Household recycling

Many of Australia’s population centres have household recycling collection services provided by their councils alongside garbage collections. Councils provide wheelie bins, crates or bags for residents to deposit their recyclable rubbish in.

It’s important to remember that it’s your local council that determines what, when, where and how your rubbish and recycling is collected. Not all councils collect the same range of recyclable materials. In fact, recycling services can vary from one suburb to another if they’re in different council areas.

Many materials are marked as ‘recyclable’. But a recycling symbol on product packaging doesn’t necessarily mean that the material can be recycled in your neighbourhood. For something to be truly recyclable, it should be collected in your area. If you’re unsure of your local services, contact your council or look it up online at

As a general guide, the following materials are commonly collected for recycling in Australia’s major urban areas:

  • Paper and cardboard, including newspaper, office paper and cardboard boxes.
  • Aluminium drink cans and steel food cans. In some councils this includes aluminium foil, empty dry paint cans and aerosols.
  • Plastics – the types commonly recycled are soft drink bottle plastic (PET or type 1), milk bottle plastic (HDPE or type 2) and sometimes opaque PVC plastic bottles. A handful of councils collect all types of plastic packaging.
  • Glass bottles and jars.
  • Milk and juice cartons.