Recycle Right – What goes where?
Recycle right on Redlands Coast to send less waste to landfill. On average Council recycles about 10,000 tonnes of waste in recycling yellow-lid wheelie bins, including paper, cardboard, glass, plastics and aluminium. This is thanks to the efforts of residents but we can all do more. Approximately 16% of a general waste bin is made up of recyclable items that could be diverted from landfill if placed in the recycling bin.
Knowing what items can go in your recycling bin will help make sure we’re recycling as much as we can and doing it right.
Let’s get it sorted
Knowing what items can go in your recycling bin will help make sure we’re recycling as much as we can and doing it right. By recycling, we can significantly reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill, which benefits both the environment and our community.
There are five material types, that can be recycled in your yellow-lid bin
Top tip: don’t bag recyclables in your recycling yellow-lid bin - placing plastic bags in recycling bins can cause problems for the sorting process.
This includes plain printed paper, newspapers, magazines and wrapping paper.
This does not include paper towels, tissues, baby wipes, laminated paper, cellophane wrapping or loose shredded paper. Shredded paper can be placed in a contained cardboard box otherwise composted or bagged and placed in your general waste bin.
This includes boxes (collapsed to save space), cereal boxes and cardboard wrapping on meals.
This does not include waxed cardboard (fruit case boxes), coffee cups and ring-bound folders.
3. Glass jars and bottles – lids on
This includes empty jars, beer bottles and other glass drink bottles.
This does not include ceramics (such as casserole dishes), light bulbs, broken drinking glasses, broken windows or any other type of glass that is not food grade.
4. Plastic containers
This includes milk bottles (lids on), plastic drinking bottles, meat trays (clean with no film), biscuit and cracker trays, laundry liquid bottles, shampoo bottles, fruit punnet trays such as for blueberries and strawberries.
This does not include: Soft and squishy plastic such as bread bags, cereal liners, store bought re-usable plastic bags, bin liners, CD’s, CD cases, DVD cases, children’s plastic toys, plastic coat hangers, bean bag balls, laundry baskets and any plastic other than hard plastics from your kitchen bathroom or laundry.
5. Aluminium and steel cans
This includes empty aluminium drinking cans and tin cans as well as aluminium foil scrunched to the size of a tennis ball.
This does not include gas bottles, steel piping, gutters, wire or any other steel or aluminium materials that are not from a consumable product.
IMPORTANT: Gas bottles, batteries, paint, oil, EPIRBS, flares, chemicals, asbestos and ash should not be placed in any bin. Check the hazardous waste for further details.
For more details visit Council’s A-Z guide of waste and recycling.
Recycle Mate App
Download the new Recycle Mate app (from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store) for a handy pocket guide on how to recycle right.
The app helps you recycle anywhere in Australia – whether at home, at a friend's house or when on holiday. Just take a photo or type the name of an item you would like to know more about and Recycle Mate will give you disposal advice specific to your location.
The bad boys of recycling
Placing the wrong item in the recycling can cause problems for the sorting process – it might mean that an entire batch of recycling material cannot be processed. This is known as contamination or as we like to call it the bad boys of recycling.
There are a number of bad boys when it comes to your yellow-lid kerbside recycling bin, the top three items that contaminate the recycling process are:
- 20 plastic bags detected every minute
- 1 dirty nappy detected every minute
- Enough syringes to fill a wheelie bin detected every month.
The likes of beastly bread bags, corny corn chip packets and their gang of squishy plastics, along with awful apple and putrid pear have been increasingly getting into household recycling bins. This reduces our efforts to make the most of the 12,000 tonnes of recyclable waste collected each year on Redlands Coast.
The following items don’t belong in your kerbside recycling bins:
- Soft and squishy plastics such as bread bags, bubble-wrap, cereal packets
- Bagged waste or bagged recycling
- Food scraps and left-over food in containers
- Plastic toys
- Textiles and clothing
- Hazardous and dangerous waste such as hot ash, batteries – household or vehicle, flares, EPIRBS, chemicals and paint. These don't belong in any bin.
Planet Ark is now working with manufacturers to develop the ‘Australasian Recycling Label’ (ARL). A label that helps you better understand whether packaging can be recycled, thrown in the landfill bin or returned to a store (conditionally recyclable) to be recycled.
The 'Check it before you chuck it' campaign is designed to encourage us all to check the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) before disposing of our waste.
