what can be recycled

What Can be Recycled?

As a rubbish removal company, we are often asked what can be recycled and what can’t. This post is intended to help clear that up so that you can avoid mixing recyclables and non-recyclables where possible. If you want to go greener with your waste disposal, read on for some useful info on this important topic.

Why Recycle?

While the modern world has made our human existence far more comfortable and longer living, we also produce more waste than any previous generation. Increasing the percentage of our waste that is recycled would also reduce pressure on demand for the extraction and processing of resources from nature. As the population grows, finding ways to minimise the negative impacts of human activity is a great thing to do in our lives.

Recyclable Materials

There are many every-day items made from materials that can be recycled. It is important to note that councils differ on what recycling services are available. To know exactly what can and can’t be recycled in your area, check with your local council. As new waste management technologies and initiatives come along, even more of our waste will be saved from landfill.

The following materials are currently able to be recycled in Victoria, depending on your council area.

Paper & Cardboard

Paper and cardboard is well supported for recycling in Victoria, with recycling centres operating all across Melbourne.

  • Paper: office paper, magazines, newspapers, envelopes and junk mail
  • Cardboard: moving boxes, cartons, non-plastic packaging, toilet rolls


Glass can be easily melted down and reused for a multitude of purposes, making it perfect for recycling. There is a well developed industry for glass recycling in Melbourne of which a large proportion is taken kerbside.

  • Bottles
  • Jars
  • Window panes, glass sheets

Scrap Metal

Most common metals can be recycled and the demand for scrap metal is good enough to actually get paid by the recycling centre. Copper being the most sought after (excluding precious metals such as gold, silver etc), a decent weight of scrap metal can fetch a few hundred dollars depending on the current price and the condition of your scrap.

  • Steel: wire, food (tin) cans, cooking oil tins, cookware, security screens
  • Copper: hot water pipes, electrical wire
  • Lead: car batteries
  • Aluminium: food & drink cans, foil, aerosol cans
  • Iron: cookware

Hard Plastics

Just about all hard plastic is recyclable in Victoria. These items are usually recycled from the kerbside bin.

  • Milk & juice cartons
  • Biscuit & food trays
  • Cleaning product bottles
  • Plant pots
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Containers

What Can’t be Recycled?

Unfortunately, not all materials can be recycled. What mostly can’t be recycled is soft plastic. Organic, biodegradable substances also can’t go in your municipal recycling bin. Soft plastics are perhaps the biggest challenge to the recycling industry, leading to the phasing out of light-weight plastic bags in Victoria.

  • Plastic bags or recyclables inside plastic bags
  • Takeaway coffee cups
  • Plastic straws
  • Toothbrushes & tubes
  • Rope
  • Disposable nappies
  • Green waste
  • Polystyrene (foam)
  • Plastic bubble wrap
  • Syringes or medical waste
  • Food or Dead animals
  • Oils
  • Ceramics, ovenware or light bulbs

Where Do Non-Recyclables Go?

Non-recyclable materials are typically separated from recyclables and end up in landfill. In 2017 it was reported that about two-thirds of the 12.8 million tonnes of waste generated in Victoria was recycled, with the remaining third going to landfill.

Rubbish Removal Service Melbourne

At It’s Done, caring about the environment is all part of the service. All rubbish removed is recycled where possible and we are always looking for new innovations in the waste management industry that can make recycling more efficient. Contact It’s Done on 9820 1927 or get a quote online for fast, efficient rubbish removal services.

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