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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.

 

Smarter ways to reduce waste 

There's always a better way to deal with waste items. We can reduce our overall waste by making better choices when shopping and by reusing items in creative ways to lengthen their life before recycling it. Keep this simple order in mind: avoid, reduce, reuse, recycle/compost, disposal.

In addition to guidance on recycling, composting and waste disposal, you'll see some handy tips on how you can reuse items and avoid creating waste.

Have something to add?

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

Recycling tips

Discover the Recycle Coach app.

Aerosol cans (empty)

Aluminium foil (clean, roll in a ball)

Appliances

Asbestos

Bamboo

Band-aids

Barbecues (mostly metal)

Batteries (car, alkaline, NiMH, NiCad)

Blankets

Blankets (electric)

Books

Bottle tops (metal or plastic)

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 bags (plastic)

Bread tags

Bubble wrap

Bricks or rubble/building materials

Cameras

Cans (steel or aluminium)

Car batteries

Car/auto parts

Cardboard (unwaxed)

Cardboard (waxed - i.e. fruit boxes)

  • Avoid waxed cardboard if possible
  • Reuse for as long as possible e.g. for storing items in the shed
  • Dispose of in your household waste bin (green bin/green lid, weekly collection)

Carpet/carpet underlay

Cartridges (printer/toner)

Cat poo (all pet poo)

CDs

  • Reuse by stringing up in your garden to deter pests or for craft projects
  • Dispose of in your household waste bin (green bin/green lid, weekly collection)

CD cases (plastic)

CD players

Cellophane

Ceramics

Cereal boxes

Cereal box plastic bags

Chemicals (household)

Chip packets (foil-lined plastic)

Chocolate wrappers (foil-lined plastic)

    Cigarette butts

    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (green bin/green lid, weekly collection)
    • Tip: Carry a pocket ashtray to collect your butts to prevent littering

    Cleaning rags  

    Cling wrap/plastic wrap

    Clothing (good condition)

    Clothing (damaged)

    • Reuse as rags at home
    • Some retailers accept used clothing (including old and damaged items) for recycling - for more information, see H&M Group and Zara
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (green bin/green lid, weekly collection)

    Coat hangers (plastic or metal)

    Coffee grounds

    • Reuse by adding to soil to increase soil acidity (e.g. for blueberry plants)
    • Recycle in your compost or worm farm

    Coffee cups and lids (disposable)

    • Avoid waste by carrying a reusable coffee cup or by dining in
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (green bin/green lid, weekly collection)

    Coffee pods

    • Avoid waste by using ground coffee
    • Avoid waste by using reusable coffee pods
    • Recycle through the Terracycle website. Search 'pods' to identify those you can recycle

    Computers, parts and accessories

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

    Corks

    Crockery 

    Curtain rods (metal)

    Curtains

    Cutlery (plastic)

    • Avoid waste by using reusable cutlery or compostable corn starch cutlery
    • Reuse by washing and reusing until no longer usable
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (green bin/green lid, weekly collection)

    Cutlery (cornstarch)

    Detergent bottles (plastic)

    Disposable plates (plastic, clean)

    Dog poo (all pet poo)

    Doors (metal)

    Doors (timber)

    DVDs

    DVD players

    Egg cartons (cardboard)

    Electric scooters (mobility)

    Electric toothbrush

    Electrical appliances (small)

    Electrical appliances (medium and large)

    Electrical cords and cables

    Electronic cigarettes (liquid cartridge removed)

    Envelopes (paper)

    Fencing

    Flexible plastics (bags and soft plastics)

    Fluorescent tubes

    Flyscreens

    Foam underlay

    Food waste

    • Avoid waste 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 some of your food waste in your compost bin or worm farm
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (green bin/green lid, weekly collection)

    Fridges/freezers

    Fruit and vegetable scraps

    Fruit net bags (plastic)

    • Avoid waste by buying fruit loose and using your own bags
    • Reuse as a scourer for cleaning
    • Recycle at a REDcycle collection point

    Frying pan

    Frying pan (electric)

    Furniture

    Garden waste (green waste)

    Gas bottles and canisters

    Glass bottles

    Glasses (spectacles/sunglasses)

    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 (green bin/green lid, weekly collection)

