Published 25 July 2018

The topic of waste has become increasingly important, and for good reason.

But what goes in which bin can be confusing. So can the reporting on what happens to your waste once it has been deposited into the waste gobbling metal machines we call garbage trucks.

To complicate matters further, different Councils have different rules for what goes in which bin. So it’s always best to check which rules apply to you.

We spends some $10 million on waste services each year, so a reduction in bin contamination rates has the potential to create some substantial savings.

City of Tea Tree Gully residents send more than 20,000 tonnes of household waste to landfill each year. That’s the equivalent weight of 1,250 buses filled with passengers. 

We have seen a 400 tonne reduction in the amount of waste going to landfill over the past 12 months. That's a 2% reduction in landfill. But there is room for improvement.

And with China effectively banning many categories of foreign waste, it's become even more important to adopt good recycling habits.

Australian waste collectors exporting waste to China have had higher standards imposed on them, with the country limiting contamination in their recyclables to 0.5%.

The City of Tea Tree Gully has been working hard to divert recyclable material from landfill and will be undertaking a substantial waste education campaign in the coming months. Our aim is to simplify the process and make it easier for residents to recycle right.

We are appealing to everyone, not just the passionate waste warriors, to scrutinise every piece of waste before disposing of it in the correct bin.

What’s more interesting, is that we can substantially reduce the amount of household waste we send to landfill each year.

A bin audit conducted in 2015 showed that 61% of the waste placed in the red lid waste bin could be placed in the yellow lid recycling bin and green organics bin.

Food scarps and unused food as well as recyclables, such as paper, cardboard food containers, glass and rigid plastic food containers, were by far the biggest divertible items.


Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Recyclables should be clean, dry and empty. This means removing the food scraps from containers, giving them a quick rinse if they are dirty and ensuring they do not contain liquids.
  • Remove lids. Place metal lids in a can and crush. Place plastic lids in a milk carton.
  • Plastics that hold their shape, such as buckets, water bottles and plant pots are fine to recycle.
  • Let your recyclables roam free. Bagging your recyclables is a big no no. It means that they cannot be sorted properly and may not be recycled at all. If you want to recycle plastic bags, most supermarkets now have special bins for plastic bag collection. Visit REDcycle for more information.
  • Always flatten. Flattening your cardboard boxes not only makes more room for recyclables, it helps your recycler as well.
  • While paper is good to go into your recycling bin, shredded paper and contaminated items like paper towel and tissues belong in your green organics bin.
  • Spoiled food and food scraps, including vegetable scraps, meat and bones, shellfish and egg shells belong in your green organics bin. To make it easier, use your Mini Muncher kitchen caddy or come in and collect one. Remember, free replacement compostable bags are available at the Civic Centre.
  • Batteries do not belong in your yellow bin.  Bring them into the Civic Centre for recycling.
  • Polysterene goes in your red lid bin.

Visit the Recycle Right website for more information on what goes in what bin or head here for more information on Council's waste services.

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