Bin items

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

  1. Recycling
  2. Green waste
  3. Landfill (general waste).

Use this page to find out what you can put in, and keep out, of each type of Council bin.

What can I put in my bins?

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
    • 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
    • margarine containers
    • milk, juice, cordial bottles
    • shampoo and conditioner bottles
    • soft drink bottles1
    • strawberry and other fruit punnet containers
    • takeaway containers
    • yoghurt tubs
  • Glass bottles and jars
    • beer, wine and spirits bottles1
    • beverage bottles
    • jam jars
    • sauce bottles and jars
    • vitamin 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 cans1
    • paint tins (empty and dry)
  • Biopak cups and containers (biodegradable hard plastics)
  • bread clips
  • coat hangers (plastic, metal)
  • coffee cups (cardboard) and pods2
  • corks (suitable for home composting)
  • crockery, pots, pans and heatproof dishes (e.g. Pyrex)
  • drinking glasses
  • e-waste (batteries, CDs, DVDs, fluorescent tubes, kitchen appliances)2
  • food waste
  • garden waste, including timber, bricks and soil
  • gas bottles, helium tanks, and other hazardous material
  • hard plastic items (CD cases, plastic plant pots, Tupperware containers)3
  • helium tanks
  • ink cartridges4
  • light bulbs
  • mirrors, window glass
  • nappies
  • needles, syringes
  • polystyrene (expanded foam - e.g. cups, trays, packaging)5
  • rubber items
  • soft plastics (bubble wrap, chip packaging, plastic shopping bags, zip lock bags)
  • surgical face masks
  • textiles (clothes, fabric, linen, towels)
  • toilet paper, tissues, wax-coated paper (baking paper) and wax-coated boxes
  • toothpaste tubes6

1 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.

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

3 Hard plastics can be recycled at Council's resource recovery centres.

4 Return your cartridge to the supplier/manufacturer for a refill or drop off for recycling at your local Officeworks store.

5 Clean polystyrene can be recycled at Council's resource recovery centres. Polystyrene trays cannot be recycled, this includes black trays often used for meat, fruit and vegetables. Avoid this type of packaging by buying loose produce.

6 Toothpaste tubes can be dropped off for recycling with TerraCycle.

Keep lids on

Leave lids on

Leave lids on plastic bottles and containers when placing them in your recycling bin. Plastic bottles and containers should be squashed to let the air out first before the lids are placed back on. This helps to free up space in your recycling bin and ensures the lid is recycled with the bottle.

Take lids off

Take lids off bin items when they are made from a different material to the container (e.g. metal lid on a glass jar). Both the lids and the container can be recycled.

Lids that are too small to be processed at the recovery facility are discarded to landfill.

More information

Empty bottles and containers before placing them in your recycling bin. You don't have to wash them out.

If you have additional recycling, you 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 at home.

Other tools to help you recycle more

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 10cm in diameter and 75cm in length.

  • excrement, faeces, droppings (pet, poultry)
  • fruit and vegetable waste
  • gardening tools and equipment (gloves, hoses, wire, pots, stakes)
  • hard plastics (food containers, plant pots, bottles)
  • large logs, heavy branches, stumps
  • paper (all types including paper towel, tissue paper, deli paper, newspaper, cardboard)
  • recyclable items 
  • rocks, stones, bricks, soil
  • soft plastics (bags, food wrappers)
  • timber (wooden furniture, floorboards, timber offcuts)

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. 

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.

General waste bin 

This table contains information on what can and can't be put in your landfill (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 pods7
  • dead animals (small only - e.g. possum, toad)8
  • disposable nappies
  • drinking glasses
  • fluorescent tube (limited to one tube wrapped tightly in newspaper, or placed in the original box)
  • food scraps
  • heatproof dishes (e.g. Pyrex)
  • light bulbs
  • medicines9
  • mirrors and (broken) window glass
  • polystyrene/styrofoam (expanded foam - e.g. cups, trays, packaging)10
  • needles and syringes (secured inside a sealed container)
  • soft plastics (e.g. plastic bags, food wrappers, bubble wrap)
  • surgical face masks
  • toothpaste tubes11
  • washing-up sponges

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

8 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

9 Take unwanted or expired medicines to participating pharmacies for safe disposal.

10 Clean polystyrene can be recycled at resource recovery centres. Polystyrene trays such as black trays used for meat, fruit and vegetables cannot be recycled. Avoid polystyrene trays by buying loose produce.

11 Toothpaste tubes can be dropped off for recycling with TerraCycle.

Make sure you close your bin lid.

Signage

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:

  • yellow lid bin (recycling)
  • red lid bin (landfill)
  • resource recovery centres (e-waste, textiles etc)
  • charity shops (clothes, furniture etc)
  • 10 cents bottle returns.

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.

Close your rubbish bin lids

Your rubbish bin lids – general, recycle, green waste – must be kept firmly closed at all times, unless when you are placing rubbish in or removing it from the bin.

Bins left open, or even slightly ajar, can cause amenity and odour issues to your community. They can also attract flies, vermin and other animals such as birds or possums that can scatter rubbish. For tips on managing waste to prevent nuisance, see the Management of waste odour, flies and vermin page.

Council may issue fines to repeat offenders who leave their rubbish bin lids open.

Relevant law: Health, Safety and Amenity Local Law 2021

Your responsibilities

You are responsible for ensuring your rubbish bins or other waste container lids remains closed at all times, except when you are placing rubbish in and taking it out. Council may issue on-the-spot fines if you do not have a reasonable excuse for not keeping your bin closed.

Lodging a complaint

In most cases, the best way to resolve an issue is through polite and productive communication with the property owner or occupier. If you haven’t already spoken with your neighbour about their rubbish bin lid being left open, we strongly recommend you try this approach first. Often, residents do not realise they are causing an issue to their neighbours.

Council has also developed a letterbox-drop template which you may wish to use - simply print out the form, fill in your details (if you wish) and place it in your neighbour’s letterbox.

When investigating complaints about waste containers being left uncovered, Council considers:

  • the day of service (the day of collection)
  • how long the bins are left uncovered
  • how often the bins are left uncovered
  • any impacts the uncovered waste is having on the surrounding community.

To lodge a complaint about a bin being left uncovered:

Please note that Council will send letters to both you and the occupier of the property with the bins to give them an opportunity to address the matter themselves before further actions are taken. This letter will also provide you with a Further Information Request Form which you will be required to fill out should the issue be ongoing and you wish the complaint to progress further.

Last updated: 9 November 2022

Brisbane City Council acknowledges this Country and its Traditional Custodians. We pay our respects to the Elders, those who have passed into the dreaming; those here today; those of tomorrow.