    House wiring

    Household chemicals

    Ice cream containers/lids (plastic)

    Inverters (power inverter)

    Irons (clothes irons)

    Jar lids (metal or plastic)

    Jars (glass or plastic)

    Juice cartons (tetrapak, foil-lined)

    Kitty litter

    Lamps

    Laptops

    Lawn mowers

    Leaf blowers

    Leaves/grass clippings

    Light bulbs/tubes

    Lolly wrappers (plastic)

    Lolly wrappers (plastic with foil)

    Lunch boxes (plastic)

    Massage chairs

    Massage mats/pads (electric)

    Mattresses

    Meat scraps

    Meat trays (plastic, washed)

    • Recycle in your recycling bin (blue bin/yellow lid, collected weekly)
    • Note: do not put polystyrene trays in your recycling bin

    Medicines (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

    Medicine bottle (glass or plastic, empty)

    Mobile phones

    Mobile phone charges

    Modems

    Musical instruments

    Musical instruments (electrical)

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

    Motor oil container (empty)

    Napkins (paper)

    • Avoid waste by using reusable cloth napkins
    • Recycle by tearing into small pieces and adding to your compost bin
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (green bin/green lid, weekly collection)

    Nappies (disposable, wrapped)

    • Avoid waste by using cloth or reusable nappies
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (green bin/green lid, weekly collection)

    Ovens/stoves

    Paint

    Paint tins (dry)

    Pallets

    Paper (newspapers, magazines, office paper)

    Paper towels

    • Avoid waste by using reusable cloth napkins
    • Recycle by tearing into small pieces and adding to your compost bin
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (green bin/green lid, weekly collection)

    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)

    Photographs

    Photograph negatives

    Photographic slides (with cardboard edges)

    Pillows

    Pizza boxes (tops - clean)

    Pizza boxes (bases - oily)

    • Recycle by tearing into small pieces and add to your compost bin
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (green bin/green lid, weekly collection)

    Plant pots (plastic)

    Plasterboard

    Plastic bags

    Plastic bottles (wash and squash)

    Plastic containers

    Plastic wrappers and soft packaging

    Polystyrene/styrofoam (white, solid only)

    • Avoid waste by avoiding excessively packaged products (e.g. refuse polystyrene hot drink cups and food and take-away packaging and take your own reusable cup and containers)
    • Recycle at the Boroondara Recycling and Waste Centre (residents only)

    Pots and pans (metal)

    Power boards

    Printer cartridges

    Printers/scanners/photocopiers

    Pump

    Pyrex

    Radios

    Records (music)

    Remotes

    Reusable bags (plastic)

    Rubber bands

    Satellite navigation systems (GPS)

    Shelving units (metal frame)

    Shoes

    Smoke alarms

    Soft drink bottles or cans

    Solar panels and energy storage systems

    Sporting goods

    Steel (e.g. food cans)

    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 (green bin/green lid, weekly collection)

    Syringes

    Tablets (e.g. iPads)

    Tea bags

    Televisions

    Textiles

    Thermostats

    Tiles

    Timber and fencing

    Tissues

    • Avoid waste by using cloth hankies
    • Recycle by adding to your compost bin
    • Dispose of in your household waste bin (green bin/green lid, weekly collection)

    Toilet paper rolls

    Toner cartridges

      Tools

      Tools (electronic or battery-operated)

      Towels

      Toys (plastic, no batteries)

      Toys (electronic or battery-operated)

      Tree prunings

      Tree roots (can be lifted by a single person)

      Tupperware

      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 (green bin/green lid, weekly collection)

      Tyres (car and motorbike)

      Vacuum cleaner dust (wrapped)

      • Recycle in your compost (except dust from carpets as they contain micro-plastics)
      • Dispose of in your household waste bin (green bin/green lid, weekly collection)

      Vacuum cleaner (body only)

      Vacuum cleaner hose

      Vegetable scraps

      VHS tapes

      VHS covers

      Video cassette recorders (VCR)

      Video game consoles/devices

      Vinyl floor covering

      Watches

      Weeds

      Whipper snippers

      Whitegoods

      Windows

      Wrapping paper (paper only)

      X-rays

      Yoghurt containers