by Laura McIlwaine April 16, 2018

As the recycling industry continues to grow, and communities become more supportive of sustainability initiatives, the range of household waste items that can be recycled is higher now than ever before.

Despite this rising support for recycling, many recyclable items simply aren't given a new lease of life because the average household isn't aware that they can be recycled. 

Here's five items that commonly end up in waste when they can be easily recycled....

1. Pizza Boxes

If pizza boxes are completely free of food and grease, they can be placed in your home kerbside recycling bin. But a word of warning here.....

If they're soaked with grease or contain food scraps, melted cheese, napkins or half eaten crusts, definitely keep them out of your recycling bin. Greasy pizza boxes can contaminate a load of recyclables, resulting in more than just the culprit pizza box going to landfill.

It's better to recycle just the pristine lid of the pizza box and toss the greasy base to waste, than nothing at all. 

2. Plastic Bags and Soft Plastics

If you haven't fully jumped on the #banthebag campaign and have quite a plastic bag collection at home, there's hope for you still!

Plastics bags and soft plastics (such as plastic cling film or the plastic lining of a box of biscuits or cereal) can be placed in Redcycle bins throughout Australia and New Zealand. If the plastic is scrunchable, chances are it can be recycled. Yay!

You'll find Redcycle bins at your local Coles or Woolworths supermarket.

3. Aluminium Foil

Most council kerbside recycling schemes accept aluminium foil (including Easter egg wrappers). The foil just needs to be rolled into a walnut-sized ball (or larger) so it can be easily sorted.

To further reduce the impact of your aluminium foil consumption, be sure to use foil made from recycled aluminium such as If You Care Aluminium Foil.

4. Aerosol Cans

Despite common belief, aerosol cans are recyclable, provided they are empty.  

Ensure the steel or aluminium the cans are made from is reclaimed by placing them into your household recycling bin.

5. Postage Satchels

If you're a regular online shopper, chances are you've accumulated a stash of postage satchels. The Mailing Satchel Recycling Program run by Australia Post and TerraCycle enables households and businesses to send in their used satchels for recycling. 

Another way to avoid this issue is to shop at stores like Sustainahome where only reyclable cardboard and paper are used in packaging (we're plastic free!).


Kerbside recycling has revolutionized the way we've managed our household waste in recent decades, however the success of any recycling program is only as good as the quality of items placed in recycling bins. 

To give recycling programs their best chance of success, ensure that any items you place in recycling bins are free from contamination and are able to be recycled.

Naturally, if you can avoid using the item in the first place, that's even better than recycling. Avoiding waste saves the resources used to both manufacture, transport and recycle the item.


Can you think of any items that can be recycled but often aren't, due to a lack of awareness? Share below!

Laura McIlwaine
Laura McIlwaine

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