Why it matters
The kerbside recycling bin was introduced in Australia in the 1980’s to help recover used paper and packaging from households that is suitable for re-manufacturing into new products and, importantly, to reduce the amount of material sent to landfills. Effective recycling also plays a significant role in reducing society’s reliance on using new resources for the manufacture of products.
What happens to your household recycling?
Your household recycling bin contents are collected and delivered to a Materials Recovery Facility (often referred to as a MRF). Visy owned or managed MRFs receive and sort recycling from over 3.8 million households each year.
At a Visy MRF, your recycling is then sorted, using manual and automated systems, into material groups including cardboard and paper, glass, plastics and metals like food cans and beverage cans. The sorted material is baled ready for further processing and re-manufacture, primarily within Visy’s own operations.
On average, Visy’s re-manufacturing operations has a solution for over 80% of kerbside recycling bin contents. These contents are routinely processed and primarily re-made into new packaging products, by Visy, right here in Australia and New Zealand.
With over 20 recycling operation sites across the region, we receive more than 2 million tonnes of recyclables each year. That’s the equivalent of 400,000 loads of recycling in five tonne collection trucks – more than 1,095 truckloads every single day!
Read more about our circular economy model on recyclable materials here.
acceptable items to place in your household recycling bin
It can be confusing to know what is and isn’t accepted in your household recycling bin. While the majority of household paper and packaging is the same from council to council, the differences can be due to the sorting and processing capabilities of the waste recovery facility your recycling goes to. If you’re not sure, a great first place to check is with your local council.
If your recycling is sent to a Visy MRF, then the following is our guide for what can be placed in your household recycling bin.
Anything not listed, please check with your local council.
Paper and Cardboard
Envelopes (even with windows)
Printed paper (even with staples)
Large packaging boxes (not waxed)
Magazines (no soft plastic wrapping)
Sauce bottles and jars
Condiment & food jars
Milk & beverage bottles
Ice cream containers
Why certain items are not accepted for recycling
The MRF processing systems for household recycling is intended to help recover materials discarded in the home that can be re-processed for re-use. As a general rule, this means used paper products and packaging commonly found in your kitchen, bathroom and laundry.
While other used items may be able to be recycled, they do not belong in the household recycling bin as the MRFs are not able to sort and collect these and may end up in landfill rather than finding a new life. Your local council will be able to help with other, specialist recycling services in those cases.
When incorrect types of materials end up in kerbside recycling bins they can impact the readily recyclable material that is able to be processed. This can reduce how much material can be effectively recovered for re-use.
Issues also arise when hazardous items are placed in household recycling bins, creating a risk to the safety of collections and sorting teams.
The following list is a good start to learn what you should not place in your recycling bins if the contents are being sent to a Visy MRF. Please also check with your local council for more information.
*Check with your council as dedicated, specialist recycling programs may exist.
Batteries and electronics
Electrical electronic items
Garden and organics
Download our handy reference for your home, school or workplace kitchen Household Recycling guide.