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Why recycle?

Workers sorting waste for recycling

Recycling is one of the easiest things you can do to help the environment. By making products from recycled materials instead of virgin materials we:

  • reduce landfill
  • save energy
  • conserve natural resources
  • minimise the amount of greenhouse gases created in the production of new materials.

Benefits of recycling

Protect natural habitats

Recycling reduces the amount of raw materials such as oil and iron ore being extracted from the environment. Making products and packaging from recycled materials uses less of these raw materials, as well as natural resources like wood and fresh water.

Reduce air and water pollution

The extraction, refinement and processing of raw materials generates air and water pollution. Recycling minimises these processes and therefore, pollution.

Save energy

Recycling reduces energy expenditure that results from the extraction, refinement, transportation and processing of raw materials into products. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Reduce landfill

Recycling decreases the amount of rubbish sent to landfill and reduces the need for new waste disposal facilities.

Help communities and the economy

Encouraging innovation and creating jobs in the recycling industry, supports our communities and our country's economy.

Savings generated by recycling

Recycling as much of your household waste as possible will help save precious resources. Each year kerbside recycling in Victoria:

  • Saves over 11,000 megalitres of water – that's enough water to fill more than 4,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools
  • Prevents 386,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere – this is equivalent to taking more than 64,000 cars off the road for one year
  • Recycling just six aluminium cans you can save enough energy to offset the carbon emissions from a 10km journey in an average-size car, a 17km bus ride or 25km train trip
  • Every tonne of steel recycled saves 1,131kg of iron ore, 633kg of coal and 54kg of limestone
  • Recycling one glass jar saves enough energy to power a 100-watt light bulb for four hours, or a fluorescent bulb for 20 hours
  • Recycling one tonne of paper saves three cubic metres of landfill space
  • Recycling one plastic drink bottle saves enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.

Why recycle right?

Putting the wrong items in the wrong bins can result in all sorts of problems once your recycling has been collected and taken to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). You might be surprised by how much you can recycle, but a little contamination with the wrong items and the whole lot could end up in landfill. Make sure you know what you can recycle.


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Household paint, batteries and fluorescent lights can be dropped off for free. Check with your local council for details.

Find your council