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14 Items You Can Recycle - But Probably Aren't (Part One)

Date: 01-Mar-17
Author: Brad Gray

James Treble Aerosols © Claire Bell

Australians have embraced recycling with more than nine out of ten people recycling at home. But as the industry continues to grow and expand the range of products and materials you can recycle continues to grow. In this two-part series we showcase 14 items you can recycle – but probably aren’t.


  1. Aluminium Foil -  Most councils accept aluminium foil in your general recycling bin. You just need to scrunch it in to a ball – about the size of a golf ball or larger - so that it can be sorted correctly by the recycling machines.

  2. Aerosol Cans  - Aerosol Cans are made from steel or aluminium and both are fully recyclable in almost all kerbside systems. Just make sure they’re empty.

  3. Batteries - Batteries can’t go in your kerbside recycling bin – in fact they can cause real problems if they go in there. But you can find local drop-off options  for batteries around the country. Most of these programs are run by councils or retailers.

  4. Bathroom Packaging - Aerosol cans, toilet rolls and common items like shampoo and conditioner bottles, are made from recyclable materials but Australians often forget to recycle them. Basically this is because we don’t have recycling bins in the bathroom . Keep recyclable items separate and remember to drop them in the recycling.

  5. Construction and Renovation Material - It seems that Aussies are always renovating. And the good news is that if you use a reputable construction and demolition recycling company you can recycle well over 80% of a house. The materials are put though a sorting process and then turned back into useful products. Don't be shy to ask the contractor what happens with your waste. Our friends at Bingo Bins send every skip bin they collect though a recycling process which means less waste to landfill.

  6. Coffee Pods - Coffee Pods have experienced a boom over the past few years. For them to be recycled they need to go through a special process to separate the coffee grounds form the aluminium and plastic. Check if the manufacturer of your pods has a recycling program and they either drop them off or send them back.

  7. Computers and TVs - Since 2012 Australians have been able access free services provided under the National TV and Computer Recycling Scheme and funded by the manufacturers and importers. This has resulted is a huge increase in recycling. Industry group TechCollect has recycled over 80,000 tonnes of e-waste.


So are there any items on this list that you’re not recycling? Follow the link to find out more or check out for lots more recycling information.

Check out the next 7 items - 14 Items You Can Recycling - But Probably Aren't (Part Two)

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Brad                                              Gray
Author: Brad Gray

Brad was Planet Ark's Head of Campaigns for 10 years. He trained and worked as a history and geography teacher before moving into the health education sector for 14 years. With a strong passion for human environments, Brad started with Planet Ark in 2007 as Recycling Programs Manager.

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