Why recycle?

Workers sorting waste for recycling

Victorians are great recyclers, but we can do better by using less, wasting less and recycling more. Making the effort to recycle the right items through the right channels will help boost our resource recovery rate and achieve more for the environment.

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?

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. Take the time to remind yourself what can and can’t be recycled.

What you can (and can't) recycle

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

Logo for redcycle


RED Group has teamed up with Coles, Woolworths and some of Australia's most-loved brands to to run the REDcycle Program, making it easy for you to keep your plastic bags and soft plastic packaging out of landfill.

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