A four-stream waste and recycling system


1. Overview

All Victorian households are getting access to services for four waste and recycling streams. This includes separate streams for glass, food organics and garden organics (FOGO), mixed recyclables and household rubbish.

A staged transition to the new system has begun. Councils and alpine resorts are considering local community needs. When and where materials are collected for recycling will vary in each local government area.

For areas with kerbside collection services, and where possible, households will move to a four-bin system. Each bin will have a colour-coded lid, which will be the same across the state:

  • purple for glass
  • lime green for FOGO
  • yellow for mixed recyclables
  • red for household rubbish.


Bin sizes and collection frequency will vary, depending on local circumstances.

In line with the Victorian government waste reduction targets and the desire of Councils to maximise resource recovery all Victorians will have a new glass bin or access to glass collection services. 

The main driver of this change is to create a clean glass stream for glass recycling and improve the quality of recycled paper, which currently gets contaminated by glass fragments. Separating materials at the source allows us to get the most value from our resources.

Why is glass separated from mixed recycling?

When mixed with other recyclable materials, glass shatters. Glass pieces contaminate valuable, easy to recycle materials such as paper and cardboard. This reduces the quality of these materials and their ability to be recycled. Broken glass also damages recycling equipment. Separating glass from mixed recycling means that more materials will be recycled at a lower cost.

What is recycled glass used for?

Glass bottles (such as soft drink bottles) and jars (such as jam jars) can be recycled again and again through glass-to-glass recycling. Glass-to-glass recycling is high value and the preferred use of this resource.

Community Engagement

Your Council undertook community engagement in July/June 2022 to understand the municipalities needs in relation to kerbside glass collection service.

The Victorian Government is working with councils and Alpine Resorts Victoria (ARV) to support the roll-out of a new standardised four-stream household waste and recycling system for more and better recycling and less waste and landfill. 

Standardising recycling at home across Victoria | Engage Victoria

What service is available now?

Drop off facilities for glass service in the Rural City of Wangaratta has commenced. Glass drop-off points are available now at Wangaratta, Eldorado, Moyhu and Markwood transfer stations. A kerbside service will begin upon completion of collaborative procurement & state engagement.

If you are not accessing the drop off facilities, households should continue to put glass bottles and jars into the mixed recycling stream until the glass stream has been rolled out.

Do you need more information?

If you have any questions in relation to this new service, please contact the waste team for further information. 

2. Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is Council adding a collection service?   

Following widespread disruption to global recycling markets, the State Government has implemented policies to standardise household waste and recycling services across the state, this will make our state’s future recycling system more sustainable.  
Rolling out the collection service will enact Council’s obligations under the Victorian Government’s Circular Economy (Reduction and Recycling) Act 2021. 


Q: What does this all mean for me? 

The main changes for households will be in the way we separate waste for the purpose of recycling, glass will no longer be considered an ‘accepted’ material when placed in the yellow bin. Glass will be required to be deposited via a separate collection service.  


Q: Isn’t glass currently separated via a sorting facility?  

Glass when mixed with other recyclable materials, shatters and contaminates valuable, easy to-recycle materials such as paper and cardboard. This reduces these materials quality and ability to be recycled. By separating glass effectively, more materials from the commingled recycling bin can also be recycled. 


Q: What type of glass can be recycled? 

What can go in:

Glass jars or bottles (empty, no lids), pasta sauce, jam, condiments etc, broken bottles (empty, no lids), all alcohol bottles 

What can't go in:

Heavy drinking glasses, windows, light bulbs, perfume, or makeup containers 


Q: What else can recycled glass be used for?

Where glass-to-glass recycling is not viable, there is strong demand for recovered glass in the construction sector. Using recycled glass in construction reduces the need for other raw materials.


Q: Can smashed glass be recycled?   

Yes, it can. The issue with smashed glass in the comingled bin is that it contaminates the other recyclable products such as cardboard. When it just glass in the bin this isn’t a problem. 


Q: What about the container deposit scheme (CDS)?   

The State Government introduced a container deposit scheme on 1st November 2023 to further help Victorians recycle their beverage containers. It is important to note that only certain glass containers are accepted under this scheme and the state is requiring both schemes. 


Q: When is the new service likely to start?  

Council is currently working with 13 other Councils and Alpine Resorts an a project for delivery of all waste services. This activity will ensure that Council will have ‘best value’ options to consider in delivery of the glass collection service.   

Due to the size and complex nature of tasks associated with collection services, the actual ‘roll out’ is expected to start in 2025. A clearer understanding of timeframe will be available once the service model is decided. 


Q. Where is the process at?

Council has obtained feedback from the community, using this feedback to inform further consultation undertaken by the state government.
The state-wide consultation aims to determine a suitable collection service framework for everyone.  


Q: Is there anything that is fixed? 

Only three things are required of the service. It must be implemented; it must remove glass from comingled recycling and it must be available to everyone (no opt out).