A to Z recycling and waste guide

If you have an unwanted item and you're not sure what to do with it, use our guide to find the best way to deal with it.

Explore our comprehensive A to Z guide below, or download our quick reference guide.

Have something to add?

Please let us know if we're missing anything and we’ll happily add it to our listing. Email [email protected] with your suggestions.

Smarter ways to reduce waste

Absorptive pads (example, in meat trays)

Aerosol cans (empty)

Aluminium foil (clean, roll into a ball)

Appliances

Asbestos

Ash  (fireplace ash from wood only; must be cold)

  • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

Avocado seed

  • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

Baby wipes

  • Avoid by using reusable cloth wipes that can be laundered
  • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

Note: Even if labelled ‘flushable’, do not flush these down the toilet as they cause major sewer blockages.

Bakery and cake boxes (plastic-coated cardboard)

  • Avoid by taking your own reusable container and lid instead
  • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

Baking paper

Bamboo

Band-aids

Barbecues (mostly metal)

Batteries (car, alkaline, NiMH, NiCad)

Note: It is illegal to put batteries in any household or street bins. Batteries are toxic and can explode. They can cause major fires in our collection trucks and at our waste processing facilities. It is illegal to put batteries in any household or street bins. Please only recycle batteries using one of the above methods.

Bed base, bed head and mattress

Bedding

Berry punnets

Binders/folders (plastic with metal rings)

Biscuit trays (plastic tray inside packet of biscuits)

Blankets

Blankets (electric)

Blister packs (for medicine/pills)

Bones (raw, from meat and seafood)

Bones (cooked, from meat and seafood)

Books

Bottle tops (metal or plastic)

Note: Leave both metal and plastic lids on bottles and jars.

Bottles (plastic or glass)

Boxes (cardboard)

Branches (large, up to 20cm diameter each and 1.5m long)

Branches (small, up to 7.5cm diameter)

Bread, cakes and pastries

Bread bags (plastic)

Bread tags

Bubble wrap

Bricks, rubble, rocks, concrete and building materials

Brochures/Glossy paper

Cameras

Cans (steel or aluminium, squashed)

Car batteries

Car/auto parts and tyres

Cardboard (unwaxed)

Cardboard (waxed - e.g. fruit boxes)

Carpet/carpet underlay

Cartridges (printer/toner)

Cassette cover and casing (tape removed)

Cassette tapes

Cat poo (all pet poo)

CDs

  • Reuse by donating to your local charity/op-shop
  • Reuse by stringing up in your garden to deter pests or for craft projects
  • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

CD cases (plastic)

CD players

Cellophane

Ceramics

Cereals and grains

Cereal boxes

Cereal box inner plastic bags

Chemicals (household)

Chicken (raw or cooked meat and raw bones)

Chicken (cooked bones)

Chip packets (foil-lined plastic)

Chocolate wrappers (foil-lined plastic)

Christmas trees (plastic)

  • Avoid by getting crafty and making your own
  • Reuse by packing away carefully and storing safely for next year
  • Reuse by buying a second hand plastic tree or donate yours to a charity shop if you no longer needed
  • If broken, dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid), if it doesn't fit, take to Boroondara Recycling and Waste Centre or book a hard waste collection

Christmas trees (real)

  • Avoid waste by making own crafty tree from reused materials (for example, drift wood tree)
  • Reuse by using a live plant or tree in a pot every year
  • Recycle by booking a free Christmas tree collection

Chux wipes

  • Avoid by using reusable cloths instead
  • Reuse until cannot be reused anymore
  • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

Cigarette butts

  • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)
  • Tip: Carry a pocket ashtray to collect your butts and prevent littering

Citrus (juice, pulp and skin)

Cleaning rags  

Cling wrap/cling film/plastic wrap

Clothing (good condition)

Clothing (damaged)

  • Reuse as rags at home
  • Recycle by donating to Southern Cross Recycling
  • Recycle by sending to Manrags
  • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

Coat hangers (plastic or metal)

    Coffee cups and lids (biodegradable, compostable and disposable types)

    • Avoid waste by carrying a reusable coffee cup or by dining in
    • Compostable types - recycle in your home compost bin (not FOGO bin)
    • All other types - dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Coffee filter papers

    Coffee grounds and beans

    Coffee pods (disposable)

    • Avoid waste by using ground coffee
    • Avoid waste by using a reusable/refillable, metal coffee pod
    • Recycle through the Terracycle website. Search 'pods' to identify those you can recycle
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Coffee pods (compostable)

    • Avoid waste by using ground coffee
    • Avoid waste by using a reusable/refillable metal coffee pod and your choice of ground coffee
    • Recycle in your compost bin, worm farm, Bokashi bin or green cone solar composter
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Compostable plates

    Note: Compostable plates are not accepted in FOGO bins.

