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Recycling

Council provides a 240 Litre Recycling bin as part of the standard kerbside collection service, there are also a number of free and low-cost recycling options offered at Council's Waste Facilities.

Free Recycling

You can deposit a number of recyclable products free of charge at any of Council's 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
  • 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)
  • Fluorescent light globes and tubes
  • 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 I put in my Kerbside Recycling Bin?
  • Plastic - rigid containers including milk cartons, cream bottles, soft drink bottles, detergent containers, clean chemical containers, biscuit trays, shampoo bottles, spray bottles and yoghurt containers
  • Glass bottles, jars, sauce bottles and container Aluminium including cans, foil pie dishes etc
  • Metal - All steel food cans eg. soup, pet food, baby food and any empty aerosol cans
  • Paper - Paper items including cardboard, newspapers, magazines, telephone books, cards etc

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.

Recycle items loose, not in a plastic bag

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.

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 are the most common contaminants?

Aside from recycling in a plastic bag, the most common contaminants in household recycling bins are:

  • Waxed cardboard
  • Soft plastics
  • Coffee cups and coffee cup lids
  • E-waste
  • Styrofoam or polystyrene

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 main items to keep out of recycling bins?

What are the main items to keep 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.
  • 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. [Insert information on local collection or drop-off services]
  • Food waste:
  • If you have a separate food and garden organics bin add your scraps to that or give home composting a try.
  • E-waste:
  • Any item with a cord, plug or battery is e-waste and cannot be disposed of in any household bin. [Insert information on local e-waste collection or drop-off services]
  • 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.

What are the top recycling tips?
  • 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.


Where does my recycling go?

The recycling system includes several phases: collection, sorting, processing, and making new products to be purchased by the community and businesses.

Once collected from households, recycling is sorted into different types of materials – such as paper, steel, glass – at one facility, sent to another facility to be processed to make new products, and onto the next company to make the products. Check out the Where Does My Waste Go? section on Council's Kerbside Bin Collection page to learn more about where your recycling goes.


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 $106.20 for 2021/22 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. You can dispose of a number of e-waste products at these facilities at no cost, including:

  • All televisions, such as CRTs, Plasma, LCD and projection televisions
  • Batteries - Lithium, car and household batteries. Household batteries can also be recycled at your local Aldi store, Woolworths store and selected Mitre 10 stores
  • 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
  • Mobile phones

E-waste Products accepted at Grantville, Wonthaggi and Cowes waste facilities at $5.15 per item include:

  • 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.