What Can Be Recycled?♻️:  at Waster, we promote recycling all different types of waste for a number of reasons. First of all, it is good for the environment, and it can usually save customers significant amounts of money (this is due to the valuable commodities such as cardboard, plastic and metal being recycled and sold on to end-users – that certainly is much better than being disposed of in landfill!).

It is really easy to recycle the cardboard (cardboard bins) and bottles and cans in recycling bins. We find ourselves having a hard time when many different types of disparate materials make up the packaging. The difficulty here can be caused by the problem of how can we separate the different materials in a cost-efficient way and how we can also conserve energy, hence minimising pollution.


>Download Now: Free PDF Business Owners Guide To Commingled Recycling Bin Services


Waster offers low-cost waste bins and recycling services (such as recycled plastic) to small and medium Aussie businesses. We provide a full suite of recycling and general waste bins to suit your needs – all on flexible 30-day terms, so you do not need to sign a multi-year, lock-in contract again.



We Need To Design Better Packaging To Easily Know What Can Be Recycled

One of the biggest issues hindering recycling is poorly thought through packaging (so you are left asking yourself what things can be recycled?) that is made from multiple items. We recently covered how Unilever is moving towards recycling packaging (see what is waste management). We also recently read about an interesting prize in the UK to promote environmental packaging concepts (The Plastics Economy Innovation Prize, promoted by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation).

Quoting from the BBC article on what things can be recycled:

“The Recycling Association named them in a list of products that pose the biggest challenges for reuse. The greater the number of materials used in packaging, the harder it is for recycling machines to separate them.”

“The distinctive Pringles packaging – with its metal base, plastic cap, metal tear-off lid, and foil-lined cardboard sleeve – was said to be a “nightmare”.”

“A $2m (£1.5m) prize for inventors to devise products that are practical and easily recycled will be launched by Prince Charles in London later.”

The two worst packaging types for recycling were judged to be:

  • “Pringles (and products with similar packaging): “Number One recycling villain. These things are a… nightmare. Impossible to separate the parts.”
  • “Lucozade Sport (and drinks with similar packaging): “Number Two villain. This bottle is so confusing to computer scanners that it has to be picked by hand off the recycling conveyor. Then it often just gets chucked away.”


A simple listing of what things can be recycled includes:


  • Paper: cardboard boxes, newspapers, magazines, envelopes, junk mail, food and drink cartons including Tetra Pak
  • Plastic: margarine and ice cream tubs, yogurt pots, fruit punnets and ready meal trays
  • Bottles: drink, shampoo and detergent bottles
  • Tins and cans: both steel and aluminium, as well as aerosols
  • Kitchen foil and foil trays
  • Glass: all colours but no broken glass or ovenware



  • Tissue and kitchen roll
  • Plastic wrap, cling film, bubble wrap and plastic bags
  • Coffee cups
  • Plastic and paper contaminated with food – including grease-stained pizza boxes (some councils may take clean pizza boxes) and paper food plates
  • Crisp packets and sweet wrappers
  • Polystyrene
  • Nappies
  • Soft plastic / metallic packaging like pet food pouches

We look forward to learning more about this prize and seeing what solutions it comes up with.

See our recent blog on Gold Coast Rubbish Removal. Also – check out our blog on whether dumping at Sydney landfills is worse than composting. Our blog on rubbish bins covers new programs to boost organic waste recycling.

If you are interested in helping the environment – see environmental services careers.

See our blog on business recycling Sydney for an update on new cash for recycling proposal.



For more details on what things can be recycled and what can not be – see our recent blogs on topics such as a guide for NSW and polystyrene recycling.

See our blog on organic waste processing and if food waste is actually bad for the environment.


More Things We Can Recycle Found At Our Own Homes

Did you know that the average Australian produces about 2.1 kg of rubbish daily?

Factor in that 25 million people – at the time of the writing of this blog – now live in Australia, and we have ourselves a rubbish problem!

I’m very serious when I say that everything starts at your house, even waste. Discipline at your own home means heaps for the environment, so don’t go away and make sure to finish reading.

Just as businesses need to recycle, households also must carefully sort out their recyclable waste.

Without further ado, here are some things we can recycle at home that you probably did not know possible!


1. 3D Printing Material


what things can be recycled at home 3d waste


First on our list is 3D printing material. Some of you may own a 3D printer and wonder if the plastic waste it produces is recyclable. Well, the answer is yes! DCycle, a closed-looped recycling programme, collects and converts 3D printed material plastic waste into usable spooled filament.


2. Chip Packets


what things can we recycle at home chips


Some of you may be indulging in a bag of Smith’s chips, or any other chips available at your house while reading this. Of course, the good news is that after consumption, you can very much recycle the chip packet left. “How”, you ask? Well, there are a number of programmes for it!

One example is Redcycle. They collect many types of plastic for recycling like chip packets, plastic sachets, and dry pet food bags.


3. CDs And DVDs (Along With Their Cases)


what things can be recycled at home cds


Another example of what items we can recycle at home are CDs and DVDs, along with their cases. With the rise of digital technology and online streaming services like Netflix, CDs and DVDs no longer serve a purpose in entertaining us with films. Additionally, they no longer produce CDs and DVDs like the old days.

One example of a firm that recycles CDs and DVDs is Gram Destruction. They offer everyone an option to dispose of their unwanted or unused CDs, DVDs, and cases in an environmentally friendly way.


4. Books




Do you read and collect books? Well, I do! I very much enjoyed reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series when I was a kid. But as I grew up, I saw that the space in our house was getting smaller and smaller. I had to dispose of some of the items here in our house, and I picked the books that I have already read.

Instead of throwing them in the trash bin, I decided to look for ways on how to donate them. That is when I came across the Brotherhood Books website.  They are an organisation fighting off poverty. They first collect donated books, clean them up, and proceed to sell them after. The proceeds of the books go to the charitable operations of the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

But what if your books are old and worn-out? How do we dispose of them without polluting the environment? Luckily, you can recycle worn-out and torn books! Put them in your kerbside bin for later recycling.


5. Batteries




Batteries are also one of the things we can recycle at home. An example of an organisation aiming to recycle batteries for a more sustainable Earth is ABRI. As such, they give us a number of available recyclers to handle your old batteries.


Why do we need to recycle batteries? Here are some of the reasons why recycling batteries is a must.


  • Batteries contain valuable resources – they contain lead, cadmium, mercury, lithium, uranium, manganese, nickel, and zinc. These resources are valuable, non-renewable, and can only be recycled an indefinite number of times.
  • They can catch fire quickly – batteries are highly flammable materials. As a result, it is very important to dispose of them quickly and properly.
  • Batteries are dangerous – they contain toxic materials that should be kept out of reach from children. If accidentally swallowed, they may cause burns or even death.
  • They contain hazardous materials – improperly disposing of batteries results in a more polluted environment. They contain hazardous materials such as mercury and lead. Avoid disposing of them in a landfill and find recyclers in the official ABRI website.


For more information on recycling, you can watch our video down below:

What Can Be Recycled? – Conclusion

Businesses must come up with a way to make their packaging more sustainable. Poor recycling, after all, stems from a number of reasons, one of which is packaging composed of multiple materials. We can counter this with sustainable packaging.

Recycling, like everything, starts at home. Properly dispose of waste at their proper bins. Put the recyclables in your kerbside recycling bin and put the non-recyclables in the general waste.

Please call 1300 WASTER (1300 927 837), or email us at [email protected] if you have any further questions.

commingled recycling cta