    Computers, parts and accessories

    Concrete, bricks, rubble, rocks

    Cooking oil (maximum 20 litres in 5-litre cans)

    Cooking oil and fat on paper towels or newspapers

    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Corks (plastic and synthetic wine or bottle corks)

    Cotton buds

    • Avoid waste by using reusable cotton buds
    • Reduce plastic waste by using 100% natural paper cotton buds
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Corks (natural wine or bottle corks)

    Cotton wool

    • Avoid waste by using reusable face cloth instead
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Crockery 

    Curtain rods (metal)

    Curtains

    Cutlery (plastic)

    • Avoid waste by using reusable cutlery
    • Reuse by washing and reusing until no longer usable
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Cutlery (cornstarch)

    Note: Cutlery made from cornstarch is not accepted in FOGO bins.

    Dairy food products

    • Avoid through smart shopping - plan ahead, write a list and stick to it. Store food correctly, use left-overs and keep track of your food supplies
    • Recycle in your Bokashi bin or green cone solar composter
    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Detergent bottles (plastic)

    Disposable face masks (see Face masks (disposable))

    Disposable gloves

    • Avoid by using hand sanitiser and washing hands thoroughly instead - only as appropriate
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Disposable plates (plastic, clean)

    Dog poo (all pet poo)

    Note: this cannot go in your FOGO bin.

    Doors (metal)

    Doors (timber)

    Dryer lint

    DVDs

    • Reuse by donating to your local charity/op-shop
    • Reuse by stringing up in your garden to deter pests or for craft projects
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    DVD players

    Eggs and shells

    Egg cartons (cardboard only)

    Electric scooters (mobility)

    Electric toothbrush

    Electrical appliances (small)

    Electrical appliances (medium and large)

    Electrical cords and cables

    Electronic cigarettes (remove liquid cartridge)

    Envelopes (paper) (always remove clear window first and put in waste bin)

    Expanded polyethylene foam packaging (bendable foam that does not snap)

    Face masks (disposable)

    Fast food/processed food leftovers

    Fats and oils

    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Feathers (natural)

    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Fish and chips papers

    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Fish and seafood waste (raw or cooked fish and seafood, prawn and crab shells)

    Note: Cooked bones and oyster shells need to be disposed of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Flexible/soft plastics (bags and wrappings)

    Note: these are not accepted in your recycling bin.

    Flowers

    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Fluorescent bulbs and tubes

    Flyscreens

    Foam underlay

    Food scraps and waste

    • Avoid through smart shopping – plan ahead, write a list and stick to it. Store food correctly, use left-overs and keep track of your food supplies
    • Recycle in your compost bin or worm farm, compost bin, worm farm, Bokashi bin or green cone solar composter
    • Recycle by feeding to chickens and other pets (where appropriate)
    • Recycle almost all food waste in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Fridges/freezers

    Fruit and vegetable waste

    • Avoid through smart shopping - plan ahead, write a list and stick to it. Store food correctly, use leftovers and keep track of your food supplies
    • Reuse vegetable skills to make a stock or soup
    • Recycle by feeding to chickens and other pets (where appropriate)
    • Recycle in your compost bin or worm farm, compost bin, worm farm, Bokashi bin or green cone solar composter
    • Recycle almost all food waste in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Note: remove the plastic stickers on fruit and vegetables, and dispose of them in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Fruit net bags (plastic)

    Frying pan (stove-top)

    Frying pan (electric)

    Furniture

    Garden waste (green waste)

    Garlic (flesh and skins)

    Garden clippings

    Gas bottles and canisters (empty only)

    Glass (not bottles or jars)

    Examples include window panes, wine glasses and picture frame glass.

    Glass bottles and jars (keep lids on; broken is ok but try to avoid breaking)

    Glasses (spectacles/sunglasses)

    Glossy paper (eg. brochures, magazines - remove staples)

    Gloves (rubber or vinyl)

    • Avoid waste by using reusable options
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Grass clippings

    Grease-proof paper

    • Avoid by using nonstick pans instead
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Hair (animal or human)

    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Halogen downlights

    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid) - wrap in paper first. These are non-toxic and safe in the waste bin.

    Note - these are NOT accepted in the e-waste collections or DETOX collections.

    Hay

    Headphones

    Hearing aids

    Hi-fi sets/stereos

    Home security systems

    Hot water units

    Hose (garden hose)

    • Reuse for other handy garden-related projects (e.g. to cover sharp metal edges)
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    House wiring

    Household chemicals

    Hygiene products

    • Avoid waste by using reusable options, for example cups, period pants and washable pads
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Ice block sticks (wooden)

    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Ice cream containers/lids (plastic)

    Ice cream containers/ lids (waxed cardboard with plastic lining)

    Inverters (power inverter)

    Irons (clothes irons)

    Jar lids (metal or plastic)

    Jars (glass or plastic, leave lids on)

    Jex pads/steel wool

    Juice cartons (tetrapak, foil-lined)

    Kitty litter

    Note: this cannot go in your FOGO bin as it contains synthetic materials.

