Recycling at home

Brisbane residents are improving recycling habits at home. In just three years, the amount of recyclables in Brisbane household waste bins has gone from 28% to 17%. Now it’s time to look at how we can work together to keep improving our efforts to create a cleaner, green Brisbane and to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

Recycling quiz

Take our quick recycling quiz to find out what type of recycler you are. 

Items you CAN put in your household recycling bin

There five types of materials that can generally be put in your household recycling bin.

  1. Cardboard
  2. Paper
  3. Metal
  4. Glass
  5. Plastic

Find out more about what you can recycle in your household recycling bin with Brisbane City Council's Brisbane Bin and Recycling app.

Need more room for your recycling? Order a larger or additional recycling bin from Council. It's only $30 for delivery!

Paper and cardboard

Research shows that more than 35,000 tonnes of paper and cardboard is put in the waste bin every year by mistake. By working together to recycle at home, we can make sure that valuable resources are being recovered instead of being wasted in landfill.

These are the most commonly confused items which CAN be recycled.

  • glossy magazines
  • newspapers
  • junk mail
  • pizza boxes (even with a little bit of cheese)
  • corrugated cardboard (like packing boxes)
  • receipts and papers from your home office

Try thinking about the paper as a 'resource' - something that can be reused, recreated and recycled, rather than wasted in landfill.

Here are our top paper and cardboard recycling tips.

  1. It’s tempting to throw that glossy junk mail straight into the waste bin, but remember that it’s made from paper, and can be put to better use through your recycling bin at home.
  2. Your cardboard food containers at markets and festivals deserve another life too. Just empty the food scraps into the waste bin before recycling the cardboard container.
  3. Reuse and recycle your copy paper too. It can feel like a little sheet of paper won’t make a difference, but all those invoices, envelopes and letters already add up to tonnes of paper recycled in Council’s bins each year.
  4. Cardboard boxes and pizza boxes are great for recycling. Once you’re done reusing them, just flatten and pop them into the recycling bin so they can be made into nice new boxes by VISY. 

Items you CANNOT recycle in your household recycling bin

The following items should not be put in your household recycling bin. Use the Brisbane Bin and Recycling app for advice on ways these items can be saved from landfill, or dispose of these items in your household rubbish bin.

  • cellophane
  • ceramics
  • clothes
  • drinking glasses
  • food waste
  • garden waste
  • heat-proof dishes
  • nappies *
  • needles **
  • padded envelopes that contain plastic
  • photographs
  • plastic bags
  • polystyrene foam
  • soft plastics, such as food wrappers and plastic wrap
  • syringes **
  • tissues and toilet paper *
  • wax-coated paper.

* Not only is it unhygienic for materials containing bodily fluids to be processed alongside other recyclables, the paper fibres in these items are too short to recover and make into another product.

** Syringes and needles should not be put in your recycling bin at home, and can only be put in your rubbish bin if they are placed in a rigid-walled and puncture-resistant container that is sealed (e.g. sharps container). 

More information

Find out more about recycling at home using Council’s Brisbane Bin and Recycling app, available for free for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

You can also read our Brisbane’s Best Recycling Guide for Households online and find out about getting a bigger or additional recycling bin to help you recycle even more.

Using these super simple tools and tips, you can help Brisbane become an even cleaner, greener city and reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill.