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Recycling Wheelie Bin Guide Australia

As important as they are, there’s no denying that recycling wheelie bins can be a bit confusing to figure out. If you’re unfamiliar with what materials go in which bin, you may be tempted to choose at random and hope for the best. 

That’s not always the best solution, though. Proper recycling is important for efficient waste disposal, making sure materials can be reused, and helping the environment. 

This Recycling Wheelie Bin Guide will tell you everything you need to know about your wheelie bins. We’ll cover the different types and which materials can and can’t be recycled. Once you know these simple basics, you can recycle with confidence!

Why Separate Recyclable Materials?

It’s almost second nature to separate regular rubbish from recyclable materials, but why take the time to separate the different types of recyclables? 

Just like garbage and recyclables, the different types of recyclable materials undergo different processes to be processed and reused. For example, glass may be melted down and made into things like bottles. However, paper may be shredded and mixed with water to reform things like cardstock. 

When recyclables are mixed, it makes the recycling process longer, less efficient, and more complicated. Mixed recyclables must be taken to a sorting facility and separated into their various materials, either by humans or machines. If they are sorted at all, that is. In some areas, it is viewed as too much of a hassle to separate materials. If recyclables are mixed, they are viewed as unusable and sent to sit in landfills. 

Landfills across Australia already receive about 20 million tonnes of waste each year. Separating your recyclables is a simple way to keep that number from growing. 

What Materials can be Recycled?

The first step to separate your recyclables is knowing what materials can and can’t be recycled and which materials to separate. 

Start with separating general waste from recyclables and green waste. General waste is things like food packaging or food waste, plastic bags, broken glass or ceramics, and dirty materials. This goes in the red wheelie bin. These are likely to get dirty and smelly so make sure to be proactive with regular cleanings

Green waste is the organic materials that you might get from your yard or garden. This is things like leaves, rotten fruits or vegetables, sticks, soil, or lawn clippings. Organic waste goes in the green wheelie bin. You may need to specifically request one of these from your local council. 

Finally, you’ll be left with recyclable materials. This should be materials like paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, or aluminum. These are separated into their various materials and placed in the appropriate bins. 

What Goes in Each Wheelie Bin? 

In addition to the red and green wheelie bins, for waste and organic waste respectively, you’ll have one to three recycle bins as well. The extent of your recycling separation and number of bins will be determined by your local council. 

Paper recyclables go in the blue bin. These are things like clean office paper, clean cardboard, unbound notebooks, or magazines. Make sure these materials are clean, though. No dirty pizza boxes in here! 

Next is the white bin for soft plastics. Here, you could throw things like bread bags without the tie, cling wrap, plastic bags, or bubble wrap. This is not the place, though, for hard plastic jugs like juice or soda bottles. 

Those materials would go in the yellow bin. The yellow bin is for mixed recyclables. Other materials besides soft plastic and paper can go in here. This can also be used for all recyclables when blue or white bins aren’t available. For example, glass jars, aluminum, or milk cartons could go in here. 

How Often Are Bins Collected?

Once your waste and recyclables are separated into their respective bins, all you have to do is take them to the curb for collection days! The different bins have different collection cycles that are set by your local council. 

Generally, the red waste bin is picked up weekly since this is likely to fill up the fastest. The green organic waste bin is collected fortnightly, as are the yellow, blue, or white recycling bins. Contents of each bin are collected and taken to the proper facilities to process each type of waste or recycling. 

Understanding your wheelie bins is critical to keeping the waste and recycling processes efficient and protecting the environment. Another important step is keeping your bins clean. Dirty recyclables are likely to be declared unusable and sent to landfill. 

Prevent this with regular cleanings from Wheelie Clean Bins. We’ll keep your bins clean, sanitary, and in tip top shape no matter what materials go in them. 

MaterialRecyclable?Bin
Food wasteNoRed
Glass jarsYesYellow
Office paperYesBlue or yellow
Cardboard Yes – if cleanBlue or yellow
Lawn clippingsNoGreen
Food packagingNoRed
Milk cartonsYesYellow
Sticks and leaves NoGreen
Plastic bagsYesWhite or Yellow
Dirty nappiesNoRed
Old flowersNoGreen

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