RECYCLING GUIDE: What can and can't go in the yellow lid bin

WHAT if the pizza box had a bit of cheese stuck to it? Do milk cartons need to be empty? What to do with empty cigarette packs?

Ipswich City Council last week dramatically cancelled the recycling service in the city, 48 hours  before they announced a short term agreement would be implemented.

It means recycling will continue to be sorted, rather than sent to landfill as initially planned.

The council originally claimed contamination rates in the city were too high to continue recycling, so to ensure the right junk goes in the right bin, here's a comprehensive guide to the yellow bin.

What can be put in the recycling bin:

Paper and cardboard

Any form of paper that is not contaminated with excess food or oil can go in the recycling bin, including old newspapers, magazines and leaflets, advertising material, flattened cardboard and pizza boxes, stationary, envelopes and old phone books.

Writing and photocopy paper, note paper, white envelopes, index cards, binder dividers, plain manilla folders, computer printout paper, printer tractor feed strips are all able to be recycled.

Attached staples and paper clips are also ok to go in the recycling bin.


All glass bottles and jars can go in the recycling bin.

Empty the containers and recycle the metal lids separately.

Clear, brown or green glass e.g. wine bottle, beer bottle can be recycled.

Plastic containers

All rigid plastic containers are recyclable. A handy tip to remember is that if the plastic containers holds its shape when crumpled and/or holds water then it can be placed in the recycling bin.

Metal cans

All steel cans and lids, aerosol cans and aluminium can be recycled including food and drink cans, empty and dry oil and paint cans and metal bottle tops and jam jar lids.

Empty cans, place the lids inside the cans and crush them to conserve bin space.


What can not be put in the yellow bin:

  • Carbon paper
  • Gummed labels
  • Sweet wrappers
  • Facial tissues
  • Cigarette packs
  • Paper cups and plates
  • Paper towels
  • Lunch bags
  • Windowed envelopes
  • Light bulbs
  • Broken mirrors
  • Opaque glass and glass that can be heated e.g. Pyrex or ceramic dishes
  • China
  • Crockery
  • Crystal
  • Opaque drink glasses
  • Window glass
  • Cling wrap
  • Plastic bags
  • Polystyrene foam
  • Acrylic
  • Nylon

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