Whether you live in a house, a unit or an apartment, you can recycle a large range of general packaging materials including glass, plastic, paper and cardboard. Recyclable items should easily fit inside your council-provided recycling bin.
In Tasmania, almost everything collected from kerbside recycling goes interstate, and sometimes overseas, for reprocessing into new products. Unfortunately, a portion of the recyclables collected from households in Tasmania is contaminated with non-recyclable items. Contaminated recyclables are rejected at the sorting facility and sent to landfill.
Contamination occurs when you place items in your recycling bin that the recycling system cannot process, for example plastic bags or nappies. The fewer contaminants, the easier your recycling can be sorted, which saves time, energy, resources and money.
In Tasmania these items can be accepted for recycling in standard domestic kerbside recycling collections:
- Brown paper packaging – with the clear plastic ‘window’ removed
- Clean paper and cardboard – includes office paper, domestic cardboard boxes and packaging, egg cartons, telephone books, milk, juice and custard containers (not foil lined), newspaper, pizza boxes, magazines, pamphlets and paper bags
- Glass bottles and jars (empty & free of residue)
- Metals – including aluminium cans, steel cans, tin-plated steel cans, aluminium foil, paint tins and aerosol cans (all empty)
- Plastic containers and bottles (empty with lids off)
Remember: do not place your recyclables into plastic bags – keep your recyclables loose in your recycling bin.
“Making paper from recycled materials uses 99% less water and 50% less energy than if making paper from virgin materials.”
In Tasmania these items are not accepted for recycling in standard kerbside recycling collections:
- Computers and TVs (e-waste)
- Gas bottles
- Hazardous recyclables such as batteries (car or domestic) or compact fluorescent lamps
- Plastic bags including plastic bread bags and plastic barrier bags
- Polystyrene such as foam packaging
- Sharps and syringes
Did You Know?
You may have noticed that not all recyclable plastic containers display the PIC (Plastic Identification Code) triangle – the symbol most of us call the recycling triangle. This is because the triangle and corresponding number are used to indicate what plastic was used to make the container, not whether the container is recyclable. However, all plastic packaging containers can now be recycled as part of the normal kerbside recycling collection service offered by most Tasmanian councils. While soft plastic (including plastic bags and plastic film and wrap) are not accepted in any Tasmanian kerbside recycling collections, most major supermarkets now accept clean, flexible plastics, such as plastic bags, for recycling.
For larger, non domestic items or items of a different nature than described here, check out our A-Z guide to recycling and waste (link below) or contact your local council for information about special collection services.