Top 5 things to keep out of your recycling bin

Last updated: 23 June 2020

If you put the wrong things into your recycling bin, items which would normally be recycled might end up in landfill.

Get to know your recycling and keep the following items out of your recycling bin, because what you do makes a big difference.

1. Soft plastics

The next time you go to put that empty pack of chips in the recycling bin, think again. If it’s plastic and you can easily scrunch it in your hand, keep it out of your recycling bin.

You can recycle soft plastics such as bread bags, biscuit packet wrappers and plastic bags at a REDcycle soft plastics drop off point at participating supermarkets.

Read more about what to do with a soft plastic like bread bags.

2. Recycling in plastic bags

Give your recycling a fighting chance to be made into something new. Put it in the recycling bin loose so it can be sorted and recycled correctly. If it’s in a plastic bag, you can bet those items inside will end up in landfill.

3. Clothing

Whether they’ve seen better days or just not your style anymore, don’t put your clothes and shoes in your recycling bin. Clothes can get stuck in the sorting machines and make it harder for other items to get recycled. There are plenty of ways you can give your clothes a second life.

Find out what to do with clothes and textiles.

4. Polystyrene

The next time you find yourself with a big cardboard box and a bunch of polystyrene left over from a big new purchase, you can pop the flattened cardboard into your recycling bin but keep the polystyrene out.

Find out what to do with polystyrene.

5. Food scraps

Food scraps don’t go in your recycling bin but they don’t have to go to waste. If you live in an apartment or only have a small balcony or backyard, there are still options for you to recycle your food scraps. Even that old banana that didn’t quite make it to banana bread is destined for greatness elsewhere.

Read more about what to do with your food scraps.