    Lamps

    Laptops

    Lawn clippings

    Lawn mowers

    Leaf blowers

    Leaves

    Leftover food

    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Light bulbs/tubes

    Lollies (no wrappers)

    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Lolly wrappers (plastic or plastic with foil)

    Long-life milk or juice cartons (tetrapak, foil-lined)

    Lunch boxes (plastic)

    Magazines

    Makeup pads (cotton or other)

    • Avoid waste by using reusable face cloth instead
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Massage chairs

    Massage mats/pads (electric)

    Mattresses and bed bases

    Meat, meat scraps, fat and raw bones

    • Recycle in your Bokashi bin Bokashi bin or green cone solar composter
    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Note: Cooked bones are not accepted in FOGO bins. Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Meat trays (rigid plastic only, washed)

    Note: do not put polystyrene trays that snap easily in your recycling bin. Dispose of these in your household waste bin (dark green lid).

    Medical waste

    • Contact your local GP for correct disposal of various types of medical waste or for permission to use their on-site medical waste bin. 

    Medicines (old)

    Note: do not flush down the toilet or put in your waste bin.

    Medicine bottle (glass or plastic, empty, leave lids on)

    Mobile phones

    Mobile phone chargers

    Modems

    Musical instruments

    Musical instruments (electrical)

    Motor oil (max. 20L in 5L cans)

    Motor oil container (empty)

    Napkins and serviettes (paper)

    • Avoid waste by using reusable cloth napkins
    • Recycle by tearing into small pieces and adding to your compost bin
    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Nappies (disposable, wrapped/bagged)

    Newspapers (clean and dry)

    • Avoid waste by reading news online
    • Recycle in your recycling bin (yellow lid)

    Newspapers (solid or wet)

    • Avoid waste by reading the news online
    • Recycle by tearing into small pieces and adding to your compost bin
    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Nuts, shells and seeds (pistachio or peanut shells)

    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Office paper (clean and dry)

    Olive pips

    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Onion (flesh and skins)

    Ovens/stoves

    Oyster shells

    Paint

    Paint tins (containing dried paint)

    Pallets

    Paper (clean/dry, newspapers, office paper, paper bags, post it notes - remove staples)

    Paper (wet/oily, no chemicals)

    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Note: If the paper is contaminated with chemicals or cleaning products, dispose of it in your household waste bin (dark green lid).

    Paper (shredded)

    Paper bags (no plastic or twine)

    Paper towels, napkins, serviettes (no chemicals)

    • Avoid waste by using reusable cloth napkins
    • Recycle by tearing into small pieces and adding to your home compost bin
    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Note: If the paper towel is contaminated with chemicals or cleaning products, dispose of it in your household waste bin (dark green lid).

    Pasta and rice products

    Pencils and shavings

    Pet poo

    Note: this cannot go in your FOGO bin.

    Pharmaceutical machines (e.g. blood pressure monitors)

    Pharmaceuticals (old)

    • Dispose of them safely by returning to your local pharmacy via the Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) scheme
    • Note: do not flush down the toilet or put in your waste bin

    Phone books (remove covers and add separately)

    Photocopiers

    Photographs

    Photograph negatives

    Photographic slides (with cardboard edges)

    Pillows

    Pizza boxes

    Plant pots (plastic) (soil and plant free)

    Plant pots (terracotta) (soil and plant free)

    Plasterboard

    Plastic bags

    Note: these are not accepted in your recycling bin.

    Plastic bottles (empty and squashed, leave lids on)

    Note: only plastic bottles and hard plastic containers are accepted in the recycling bin.

    Plastic containers/tub (rigid, e.g. take away containers, yoghurt pots)

    Note: only plastic bottles and hard plastic containers are accepted in the recycling bin.

    Plastic cosmetic tubes (empty, pumps removed, leave lids on)

    Note: remove pumps and if cannot reuse these, dispose of in your household waste bin.

    Plastic wrappers

    Plate scrapings

    Polystyrene/styrofoam (white, solid only)

    • Avoid by taking your own reusable cup or container
    • Avoid by avoiding excessively packaged products
    • Recycle at the Boroondara Recycling and Waste Centre (residents or local businesses only)

    Note: dispose of bean bag balls (bag and tie up securely to protect waterways) or coloured polystyrene in your household waste bin (dark green lid).

