Recycling bins

Victorians are great recyclers, but we can always improve.

Approximately 450,000 wheelie bins full of recycling end up in landfill each week, which means 300,000 bins in Metropolitan Melbourne alone.

There are three main types of kerbside waste and recycling bins:

Recycling bin (yellow lid)

Recycling binIn most parts of Melbourne and Victoria the recycling bin has a yellow lid, but there are some exceptions.

Items that should definitely go in your recycling bin include:

  • aerosol cans
  • aluminium trays and foil (scrunched)
  • envelopes (including those with plastic windows)
  • glass, plastic, paper and metal (with exceptions)
  • metal pots and cutlery
  • pizza boxes (with no food waste).

Garden bin

Garden waste bin (green lid)

In most parts of Melbourne and Victoria the garden waste bin has a green lid, but not all areas have garden waste bins. Ideally we should compost our garden waste where possible, but a garden waste bin is the next best option.

Items that should definitely go in your recycling bin include:

  • garden prunings
  • grass and leaves
  • small branches
  • weeds and flowers.

Household garbage (red lid)

General rubbish binIn most parts of Melbourne and Victoria the household garbage bin has a red lid. Before putting anything into your household garbage bin, check what can be recycled or needs to be disposed of safely.

Items that should definitely go in this bin include:

  • ceramics, crockery and glassware that can't be donated to your local charity shop
  • nappies (wrapped)
  • polystyrene foam (some local councils have a drop off service for polystyrene)
  • unavoidable food waste (if you don't have a compost bin).

It's important that you learn the bin lid colours in your council area, as well as those in any areas where you stay regularly, such as holiday houses and the homes of friends and family. Remember, a little contamination in the wrong bin can mean it all goes to landfill.


Panorama of Yarra Glen amongst green fields of the Yarra Valley

Council waste and recycling

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

Find your council


Logo for Planet Ark and Recycling Near You

Recycling Near You

Planet Ark's Recycling Near You site offers information about the recycling and waste services offered by your council as well as local drop-off options for items including computers, batteries, printer cartridges and mobile phones.

Visit the Recycling near you website