The small act of keeping your recycling loose has a big impact on how effectively recycling is collected, sorted and processed which means it can be transformed into new things like footpaths and roads.
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Just by putting your recycling in the bin loose and not in bags, you’ll be making it easier for councils and industry to collect, sort and process recycling. This means:
It’s a small act with a big impact on Victoria’s sustainable future.
Currently, 17% of Victorians put their recycling in plastic bags, making it a major contaminant in household recycling bins (Sustainability Victoria, Recycling Victoria Campaign Baseline Research, July 2021).
Contamination occurs when items that can’t be recycled are placed in the recycling bin. These non-recyclable items can prevent recycling from being processed and turned into new things. Contamination can even lead to an entire load of recycling being sent to landfill.
Recycling in plastic bags cannot be sorted at Material Recovery Facilities because:
Once full, tip the contents into your household recycling bin so that all items go in separately.
Waste and recycling services can change and differ between councils, so it is important to know what your council can accept. The easiest way to find this out is to check your council's waste and recycling advice.
Many items can still be recycled even if they don’t belong in your recycling bin. For example, batteries can be recycled by taking them to a drop-off point.
Highly toxic items, such as chemicals, should never be put in your rubbish bins or poured down the drain. Find out how to dispose of toxic household items.
Find out where you can take items that can’t go in your recycling or rubbish bin by visiting the Recycling Near You tool or Recycle Mate.
Rinsing and scraping food from containers can prevent smells and keep your recycling bin clean, which means you don’t need to use a bag to contain them.
There are many other easy ways to reduce waste and recycle more. Find a small act that works for you and be part of Victoria’s sustainable future.