Top 10 recycling tips

Brisbane City Council is committed to making Brisbane cleaner and greener by reducing waste to landfill. Recycling is a simple way you can help reduce your waste to landfill and keep material in circulation for longer. You can recycle a lot more than you think, using our top 10 recycling tips!

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. For more information, view our bin items page.

2. Look for the new Australasian Recycling Labels.

This is a standardised system that provides easy to understand recycling information.

Check an item for the Australasian Recycling Label to identify if it can be recycled.

Remember if an item doesn't have a label and is made from paper, cardboard, glass, metal, or plastic, it can probably be recycled.

3. Aerosol cans are recyclable.

You can safely dispose of empty aerosol cans and containers that previously held household chemicals in your recycling bin.

4. 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.

5. Use different bins to collect more.

Make collecting recyclables at home easier by placing recycling bins in your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry. Sorting your recyclables at the point of disposal will help you recycle more.

6. Containers do not need to be rinsed.

You don't need to rinse your containers before placing them in your recycling bin. Although rinsing reduces bin odours, unrinsed containers do not ruin a whole load of recycling.

7. Keep recyclables loose.

Throw loose items in your recycling bin. Don't put them inside a plastic bag. 

Plastic bags cannot be opened at the recycling facility for safety reasons, and all the goods inside are sent to landfill.

8. 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 and prevents material from going to landfill.

9. Know when to remove the lids from containers and bottles.

Only remove the lids from containers and bottles when returning these items to a container refund point. Otherwise, leave the lids on when placing items in your recycling bin.

10. Only glass jars and bottles are suitable for recycling.

Glass jars and bottles can be placed in your recycling bin, however lids cannot be recycled. Remove lids and place them in your general waste bin.

Drinking glasses, ceramics and heat-proof glass (e.g. Pyrex) cannot be recycled as they melt at different temperatures. Put these items in your general waste bin.

More information

Find out what you can and can't put in your general waste, recycling, and green bin on our bin items page.

The information included in this blog is also available on Council's free Brisbane bin and recycling app. This app can help you:

  • learn what to put in your recycling bin
  • remember your bin collection days
  • find out about Council's waste and resource recovery centres and services.

**This article was updated in October 2021.**

Date posted:
Last updated: 21 October 2021
Topics: green