What can and can't I recycle?

A list of what we can and can't accept, and advice on getting it right.

What can I recycle?

Recycle Right

The Recycle Right campaign aims to help you become a better recycler. This will help stop valuable resources from going to landfill, which saves energy and protects the environment. You can read more about the benefits of recycling in our Recycling FAQs.

Recycle right by doing these things:

We also have Recycling Quick Guide posters in English, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Greek and Hindi. If you want a hard copy of any of these, visit a Customer Service Centre or call 03 8470 8888 and ask us to mail one to you. Large print is available.

Recycling plastics

Hard plastic is any plastic that bounces back into shape when you try and scrunch it in your hand. You can recycle hard plastic items like:

  • milk bottles
  • soft drink bottles
  • ice cream tubs
  • takeaway containers
  • laundry and bathroom bottles
  • buckets
  • plant pots.

Soft plastic is any plastic that loses its shape when you scrunch it in your hand, like cling wrap, bread bags and chip wrappers. You can't recycle soft plastic items in your recycling bin. Take soft plastics to your closest REDcycle drop off point.

Tip: Don't let the triangle and number stamp on plastic products trick you. This only advises the type of resin the plastic product is made from, not whether it can be recycled.

Recycling paper and cardboard

Common paper and cardboard items that you can recycle include:

  • office paper
  • envelopes
  • pizza boxes
  • egg cartons
  • newspapers and magazines.

Recycling glass

Common glass items that you can recycle include jam jars and soft drink bottles.

You can't recycle any of these glass items (donate them if they are reusable, or place them in your general waste bin if they are broken):

  • drinking glasses
  • household glass (such as a vase)
  • Pyrex
  • mirrors
  • ceramics and crockery.

Recycling aluminium and steel

You can recycle any of these aluminium and steel items:

  • cans
  • tins
  • aerosol cans
  • foil trays
  • aluminium foil (rolled as large as a golf ball)

These items should be empty, but they don't need to be totally clean.

What can't I recycle?

You can't recycle:

  • plastic bags or any soft plastic that loses its shape when you scrunch it into a ball. This includes plastic wrap, bread bags, pasta packets, muesli bar wrappers and chip bags. Find out where to recycle soft plastics.
  • polystyrene (Styrofoam)
  • disposable coffee cups and lids
  • food scraps or green waste
  • fabric/clothing
  • foil-lined packaging (i.e. long life juice or milk)
  • light globes - these can be recycled at a Darebin Customer Service Centre Recycling Station
  • batteries- these can be recycled at a Darebin Customer Service Centre Recycling Station
  • electrical goods
  • ceramics, crockery or Pyrex
  • drinking glasses, wine glasses or window glass
  • mirror
  • nappies
  • tissues, napkins or paper towel
  • smoke detectors - up to 10 household smoke detectors can be disposed of in your household waste bin. For more than 10 smoke detectors, seek advice from the Department of Health
  • general waste.

Recycling tips

Here are some tips for recycling in Darebin:

  • Make sure you put your recycling in the bin loosely. If your recycling is in bags, the sorting facility may not sort it for you.
  • Recycling doesn't need to be squeaky clean. You can scrape any food and liquid out of containers and bottles, but you don't need to rinse them clean.
  • Squeeze, squash and flatten your recycling to fit more in your bin.
  • Don't put the wrong items in the recycling bin. It may not be collected if there are incorrect items inside.

More information

Customer service
Call: 03 8470 8888
Email: mailbox@darebin.vic.gov.au