Paper and cardboard - let's get it in the right bin, Brisbane!

Every year 27,000 tonnes of paper and cardboard ends up in landfill in Brisbane simply because it went in the wrong bin. By recycling at home, we can ensure valuable resources are recovered instead of wasted in landfill. Best of all, the paper and cardboard you recycle today can be recycled into new cardboard and paper products right here in Brisbane. So, when your next online shopping order arrives, be sure to put any paper or cardboard packaging (including boxes and paper padded post packs) in your recycling bin.

What happens to my paper waste?

Once you place your bins on the kerb for collection, your recycling is collected by Council's dedicated fleet of recycling trucks and taken for sorting at Visy's material recovery facility in Brisbane.

The recycling is then sorted into different types of materials such as metal, glass and firm plastics to be reprocessed into various products. All paper, magazine, cardboard and cardboard packaging material is pulped and recycled onsite at Visy's paper mill. Once processed, the recycled material is given a second life as cardboard boxes and other packaging.

Top five tips to become a better recycler

We've compiled our top five tips to become a better recycler.

1. Identify recyclable items around the house.

Recycling is easy if you remember that paper, cardboard, firm flexible plastic, metal (aluminium and steel), and glass can be put in your household recycling bin.

You can also check items for the Australasian Recycling Label to help identify if it can be recycled.

2. Trust the process.

Do your best to decide if an item can be recycled and trust in Council's state-of-the-art recycling system. Brisbane residents are great recyclers, with only 10% of non-recyclables incorrectly placed in recycling bins.

3. Use different bins to collect more.

Make collecting recyclables at home easier by placing a bin for recyclables in your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry. Sorting your recyclables at the point of disposal may help you recycle more.

4. Don't forget that every little bit counts.

Even making the effort to recycle one or two extra items each week, such as the junk mail from the letterbox or the empty air freshener can from the bathroom, helps conserve precious resources from going to landfill.

5. Upgrade to a larger recycling bin

If you find that your house produces more recycling than comfortably fits in your recycling bin each fortnight, upgrade to a larger recycling bin to increase your recycling capacity.

Paper and cardboard items that can be recycled

Here is your quick go-to list of common paper and cardboard items that can be recycled:

  • cereal boxes and other cardboard from food packaging
  • corrugated cardboard packing boxes
  • egg cartons
  • gift wrapping
  • glossy magazines
  • junk mail
  • laundry detergent boxes
  • milk and juice cartons
  • newspapers
  • papers from your home office (even window-faced envelopes)
  • phone books
  • pizza boxes (even with a little bit of cheese)
  • shredded paper, along long as it is in a cardboard box
  • toilet rolls

Paper and cardboard items that can't be recycled

Here are the paper and carboard items you need to keep out of your recycling bin.

  • padded envelopes with bubble wrap on the inside
  • paper towels
  • photographs
  • tissues and nappies (Not only is it unhygienic for items containing bodily fluids to be processed alongside recyclables, the paper fibres are too short to recover effectively.) 
  • toilet paper
  • wax-coated cardboard boxes (the wax makes it too difficult to recover paper fibres)
  • wax paper (like baking paper)

Related links

Date posted:
Last updated: 28 September 2021
Topics: green