To find out more visit PlanetArk
Where can I send my unwanted items?
- Food scraps can be composted at home or via community composting locations. Food scraps don’t belong in your recycling or green waste bin.
- Plastic toys which can’t be donated along with nappies can go in your kerbside bin.
- Polystyrene can be taken to Council’s Recycling and Waste Centres (hyperlink to Recycling and Waste Centre page).
- Textiles that can’t be donated can go in your kerbside bin.
- Household batteries can be taken to community drop-off points throught the B-Cycle Program. See our hazardous waste page for all other hazardous waste drop off points.
Recycling Station at IndigiScapes
IndigiScapes offers a unique way to recycle items that are otherwise unable to be recycled in your yellow-lid kerbside bin, at our Recycling and Waste Centres or at other community drop-off points through a new Recycling Station.
It is the perfect way to save some unusual items from ending up in landfill.
These items include:
- Thongs/flip flops
- Empty toothpaste tubes and toothbrushes
- Blister packs
- Old art supplies
- Beauty products
- VHS / Cassette tapes
- CD’s/DVD’s and small e-waste
- Mobile phones.
Pop down to IndigiScapes today and keep all these items out of landfill. Let's give them a second life.
What happens to your recycling?
It matters what goes in your yellow-lid recycling bin.
Redlands Coast has six dedicated recycling trucks collecting approximately 10,000 tonnes of plastic, metal, glass, paper and cardboard from kerbside bins each year. All of it is transported to the Recycling Material Recovery Facility on Gibson Island where is it sorted both manually and using advanced technology. Once processed, your recycling material is then either used in remanufacturing right here in Australia or otherwise sold for recycling locally or overseas.
See just how much recycling matters on Redlands Coast and check out the cool video below to see the process in action.
Recycling at Recycling and Waste Centres
Council’s recycling and waste centres actively encourage recycling to prevent reusable items from going to landfill.
For residents in vehicles with a Combined Gross Vehicle Mass less than 4.5t there is no fee for recycling at our recycling and waste centres. Residents must present their photo ID.
Some non-resident and commercial waste including cardboard and scrap metal can also be recycled for free.
RecycleWorld is based at the Redland Bay Recycling and Waste Centre, 761-789 German Church Road, Redland Bay.
You can dispose of unwanted items that are in good condition at the Birkdale and Redland Bay Recycling and Waste Centres. You can also purchase second-hand items at RecycleWorld.
For more information, see RecycleWorld
Processing your recycled waste
All recycling collected from your yellow-lid recycling bins is transported to Visy’s Material Recovery Facility at Gibson Island where it is sorted using advanced mechanical and optical technology. It processes an impressive 350 tonnes of recyclables every day.
Once sorted, glass, cardboard and paper, and plastic bottles are used in Australia for remanufacturing and items like steel and aluminium and mixed plastics may be sold for recycling locally or overseas. Different uses of these recyclables may include cardboard packaging, a sand replacement for construction and plastic bottle products with recycled content, which is all part of helping to support the circular economy.
The only recycling that goes to landfill is contaminated materials. Only paper, cardboard, hard plastics, glass bottles and jars, steel and aluminium containers can be put in the yellow-lid bins. Contaminants such as soft plastic (like plastic bags) as well as textiles, polystyrene and batteries reduce the quality of recyclable materials and may mean they can’t be recycled.
The table below lists what can be recycled at our waste transfer stations, and what these items become after processing.
