What you can (and can't) recycle

Workers sorting waste for recycling

Recycling is important, but how we recycle is equally important. Putting the wrong items in the wrong bins can result in all sorts of problems once your recycling has been collected.

What can be recycled?

The guide below shows the items that are recyclable everywhere in Victoria.

It's important to note that recycling services differ from council to council. Check with your council for the full list of items that can be recycled in your area.

Recyclable in your home recycling bin


  • Aerosol cans (including deodorant)
  • Aluminium foil baking trays
  • Baby formula tins
  • Cooking oil tins
  • Food and drink cans
  • Pet food cans

Paper and Cardboard

  • Butcher / Deli paper
  • Cartons (Milk, juice.etc)
  • Cereal boxes
  • Envelopes
  • Long life cartons
  • Junk mail, newspapers and magazines
  • Paper plates
  • Phone books
  • Pizza boxes
  • Toilet rolls
  • Wrapping paper
  • Washing powder boxes


  • Bottles and jars (food, drink, vitamins and medicine)


  • Cake and biscuit trays*
  • Cleaning product bottles
  • Deodorant (roll on)*
  • Drink bottles (juice, milk)
  • Punnets (berry)
  • Shampoo, conditioner and soap bottles (incl. pumps)
  • Sports drink bottles (reusable)*
  • Take away food containers*
  • Yoghurt containers

* Accepted in most areas – check with your local council.

Recyclable at other sites

Not recyclable in your home recycling bin

  • Pens
  • Broken crockery, glass homewares, Pyrex

The top items we get wrong

Coffee cups

In most areas of Victoria, the hard plastic lid can be recycled but the coffee cup itself should be put in the rubbish bin. Most cups are a mix of plastic and paper and only a few councils in Victoria can currently collect them for recycling. Check with your council or better still, take a reusable cup! 

Plastic bags

Recycle by taking to a plastic bag collection bin at your local Coles or Woolworths supermarkets.

Some local councils, including Boroondara, Cardinia, Hobsons Bay and Moreland can accept plastic bags in your household recycling bin – check your council website for details. A better option is to carry a reusable bag to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags.


Recyclable when scrunched in a ball larger than a golf ball, which allows the foil to be sorted correctly. Aluminium is almost indefinitely recyclable.

Soft plastics (plastic wrappers, cling wrap)

Any soft plastic that can be scrunched into a ball can be recycled along with your plastic bags at the sites mentioned above. Buying products without excess plastic packaging or using reusable containers will help to reduce plastic waste.

Recycling in your council

Find information on:

  • Bin collection days
  • What each bin is for
  • If you can get a bigger or smaller bin
  • Where to recycle other items such as batteries, mobile phones and computers.
Recycling in your council area

Logo for Planet Ark and Recycling Near You

Recycling Near You

Planet Ark's Recycling Near You site offers information about the recycling and waste services offered by your council as well as local drop-off options for items including computers, batteries, printer cartridges and mobile phones.

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Logo for redcycle


RED Group has teamed up with Coles, Woolworths and some of Australia's most-loved brands to to run the REDcycle Program, making it easy for you to keep your plastic bags and soft plastic packaging out of landfill.

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Detox your Home logo over a photo of discarded plastic bottles

Detox your Home

Rid your home of dangerous and toxic waste responsibly, with the free Detox your Home program.

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