What you can (and can't) recycle

Recycling is important, but how we recycle is equally important.

Workers sorting waste for recycling

Putting the wrong items in the wrong bins can result in all sorts of problems once your recycling has been collected.

What can be recycled?

The guide below shows the items that are recyclable everywhere in Victoria.

It's important to note that recycling services differ from council to council. Check with your council for the full list of items that can be recycled in your area.

Recyclable in your home recycling bin


  • Aerosol cans (including deodorant)
  • Aluminium foil baking trays
  • Baby formula tins
  • Cooking oil tins
  • Food and drink cans
  • Pet food cans

Paper and cardboard

  • Butcher / Deli paper
  • Cartons (milk, juice, etc.)
  • Cereal boxes
  • Envelopes
  • Junk mail, newspapers and magazines
  • Paper plates
  • Phone books
  • Pizza boxes
  • Toilet rolls
  • Wrapping paper
  • Washing powder boxes


  • Bottles and jars (food, drink, vitamins and medicine)


  • Cake and biscuit trays*
  • Cleaning product bottles
  • Deodorant (roll on)*
  • Drink bottles (juice, milk)
  • Punnets (berry, vegetable)
  • Shampoo, conditioner and soap bottles (including pumps)
  • Sports drink bottles (reusable)*
  • Take away food containers*
  • Yoghurt containers

* Accepted in most areas – check with your local council.

Recyclable at other sites

Not recyclable in your home recycling bin

  • Pens
  • Broken crockery, glass homewares, Pyrex

The top items we get wrong

Coffee cups

In most areas of Victoria, the hard plastic lid can be recycled but the coffee cup itself should be put in the rubbish bin. Most cups are a mix of plastic and paper and only a few councils in Victoria can currently collect them for recycling. Check with your council or better still, take a reusable cup!

Plastic bags

Recycle by taking them to a REDcycle plastic bag collection bin at your local Coles or Woolworths supermarket.

Please note: REDcycle can only accept Glad brand cling wrap.

Some local councils can accept plastic bags in your household recycling bin – check your council website for details. A better option is to carry a reusable bag to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags.


Recyclable when scrunched in a ball larger than a golf ball, which allows the foil to be sorted correctly. Aluminium is almost indefinitely recyclable.

Soft plastics (plastic wrappers)

Any soft plastic that can be scrunched into a ball can be recycled along with your plastic bags at the sites mentioned above. Buying products without excess plastic packaging or using reusable containers will help to reduce plastic waste.