Bin items

Brisbane City Council has three different bins for household waste disposal:

  1. General waste
  2. Recycling
  3. Green waste.

Use this page to find out what you can put in each of these bins and what household items you can take to Council's resource recovery centres.

What can I put in my bins?

General waste bin 

This table contains information on what can and can't be put in your general waste bin.
Yes, place these items in No, don't place these items in
  • baking paper, napkins, tissues, toilet paper
  • clothing and textiles
  • coffee pods1
  • crockery and ceramics
  • chopsticks
  • dead animals (small only - e.g. possum, toad)2
  • disposable nappies
  • drinking glasses
  • fluorescent tube (limited to one tube wrapped tightly in newspaper, or placed in the original box)
  • foam
  • food scraps
  • heatproof dishes (e.g. Pyrex)
  • light bulbs
  • mirrors and (broken) window glass
  • polystyrene (expanded foam - e.g. cups, trays, packaging)
  • soft plastics (e.g. plastic bags, food wrappers, bubble wrap)3
  • surgical face masks
  • washing-up sponges

1 Nespresso offers a coffee pod recycling program and Terracycle also recycles a number of coffee pod brands.

2 Animals larger than the size of a possum cannot be placed in the general waste bin. Phone Council on 07 3403 8888 to request collection of a dead animal

3 Soft plastics can be dropped off in the soft plastic recycling bins at the front of major supermarkets. Check the list on the REDcycle website to find what soft plastics can go in these bins and where they are located.

You can recycle your e-waste with a number of e-waste recycling service providers including our resource recovery centres, Ecycle Solutions, MobileMuster, and Officeworks.

Make sure you close your bin lid.

Recycling bin 

This table includes information about what items can and can't be placed in your recycling bin.
Yes, place these items in No, don't place these items in
  • Cardboard boxes and packaging
    • cardboard (including corrugated cardboard)
    • cereal boxes and egg cartons
    • coffee cups (cardboard)
    • laundry detergent boxes
    • long-life milk, fruit juice cartons
    • manilla folders
    • pizza boxes (greasy stains are acceptable, food scraps to be removed)
    • removalist boxes
    • tissue boxes and toilet rolls
  • Firm plastic containers and bottles
    • biscuit, sushi trays
    • cleaning product bottles (domestic only)
    • coffee cup lids
    • disposable plastic plates and cups
    • laundry liquid bottles
    • margarine containers
    • milk, juice, cordial bottles
    • shampoo and conditioner bottles
    • soft drink bottles5
    • strawberry and other berry/fruit punnet containers
    • takeaway containers
    • yoghurt tubs
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Paper
    • envelopes (including window envelopes)
    • glossy magazines
    • greeting cards
    • junk mail and brochures
    • newspapers
    • notepaper and scrap paper
    • office paper (white and coloured)
    • paper bags
    • phone books
    • receipts
    • wrapping and packaging paper
  • Steel and aluminium
    • aerosol cans (empty)
    • aluminium foil, including pie trays
    • food cans (aluminium or steel)
    • soft drink cans5
    • paint tins (empty and dry)
  • Biopack cups and containers (biodegradable hard plastics)
  • bread clips
  • broken glasses
  • chopsticks
  • coffee pods9
  • computers and televisions*
  • corks
  • crockery, pots, pans and heatproof dishes (e.g. Pyrex)
  • drinking glasses
  • e-waste (batteries, compact discs, DVDs, fluorescent tubes, kitchen appliances)6
  • food waste
  • garden waste, including timber, bricks and soil
  • gas bottles, helium tanks, and other hazardous material
  • hangers (plastic, metal)
  • hard plastic compact disc cases
  • helium tanks
  • ink cartridges7
  • light bulbs
  • mirrors, window glass
  • nappies
  • needles, syringes
  • plant pots*
  • polystyrene (expanded foam - e.g. cups, trays, packaging)
  • solar panels *
  • soft plastics (bubble wrap, chip plastics, shopping bags, zip lock bags)8
  • surgical face masks
  • textiles (clothes, fabric, linen, towels)
  • toilet paper, tissues, wax-coated paper (baking paper) and wax-coated boxes

5 Most aluminium, glass, plastic, steel, and liquid paperboard drink containers are eligible for the 10 cent refund under the Containers for Change program. You will be asked to remove the lids so you can recycle these separately. Lids4Kids Australia provides a recycling option for plastic lids.

6 You can recycle your e-waste with a number of e-waste recycling service providers including:

7 Return your cartridge to the supplier/manufacturer for a refill.

8 Soft plastics can be dropped off in the soft plastic recycling bins at the front of major supermarkets. Check the list on the REDcycle website to find what soft plastics can go in these bins and where they are located.

9 Terracycle, Nespresso and other specialist recyclers offer coffee pod recycling programs.

10 EcoActive is a solar panel recycling solution where you can book a collection for your old solar panels.

11 Check with your local garden centre/nursery whether they accept plastic plant pot returns. Keeping them in circulation for longer is preferable.

Keep lids on

Leave lids on bottles, containers and jars when placing them in your recycling bin. Plastic bottles and containers can be crushed or squashed with the lids on them. This helps to free up space in your recycling bin and ensures the lid is recycled with the bottle.

When lids are not attached to bottles, they are too small to be processed and are therefore discarded to landfill.

More information

Ensure that you empty bottles and containers before placing them in your recycling bin. It's not necessary to wash them first.

If you have additional recycling waste, your can:

Watch the recycling video on the Visy website.

Download the free Brisbane Bin and Recycling app to find out how to improve your recycling habits at home.

Green waste recycling bin 

This table contains information about what you can and can't put in your green waste recycling bin.
Yes to these items No to these items
  • grass clippings (offcuts, roots, tubers)
  • flowers and foliage
  • leaves and loose bark
  • prunings from shrubs and trees
  • palm fronds (cut into small pieces)
  • weeds (including ivy, creepers, vines)

Note - green waste should be no larger than 10 centimetres in diameter and 75 centimetres in length.

  • chopsticks
  • excrement, faeces, droppings (pet, poultry)
  • general waste
  • gardening tools and equipment (gloves, hoses, wire, pots, stakes)
  • kitchen waste, including fruit and vegetable scraps
  • large logs, heavy branches, stumps
  • potting mix bags
  • plastic bags filled with green waste (all other plastic bags)
  • recyclable items 
  • rocks, stones, bricks
  • soil
  • treated timber (construction materials, wooden furniture)

For more information, view our Green waste recycling service page.

Help us wipe out weeds with tips on how to control weeds on Council's online weed identification tool.

For large volumes of green waste, consider using a garden bag collection service. Visit the Garden Bag Group website to find providers in your area.

Do not put green waste in a plastic bag before placing it in your green waste recycling bin. 

Council's resource recovery centres also accept green waste.


To maximise recycling and waste recovery efforts, consider installing signs near bins in your workplace or apartment complex to show what can and can't be placed in bins.

You could also use these signs – or make your own – for your home, to make sorting easier into your:

  • red lid bin (general waste)
  • yellow lid bin (recycle waste)
  • resource recovery centres (e-waste, textiles etc)
  • charity shops (clothes, furniture etc)
  • supermarkets (soft plastics)
  • 10 cents bottle returns.

And any other place that takes materials for reusing, sharing, upcycling or recycling.

Resource recovery centres

You can drop off a wide range of recyclable items for free at the recycling shed at any of Council's four resource recovery centres.

Last updated: 16 November 2021