Top 6 Recycling Myths Busted

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Top 6 Recycling Myths Busted

Published 4 November 2021

Ever wondered if aerosol cans can be recycled? What about pizza boxes? To celebrate National Recycling Week 8-14 November, we addressed some of the most common questions about recycling.

Aerosol cans

Good news… it is perfectly safe to recycle your empty aerosol cans such as deodorants, cooking oil, hair spray and other aerosol products.

Tip: Remove the plastic lid and place the can and lid separately into the yellow-lid recycling bin. Spray nozzles and other parts should not be removed.

plastic bottle

Bottle lids

These have caused confusion for some time. Should they be on or off? An easy way to remember is “keep like with like.” That means for a plastic bottle with a plastic lid you can leave the lid on as they will be recycled together.

For a glass jar with a steel lid (or any other container or bottle with a lid made from different materials) place them separately in your yellow-lid  recycling bin as they will be recycled separately.

Tip: Squeeze the air out of your plastic bottles before screwing lids back on to make more space in your recycling bin.

plastic straws

Plastic straws

These are definitely not recyclable and cannot go into your recycling bin at home. Unfortunately plastic straws must go into your red-lid garbage bin. Please try to avoid using straws and or if you need to use a straw, choose alternatives such as steel, bamboo or paper straws.

Fast fact: The NSW government is planning to ban all lightweight plastics including straws and plastic bags by 2025.

plastic bag

Plastic bags

Unfortunately plastic bags are still the number one contaminant in our residential recycling bins. The message is simple – NO plastic bags in yellow-lid recycling bins please! Use a bucket or small bin to carry your recycling outside to your bin – never use a plastic bag.

Tip: Save your plastic bags and other “soft plastics” such as cling film, bubble wrap, chip packets and bread bags, and drop them off at dedicated recycling bins outside your local supermarket.

coffee cup

Coffee cups

Disposable coffee cups, whether they are made from plastic, paper, polystyrene or biodegradable materials, cannot be recycled in your yellow-lid bin at home. Most are lined with a thin film of plastic which prevents recycling. However the plastic lid can be recycled.

Tip: Consider asking for no lid with your takeaway coffee or tea.

What else can I do? As COVID-19 restrictions ease keep an eye out for when your local cafĂ© will once again accept reusable “keep” cups.

pizza box

Pizza boxes

Confused about whether pizza boxes can be recycled? You’re not alone. The answer is yes, as long as the box is fairly clean, pizza boxes can go into your yellow-lid recycling bin.

Tip: If the bottom of the box is greasy or contaminated with food, whilst the top of the box is still clean, rip the clean top off and put it in the recycling and throw the bottom into the red-lid garbage bin.

What else can I do? For the extra diligent recyclers out there, the greasy bottom of the box can go in your compost bin at home (but not in the green lid organics bin).

In case you missed it check out what can and can’t go into your green bin.

Find out more about Council’s recycling services and and how to dispose of problem waste.

Or for more information visit

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