|Recyclable material||What it's made in to|
|Scrap metal||Scrap metal is shredded to remove any impurities such as dirt or paint. The clean steel is then used for building products such as steel beams, plates and tubing.|
|Gas bottles (liquid propane)||If the gas bottles are in good condition, they are reconditioned and used again. If not, the metal is scrapped and recycled (see scrap metal above).|
|Greenwaste and untreated timber||Greenwaste and untreated timber are sent to a greenwaste recycling facility where it is composted and mulched, ready for reuse.|
|Household recyclables||Household recyclables including firm plastics, metal, glass, paper and cardboard are made into many different products for reprocessing.|
|Lead acid car batteries||The battery acid is drained and the plastic and lead are recovered. The plastic is recycled into new plastic products and the lead is melted into ingots and used to make building materials such as weatherproof roof flashing.|
|E-waste (electronic waste)||
E-waste collected from Redlands Coast Recycling and Waste Centres goes to Brisbane where it is stripped and processed into the following commodity groups:
|Cardboard and paper||The cardboard and paper is pulped and processed into new Tetra Pak or cardboard packaging such as beer boxes and cardboard displays.|
|Expanded polystyrene (used in packaging)||This material is granulated and then recycled into a variety of products such as coat hangers and picture frames.|
|Bricks and concrete||This material is sorted then crushed to specific sizes and screened. The material is then used in the building and construction industry as aggregate or road base.|
|Reusable household items||Good quality reusable items can be salvaged for sale at RecycleWorld. Items may be resold for repair, reuse or upcycled to give it a new life.|
|Waste mineral and cooking oil||Waste mineral oil is re-refined into fuel oil and base oil, reducing the need for virgin refined oil. Cooking oils (vegetable oils only) can be filtered and recycled into products such as biofuel, cosmetics and stockfeed.|
Composting and organics recycling
IndigiScapes can offer helpful advice on home composting, setting up a worm farm and recycling food waste.
Container Refund Scheme
Containers for Change offer a 10 cent refund on each eligible drink container (150ml to 3L). For information on what containers are accepted and where you can deposit containers, visit Containers for Change.
Containers for Change is a great initiative to help increase recycling in Queensland. However, since the introduction of the Container Refund Scheme, Council has seen an increase in the number of instances where kerbside recycling bins and park bins are being raided for eligible containers. Under the Environmental Protection Regulation (2019) Chapter 6, Part 2, Division 1, s 102 (2), people are not permitted to disturb or otherwise interfere with the contents of a waste container.
This means that commercial bins, community bins or household wheelie bins (even once they are on the kerbside) must not be disturbed unless it’s your own rubbish or by Council’s recycling collection contractor.
Redland City Council and residents all play a part in the disposal of waste.
We ensure that waste and recycling collection and the operation of waste transfer stations meets best environmental practice. And as residents, our purchasing and consumption habits can make a difference.
We can all consider ways to avoid, reduce, reuse and recycle waste.
- Look at ways to avoid and reduce plastic waste
- Consider buying quality goods that last longer than their cheaper counterparts.
- Avoid junk mail.
- Most junk mail can be stopped by placing a 'No Advertising Material' sticker on your letterbox. The Distribution Standards Board provides them free of charge. Contact the board on 1800 676136 or email email@example.com
- Unsolicited addressed mail can also be stopped by contacting the Australian Direct Marketing Association on (02) 9368 0366.
- Avoid disposable plates, cutlery, cups and napkins. For a party or BBQ, use durable plates, utensils and washable linen.
- Consider using a water filter instead of buying bottled water.
- Plant trees and shrubs that don't need frequent pruning or drop their leaves.
- Native plants such as palm lilies, native violet, golden candles, swamp banksia, grass trees, sarsaparilla vine, and native frangipani are just a few.
- Join Council’s Your Backyard Garden Program by IndigiScapes to become more involved.
Reduce and reuse:
- Buy products that are made from recycled material, are reusable, refillable or can be recycled.
- Look at the packaging. Some items are wrapped in multiple layers of plastic and cardboard. Consider buying a similar item with less packaging, in bulk or packaged as a concentrate.
- Donate old furniture to charitable organisations or to RecycleWorld.
- Sell your unused items online or at markets and garage sales.
- Buy products that can be used many times or repaired. Good examples are tyre retreading, rechargeable batteries, cloth nappies, hankies and cloth napkins, ink pens with refillable cartridges, durable razors, reconditioned furniture and appliances.
- Compost your food scraps, grass clippings and leaves – use this as a potting mix or source of nutrients around plants. You can make your own compost bins or buy them at your local hardware store or nursery.
- Get into the habit of using both sides of the paper. If you use a photocopier or printer, try to print on both sides. If not, save the paper and use the black side for notes or children's crafts.
- Worm farming is a great way to recycling organic material into compost for your garden. Kits can be bought at nurseries, IndigiScapes or hardware stores, or make your own using recycled materials.
- If you feel strongly about a waste management issue with a particular product, write to the manufacturer, or choose an alternative that is environmentally friendly.
For more information on what items can be recycled visit A-Z of waste and recycling.
For information on business recycling, visit Planet Ark's Business Recycling tool.
For further information re clinical/medical waste, please contact us to discuss your needs.