Find out how you can dispose of various types of waste and recyclables, in ways that help both the environment and your household.
Recycling right, kerbside
- What can I put in my Kerbside Recycling Bin?
- What cannot go in my Kerbside Recycling Bin?
- Recycling Packaging
- Recycling Myths
Recyclable things that do not belong in the Kerbside Waste Bins.
Other ways to do your bit for the environment
What can I put in my Kerbside Recycling Bin?
You can put the following items in your recycling bin:
Paper and cardboard
Aluminium and steel cans
Hard plastic containers including yoghurt and ice-cream containers
Glass bottles and jars
Milk and juice cartons
Empty aerosol cans
What cannot go in my Kerbside Recycling Bin?
NEVER bag your recyclables! Items in plastic bags get sent straight to landfill.
Contaminants that should never go in your recycling bin:
Glass from broken glasses, windows and mirrors
Syringes and needles
The above items cause problems at Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) and reduce the value of recyclable materials. Do the right things by your community, businesses and the environment by getting it right on bin night.
Recycling is good to do. Sometimes it can feel confusing though... especially when packaging is made of composite materials such as foil and cardboard, or paper and plastic. The good news is that the Australasian Recycling Label (the ARL) is replacing numbers in triangles.
ARL icons show the best way to recycle or dispose of items, such as in these examples:
MYTH 1: "China has banned recyclables"
REALITY: China is still accepting recyclables if they are seperated and have minimal amounts of unaccepted materials.
MYTH 2: "All our recycling goes to China"
REALITY: Only a small portion of our state's kerbside recycling is sent to China. The rest is processed right here in Victoria.
MYTH 3: "China's new recycling standards can't be met"
REALITY: Recycling processors in Victoria have already responded by changing the way plastics and paper/cardboard are sorted. Paper and cardboard is being sorted to a higher level to remove items that shouldn't be in there.
Processors are also investing in, and installing new technology to further process plastics to ensure it is in an acceptable state for international markets.
MYTH 4: "All recycling goes to landfill"
REALITY: Recyclable material is a valuable resource used to make new bottles, cans, paper and cardboard products. It can also be transformed into road base, outdoor furniture and recycled office and toilet paper, just to name a few.
MYTH 5: "It doesn't matter if I put the wrong thing in my recycling bin"
REALITY: If you put the wrong things in your recycling bin this is known as contamination. Contamination increases the costs for processors as they have to spend more time and money sorting and removing the rubbish. This results in us all paying more for our recycling service.
Recycling things that don't belong in your kerbside bin
Any clean plastics you can scrunch up, such as plastic carry bags, bags used for bread, produce, cereal, biscuits, dog food, potting mix, bubble wrap and much more. Drop these off next time you shop at Coles or Woolworths, to be sent for specialist recycling.
As a bonus, you'll have so much more space in your red bin!
Food waste makes up an astonishing 25 - 40% of many householders' garbage bins! You can reduce this by checking your pantry and fridge and making a list before you head to the shops. Check out the simple, tasty and free recipes you can quickly create from the leftovers in your fridge and pantry, at http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.vic.gov.au.
It's also best not to shop when you are hungry!
Whilst mobiles keep us connected to the world around us, many of us also have an old one... or three... stashed in drawers. Mobiles contain valuable and scarce resources such as coltan (tantalite), mined from pristine habitats. So, when the time comes to move your mobile on, be sure to take it to a participating drop-off point for specialist recycling, via Mobile Muster. Typical drop-off locations include phone shops, post offices, civic centres and libraries.
Many of our gadgets rely on batteries that create a significant waste stream. Batteries contain hazards such as lead and acid, so it's important these are kept out of landfill. Do the right thing by taking your dead household batteries* to transfer stations, Aldi, Bunnings or Officeworks collection points. And, remember that whilst rechargeable batteries cost more initially, they have a long lifespan when compared to regular batteries, and are therefore a more sustainable choice.
Car batteries can be taken to transfer stations at no fee, or you can donate them locally to the Rotary Club of Ballan to aid its fundraising efforts. Simply drop off your car battery at the True Value hardware store or at First National Real Estate, both on Inglis Street, Ballan.
NBN batteries can be dropped off at Ballarat or Melton transfer stations at no cost.
Unwanted electrical and electronic items (e-waste) create the single biggest waste stream of developed societies. Anything with a battery or cord that is no longer wanted or needed can become an environmental problem. E-waste never belongs in your kerbside recycling bin and it shouldn't go into your garbage bin either. From July 2019, e-waste will be banned from landfill altogether, but many items will be free to dispose of at council transfer stations, from where they are sent on to specialist recyclers. Some, such as TVs, computers and whitegoods, are already free to drop off.
Other ways to do your bit for the environment
The waste hierarchy teaches us all to rethink and reduce our consumer habits, rather than using resources that are often in limited supply. As consumers, we have the power to make sustainable choices about our purchases every day.
Most single-use coffee cups are not recyclable through kerbside collections. A reusable "keep" cup lasts for years and often gets you a cafe discount!
Are you a new parent? Have you considered cloth nappies? Whether you're just starting the journey or are an old hand, the maths is staggering... the 'average' baby (it's ok, we know each one is special!) works its way through around 2500 disposable nappies in the first year. That's a lot of space taken up in your garbage bin and a lot of landfill waste! Check out the Bacchus Marsh Cloth Nappy Library. It offers information, a trial lending service and a supportive ear: http://www.mooraboolmeg.org.au/Home/cloth-nappy-library
Buy, Swap, Sell
Got something you no longer want or need, but that is good enough to "go round" again for someone else to make use of? Connect with your local community through your local paper or online buy-swap-sell, garage sales and charities including food banks. Buying or being given something preloved is budget-friendly and saves materials plus the water, energy and carbon miles needed to create, transport and new items.
So show your op shops some love! You can also pick up the excellent "Op Shop Adventures" free guide, packed with tips and location info, from the Visitor Information Centre or read onscreen at https://recyclingrevolution.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Op-Shop-Adventures-web-version.pdf
When you do go shopping, it makes more sense than ever to BYO reusable bags. And did you know? There are Boomerang Bag members all around us, busily hand-creating a range of practical and fun carry bags that are free to everyone!