Recycling is changing for the better

Last updated: 14 April 2023

Victoria’s recycling system is undergoing significant changes. The Victorian Government is improving household waste and recycling services and facilities. More recovered resources than ever before will make new products from your recycling. This means the recycling services in your local area could be changing soon. Some councils have already introduced separate services, while others have planned for them.

New recycling services and supporting facilities will help divert 80% of waste from landfill by 2030.

Why we need new bins

How we manage our waste and recycling at home is crucial to supporting Victoria’s sustainable future.

These improvements, like the introduction of new bins and services for glass and food and garden organics, means more new products can be created, such as mulch, compost, glass jars and even roads.

The transition to a consistent household waste and recycling system across the state also means the processing of recyclable materials is cleaner and less contaminated.

Contamination occurs when waste and recycling items are placed in the wrong bin, which can prevent recycling being processed and turned into new products. Contamination risks worker safety and could lead to an entire load of recycling being sent to landfill.

Reducing contamination by correctly sorting our recycling has positive effects for all Victorians and our environment, as less waste goes to landfill and environmental impacts of using new or raw materials are reduced.

New recycling services and facilities

In the coming years, new bins and drop-off services are being introduced at different times across Victoria for glass recycling and food and garden organics (food scraps and garden clippings).

Glass recycling services

Glass does not degrade through the recycling process, so it can be recycled over and over. Broken glass can get caught in other recyclables making items like cardboard, paper and plastic hard to recycle.

By putting your glass bottles and jars in a separate bin or taking them to a drop-off point, more glass can be recycled into new jars and bottles. It also reduces contamination in your mixed recycling bin ensuring other recyclables can be recovered effectively, improving the quality and value of these materials to be turned into new products.

Food and garden organics services

By putting your food scraps and garden clippings in the food and garden organics bin, we can almost halve the amount of waste sent to landfill. This means your food scraps can be turned into valuable garden resources, such as mulch or compost often used in community gardens or at local parks and farms.

City of Melbourne successfully introduced a food and garden organics collection service to 23,000 households and low-rise apartments across the municipality that resulted in more than 2,368 tonnes of organic waste diverted from landfill.

Food thrown into your rubbish bin ends up in landfill:

  • creating more greenhouse gases
  • affecting air quality and public health
  • contributing to climate change.

Not in any bin

The following items do not go in any bin at home:

  • e-waste (electronic waste), such as power cords, plugs and batteries of any kind
  • chemicals or hazardous waste
  • building waste, soil or rubble

Contact your local council to find out how to dispose of these items.

Supporting facilities

The Victorian Government is investing almost $100 million in new or improved recycling infrastructure to locally process more recycling than ever before. By putting the right thing in the right bin, you are helping transform your recycling into new products, like planter boxes and mulch.

At the Coolaroo Paper Mill, new drum pulper technology is turning 40% more of your paper and cardboard into new paper-based products, from cardboard boxes to plasterboard lining used in construction.

How the changes impact you

Councils and alpine resorts are carefully considering the following:

  • household storage space
  • collection frequency
  • costs to ratepayers
  • recycling services suited to the local area.

Recycling services will differ from council to council until the new statewide system is in place. This includes the services available to you and what goes into each bin. Make sure to check your local council website for details.

Recycling correctly helps keep valuable resources out of landfill so that they can be used again and again. This reduces the production of new or raw materials and supports our transition to a circular economy.

They might seem small, but your actions make a big impact on Victoria’s sustainable future.

Find small acts that work for you

Get ready for new recycling services, find out how to reduce waste and check that you're sorting recycling and waste correctly by undertaking a few small acts.