What to put in your bins

Overview

Did you know that most household and commercial waste is recoverable?

This is why we have adopted a three-bin system for all our residents to recover as much recyclables, and food and garden waste prior to disposal in landfill.

We provide a fortnightly general waste (garbage) and recycling bin collection for all rural and urban residents. We also provide a weekly organics collection for urban residents. 

By knowing what goes in which bin and disposing of your waste correctly, you can contribute to more material recovery and less waste going to landfill. Reducing your waste in the first place and recycling what can be recycled saves natural resources and extend the life of our landfill.

Have you heard of the “5 R”? These principles help reduce what we send to landfill

  • Refuse: Say no to what you don’t need or what you cannot recycle, like promotional items and single-use plastics.
  • Reduce: Only buy what you really need. Avoid overconsumption. You can borrow or rent some items instead of buying new ones, and sell or give things away that you don’t need anymore.
  • Reuse (and Repair): Choose durable alternatives to disposable items and bring your own bags and produce bags when you go shopping! Repair your broken items to extend their life. 
  • Recycle: While recycling helps to recover some resources, it is not a perfect solution to reduce waste! Once you refuse, reduce, and reuse items, then recycle what is recoverable. 
  • Rot: Compost your kitchen and garden waste, in your garden or through your green bin.

General waste (garbage) bin

General Waste

Your red lidded bin is for the disposal of all waste items which can't be recycled or cannot go in your organics bin. The majority of this will be soft plastics, wrappers and general refuse like broken crockery and hygiene products. If you have young children, their nappies should go in the red bin.

Larger items, e-waste and some other specific items (chemicals, batteries etc) shouldn't be disposed in your general waste bin. Some can be recycled or safely disposed by using our transfer stations or a specific program like Detox your home

 What goes in the garbage bin?  What doesn't go in? 
  • Soft plastics including bags
  • Nappies
  • Hygiene products
  • Clothing and rags
  • Broken crockery and glass
  • Polystyrene and foam packaging
  • Waxed cardboard
  • Broken toys
  • Rope and string
  • Light globes
  • Cigarettes ends
  • Recyclable containers
  • Paper and cardboard (non waxed)
  • Green and food waste
  • Cooking oils and fats
  • Liquid chemicals or paint
  • Soil, timber, bricks or concrete
  • Furniture
  • Electronics, batteries or car parts
  • Ash or hot liquid
  • Flammable or corrosive items
  • Syringes and sharps

Top tips to reduce what you put in your your garbage bins

  • Some items are still recyclable, like polystyrene, but not through the kerbside bins. You can dispose of polystyrene packaging for free at Wangaratta’s transfer station. It will be recycled into picture frames!
  • Soft plastic is one of the main contents of our garbage bins. It cannot be recycled through your yellow bin but you can return them to some local supermarkets and Wangaratta's transfer station to avoid them going to landfill.
  • Clothes and shoes can often be recycled by some opshops. Check with your local opshop if they accept them.
  • Toxic and dangerous items should not be disposed in the bins. Check our page on household chemicals.

Recycling bin

What goes in the recycling bin

Your yellow lidded bin is for the collection of material that can be recovered and remade into useful products. Generally the majority of household waste is recyclable, however many people do not realise quite how much can be recycled! 

While many items are recyclable, it doesn't mean they all should go in the recycling bin. The recycling bin is mainly for paper and containers made of cardboard, glass, metal and rigid plastic.

What goes in the recycling bin? What doesn't go in?
  • Paper and cardboard
  • Plastic bottles (lid on)
  • Rigid plastic containers, biscuits trays
  • Glass bottles and jars (lid off)
  • Juice and milk cartons
  • Coffee cup lid
  • Aluminium and steel cans
  • Aerosol cans (empty)
  • Aluminium foil and trays
  • Phone books
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Plastic pot plants
  • Ink cartridges
  • Plastic bags and wraps
  • Hard plastic (i.e. broken toys)
  • Window or drinking glass
  • Gas cylinders
  • Coffee cup 
  • Electronics, batteries and car parts
  • Polystyrene and foam packaging
  • Waxed cardboard
  • Computers
  • Crockery and glassware
  • Rope and string
  • Clothing and rags
  • Food and green waste

 Top tips to make the most of your recycling bin

  • Any soft plastics that can be scrunched into a ball (bags, wraps...) can be dropped off in a REDcycle bin in participant supermarkets or at Wangaratta's transfer station. If put in the recycling bin, they jam the sorting machines and can't be recycled this way. 
  • Aluminium foil is recyclable when scrunched in a ball larger than a golf ball, which allows the foil to be sorted correctly.
  • E-waste (everything with a cord, a plug or batteries) may contain some toxic and some precious materials. They can be recycled if you drop them off at one of our transfer stations, our Government Centre and at the library for small items.
  • Keep the different types of recyclable (ie. plastic, paper, glass) items separated to ensure correct recycling. If you pack plastic bottles in a cardboard box, they may not be recycled correctly.
  • Don’t wash your items. They will be cleaned during the recycling process. Simply empty the containers from any food and liquid. .

Organics bin

What goes in the organics bin

Your green lidded bin is for the disposal of anything that used to be alive. It includes all food and vegetable & fruit scraps (including citrus fruit), leftovers, spoiled food, meat and bones, even dairy products. It also includes all garden waste like lawn clippings, leaves and small branches.

Households with an organics bin are provided with a free kitchen caddy and compostable liners. Additional liners can be collected for free from our Government Centre or Library.

What goes in the organics bin? What doesn't go in?
  • Food scraps 
  • Dairy products
  • Egg shells
  • Pet droppings (no bag)
  • Tea bags and coffee grounds
  • Meat and bones
  • Paper towel and tissues
  • Shredded paper
  • Cooking oils and fats
  • Small branches
  • Garden pruning and weeds
  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves and flowers
  • Household rubbish
  • Plastic bags or wrap
  • Plant pots or trays
  • Gravel, dirt or soil
  • Kitty litter
  • Large branches, logs or stumps
  • Concrete, bricks or other metal
  • Painted or treated timber
  • Biodegradable plastic
  • Nappies
  • Recyclable containers
  • Clothing
  • Cigarette butts 

Top tips to keep contamination out of your green bin to ensure quality compost

  • Plastic bags and wraps around food waste may spread plastic in the compost or be sent to landfill with the organics waste in. Separate food from their packaging.
  • Did you know that biodegradable bags contain plastic? This means that when breaking down, they spread microplastics. So only put the green compostable bags, made of corn starch, in the organics bin.
  • Cardboard packaging should be put in the recycling bin. We only accept brown cardboard and takeaway pizza boxes in small quantities in the organics bin.
  • Dust from vacuum cleaners and cigarettes ends are full of microplastics. They should go in the garbage bin.
  • Plastic plant tags, pots and ropes are often found at the Organics Plant and they may contaminate the compost. So make sure you keep them out of your green bin.