What’s the difference between degradable, biodegradable, and compostable bags? And which bin should I place them in?
Degradable bags are made from plastic with other chemicals added (including heavy metals) that cause the plastic to break down and disintegrate over time when exposed to sunlight and heat.
Like degradable bags, biodegradable are often still plastic bags that have microorganisms added to break down the plastic.
Degradable and biodegradable bags should only be placed into your general waste bin.
Compostable bags are made of 100% natural plant starch and do not produce any toxic material. Compostable bags can go into the green organics bin. Compostable is the key word to look for on products to know they can go in the green bin.
Is my privacy at risk if I put papers containing my personal details in the recycling bin?
Your personal details are not at risk in the recycling bin as your paper represents such a tiny amount of material which is mixed together with tonnes of other material when collected by the truck, then sorted and baled at the materials recovery facility, all using automated machinery.
If you are concerned about the privacy of your information before your bin is emptied, for peace of mind you could shred the paper, but please place this in the green bin, not the yellow bin. Shredded paper is good for lining the bottom or covering any food scraps in your green bin to absorb any odours.
How can I dispose of bulk green waste?
You can arrange a tip ticket to take a trailer load of bulk green waste for free disposal. Find out more about tip tickets and request an online booking on our Hard Rubbish page.
How clean do items need to be to go in the yellow recycling bin?
Items need to be free from food but they don't need to sparkle. Using the water at the end of washing up to give them a quick rinse is enough. Or you can simply use a spatula to scrape any food residue out of a can or jar.
Glossy or plastic-coated paper - can any type of paper go in the recycling bin?
Glossy paper can go in the yellow bin if it easily rips like paper (such as magazines and wrapping paper). If you can see the plastic coating along the tear line it is not recyclable and goes in the red bin.
Paper that won’t rip is usually coated in plastic and therefore not recyclable.
Can biscuit trays go in the recycling bin?
Yes, these are classed as rigid plastic items and can go in your recycling bin.
I know I can’t put soil in any of my bins so where can I take it?
Put soil in your garden or take it to a transfer station such as:
Adelaide Waste and Recycling Centre (181 Morphett Road, North Plympton, Phone: 8295 5077)
Packing foam/styrofoam - which bin does it go in?
Packing foam or polystyrene foam needs to go in the waste bin at the moment. This includes foam cups and meat trays. Don't be fooled by the triangle with the number in it - this is just a plastics identification code, not a recycling symbol.
Please place foam in your red lid waste bin.
Pizza boxes - do they go in the green or yellow bin?
All pizza boxes can go in your green bin. They make an excellent liner on the bottom of your bin or a cover over any bags of food scraps to deter small flies.
Only clean, food-free pizza boxes can go in the yellow bin. If in doubt whether it's clean or not, it can always simply go in the green bin as a general rule and makes great compost!
What should we do with bottle lids?
Plastic lids on plastic containers – empty container, replace the lid on the container and put it in the yellow bin.
This includes pop-top lids.
Loose plastic lids:
smaller than 5cm diameter – place in the waste bin
larger than 5cm diameter can go loose in the yellow/recycling bin.
Pump or spray bottle lids need to go in the waste bin.
Metal lids can be placed loose in the yellow bin.
Separate different materials i.e. remove metal lids from glass jars before you place them both in the recycling bin.
Saucepans and frying pans - can they go in the recycling bin?
Yes, and there is no need to remove handles. Please note, electric pans cannot go in your recycling as they are e-waste and need to be handled accordingly.
The triangle on plastics is confusing. What does it actually mean?
The triangle with the number inside is a plastic identification code, not a recycling symbol. It only lets you know what kind of plastic the item is made from, but not whether it is recyclable in your yellow bin.
With packaging materials changing all the time, these codes are not good indicators for whether something can go in your yellow bin.