How to recycle using your yellow-lidded bin

What you can put in your yellow-lidded recycling bin has changed. This is because we’re only accepting materials that we know can be processed and recycled locally. 

You can still place materials such as clean paper, cardboard, plastic water bottles and metal items in your yellow-lidded bin.

But items such as drink cartons – including milk, juice, soy milk and stock cartons – as well as plastic lids and some plastic containers are no longer accepted.;

To help us make the Yarra Recycling Revolution happen we are working with a new recycling company and manufacturers who have high-quality standards, and only accepts items that can be recycled in Australia.

If your bin is contaminated (has the wrong items inside), we will let you know by putting a sticker on your bin. Then you’ll need to remove the item before we can empty your bin.

We know this is a big change and it will take some time to get it right. We’ll be with you every step of the way!

Watch full screen video on YouTube.

How to use your yellow-lidded recycling bin

This list helps you to understand what can and can’t go in your yellow recycling bin.

What can go in

  • Paper, cardboard, junk mail and egg cartons
  • Aluminum foil and cans
  • Metal lids from bottles and jars
  • Plastic bottles labelled 1 and 2 (lids off)
  • Plastic food packaging labelled 5 only e.g. ice cream containers, yoghurt and butter tubs, meat trays.

What can't go in

  • Glass bottles and jars (these can still be recycled in your purple glass bin)
  • Aerosol cans
  • Milk and juice cartons including Tetra Paks
  • Plastic lids if any kind, including trigger, spray and pump lids
  • All plastic items labelled 1 and 2 that are not plastic bottles
  • All plastic items labelled 3,4,6 and 7. 


  • Check the numbered labels on all plastic items before they go in the yellow recycling bin - only plastic bottles labelled 1, 2 and items labelled plastic 5 can be recycled.
  • If the plastic item has no label or number, it goes in the rubbish bin.
  • Rinse all food residue from containers.
  • Plastic lids always go in the rubbish bin.
  • Scrunch your aluminum foil.
  • Lids must always be off. Plastic lids go in the rubbish bin and metal lids in the recycling bin.
    Don’t put your recyclables in plastic bags.

Soft plastics: If clean, they can be if taken to a RedCycle station at participating supermarkets to be recycled. Find your closest drop-off point.

Glass: Please don’t put glass in your yellow-lidded bin. This is now being collected separately. Read how to recycle glass

For a quick reference guide you can download our poster on how to use your yellow-lidded recycling bin and stick it on your fridge or bin. 

Download recycling bin poster

How to recycle


Plastic is much harder to recycle as it’s difficult for us to tell what material an item is made from, quickly, when sorting. 

There are also many products now that can’t be recycled, even though they may have the traditional recycling symbol

If you’re not sure if you can recycle something, unfortunately it is best to put it in your landfill bin. 

Remember to rinse everything.

Items that can be recycled – labelled plastic type 1 and 2

  • Cleaning product bottles 
  • Detergent bottles
  • Juice bottles
  • Milk bottles
  • Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel bottles
  • Soft drink bottles

All items labelled plastic type 5 

  • Ice-cream containers/lids
  • Plastic meat trays
  • Butter, margarine, yoghurt, dip tubs

Items that can't be recycled

  • Biscuit and cake trays
  • Bottle tops − loose and on bottle
  • Clothes hangers
  • Cups − plastic disposable
  • Cups − plastic reusable
  • Cutlery
  • Deodorant (roll on), as it has too many mixed materials
  • Dip pots/tubs (not labelled 5)
  • Meat trays (not labelled 5)
  • Medicine bottles, as it's not hygienic
  • Plant pots
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic punnets
  • Sushi containers
  • Plastic take away containers
  • Toys
  • Yoghurt containers (not labelled 5)

We can’t recycle many of these items, because it is too difficult to know what they are made from.

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Paper and cardboard

Paper is easy to recycle, we grind it down and use it in many every day products such as paper towels, toilet paper and newspapers.

Food and drink cartons – including milk, juice, soy milk and stock cartons – as well as lids and some plastic containers will no longer be accepted in your recycling bin.

Items that can be recycled

  • Books
  • Butcher’s paper
  • Cardboard
  • Cardboard boxes, but flattened
  • Egg cartons, but with no residue
  • Envelopes, with or without windows
  • Greeting cards, but no novelty cards due to their small electronic components
  • Junk mail
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Paper
  • Paper bags, but they must be emptied and have no plastic lining and no cement bags
  • Paper towel rolls (not paper towel)
  • Phonebooks
  • Pizza boxes, with no scraps
  • Shredded paper
  • Toilet rolls
  • Wrapping paper

Items that can't be recycled

  • Coffee cups, as their plastic coating can't be removed
  • Paper towel
  • Milk, juice, soy milk and stock cartons, as the plastic coating can't be removed
  • Waxed cardboard boxes, as they create issues for recycling
  • Paper based or compostable kitty litter

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Metal is also easy for us to recycle, as it can be melted down into new products such as food and drink cans.

However, some metal products have components made of plastic, and can’t be sorted or recycled by our processor.

Remember to rinse everything.

Items that can be recycled

  • Food and drink cans (empty)
  • Can lids, but only if they're metal
  • Cooking oil tins
  • Foil, but only if it's scrunched
  • Food and drink cans
  • Jar lids, but only if they're metal
  • Pet food cans (rinsed clean)
  • Tin cans, including baby formula cans

Items that can't be recycled

  • Aerosol cans, for safety reasons
  • Clothes hangers
  • Cutlery
  • Pots and pans

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