I can put anything in the recycling bin because if it’s wrong they will sort it out at the processing centre

Here's why

  • Wishcycling - This occurs when keen recyclers place something that doesn’t belong in the recycling bin in there anyway, hoping that it will somehow get recycled. Whilst this behaviour is well-intentioned, it actually causes contamination (see below). There is no recycling fairy!
  • ContaminationThis occurs when items that shouldn’t be put in the recycling bin get mixed in with recyclable items. This affectthe recycler’s ability to effectively recover those resourcesleading to more materials going to landfill. Contamination could include plastic bags to food and liquid waste to dirty nappies 
  • Recycling technology varies - Material Recycling Facilities can vary in the kind of technology they use and how they sort items. After the materials are tipped onto a conveyor belt, staff often manually remove contaminants. Then fans are used to separate paper, magnets pick up steel containers, optical senses detect different types of plastic, eddy currents repel aluminium cans and glass continues on until loaded onto trucks.

Watch the below video to see how sorting works


Choose your actions!

    • Recycle right by looking for the Australian Recycling Label and checking what your council accepts at RecyclingNearYou
    • Check whether there is a local drop-off recycling solution for items that don't belong in the council recycling bin like electronic waste, paint or coffee capsules.