    Post bags (all types)

    Post it notes

    Pots and pans (metal)

    Poultry (raw/cooked meat and raw bones)

    Poultry (cooked bones)

    Power boards

    Prawn heads and shells

    Printer cartridges

    Printers and scanners

    Processed foods

    Prunings and cuttings

    Puffed corn packaging balls (household quantities only)

    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Pumps (from plastic bottles/pump packs)

    Pumps (mechanical)

    Pyrex

    Radios

    Receipts (paper)

    Records (vinyl)

    Remotes

    Reusable bags (plastic)

    Rice and pasta

    Rubber bands

    Salad and dressing

    Sanitary products

    • Avoid waste by using reusable options eg. cups, period pants and washable pads
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Satellite navigation systems (GPS)

    Seafood (fish, prawns, etc.) (no oyster shells or cooked bones)

    Note: cooked bones and oyster shells need to be disposed of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Shelving units (metal frame)

    Shoes

    Shredded paper

    Smoke alarms

    Soft/flexible plastics (bags and wrappings)

    Note: these are not accepted in your recycling bin.

    Solar panels and energy storage systems

    Spoiled/off food

    Sporting goods

    Steel (e.g. food cans)

    Steel wool

    Sticks/twigs

    Stone fruit seed/stone

    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Straw (hay)

    Straws (plastic, disposable)

    • Avoid waste by carrying a metal or bamboo reuseable straw and declining a plastic straw
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Swimming pool salt bags (empty)

    Note: These are not accepted in your recycling bin.

    Syringes

    Note: never put syringes in any council bins.

    Tablets (for example iPads)

    Tea bags (100% natural fibres/paper)

    • Reduce waste by using loose-leaf tea and a refillable 'tea swag'
    • Recycle in your home compost bin or worm farm, compost bin, worm farm, Bokashi bin or green cone solar composter
    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Accepted brands: Clipper, T2, Natures Cuppa, Pukka, Tielka, Eloments, Love Tea, Zoetic Infusions, Lipton Quality Black and Intense traditional tea bags only - not whole Lipton range.

    Tea bags (all other brands)

    • Reduce waste by using loose-leaf tea and a refillable 'tea swag'
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Note: Most tea bags cannot go in your FOGO bin as they often contain plastic and synthetic materials.

    Tea (loose leaf)

    Televisions

    Terracotta pots and items

    • Reuse to grow seeds or re-pot new plants
    • Reuse by donating to community gardens or nurseries
    • Reuse clean items by donating to your local charity or op-shop
    • Dispose of damaged items in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Tetrapaks (for example, soy milk, long-life milk or juice cartons)

    Textiles

    Thermometers

    • Recycle by dropping off at Ecocycle in Cambellfield or Ringwood

    Thermostats

    Thorny offcuts (e.g. rose bushes)

    Tiles

    Timber and fencing

    • Reuse for other handy projects (example, building timber furniture) or give away
    • Reuse as firewood (untreated wood only)
    • Dispose of at the Boroondara Recycling and Waste Centre (fees apply)
    • Dispose of timber (up to 12 pieces, neatly stacked, up to 1.5 metres long) by booking a hard waste collection

    Note: fencing and renovation materials are not accepted as part of the hard waste collection.

    Tissues

    • Avoid waste by using cloth hankies
    • Recycle by adding to your compost bin
    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Toilet paper rolls

    Toner cartridges

    Tools

    Toothpaste tubes

    Tools (electronic or battery-operated)

    Towels

    Toys (plastic, no batteries)

    Toys (electronic or battery-operated)

    Tree prunings

    Tree roots (small - can be lifted by a single person)

    Tupperware

    Twigs

    Tyres (bicycle)

    • Reuse by fixing with a puncture repair kit or getting fixed at your local bike shop
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Tyres (car and motorbike)

    Vacuum cleaner dust (from wooden/tiled floors only)

    • Recycle in your home compost 
    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Vacuum cleaner dust (from carpeted floors)

    Note: dust from carpets contain micro-plastics and can’t be composted.

    Vacuum cleaners

    Vacuum cleaner hose

    Vegetables and offcuts

    • Avoid through smart shopping - plan ahead, write a list and stick to it. Store food correctly, use leftovers and keep track of your food supplies
    • Reuse by making a stock or soup
    • Recycle by feeding home chickens and pets (where appropriate)
    • Recycle by adding to your compost bin, worm farm, Bokashi bin or green cone solar composter
    • Recycle in your FOGO bin (lime green lid)

    Note: remove plastic stickers and dispose of these in your household waste bin (dark green lid).

    VHS covers

    VHS tapes

    Video cassette recorders (VCR)

    Video game consoles/devices

    Vinyl floor covering

    Watches

    Wax (from cheese, wine bottles or surfing)

    Weeds

    Wet wipes

    See Baby wipes.

    Whipper snippers

    Whitegoods

    Windows

    Wool

    • Reuse for sewing or craft projects
    • Reuse by donating to your local charity/op-shop
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (dark green lid)

    Wrapping paper (paper only)

    X-rays

    Yoghurt containers

    Zippers and sewing items