at Inverloch.

All e-waste items are accepted at our transfer stations in Grantville and Wonthaggi, and at Cowes Recycle Bank. Mobile phones can be recycled for free!

Batteries - Lithium, car and household batteries can be recycled at any of Council's waste facilities at no cost . Household batteries can also be recycled at your local Aldi store, Woolworths store and selected Mitre 10 stores, or your nearest Council Customer Service and Visitor Information Centre.

E-waste Products accepted at Grantville, Wonthaggi and Cowes waste facilities at $5.50 per item include:

  • All televisions, such as CRTs, Plasma, LCD and projection televisions
  • Personal computers and parts, such as internal hard drives, motherboards, cards, internal power supplies, CPUs, DVD and CD drives
  • Laptops, notebooks, palmtops and tablets
  • Printers
  • Game consoles, such as Microsoft XBoxes or Sony Playstations
  • Video recorders
  • DVD players
  • Radios or stereos
  • Universal power supplies

For more information regarding the disposal of e-waste, please contact the Waste Services Team on 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211.

Which bin does THAT go in?

Not sure which bin? Check out the "Which bin does THAT go in?" page to find out what can and can't go in your kerbside recycling bin.