What to put in your 3 bins

Unley three bins with green yellow and blue lids

Please find a list of common items below, sorted by bin type.

Do you have an item that is not listed? Visit the Which Bin website, type in your suburb and the item for disposal. You’ll find out which bin to use or alternative disposal methods for unusual items.

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General Waste (blue bin)

The 140L blue bin is for general waste that cannot be recycled or composted and is collected weekly.

All general waste is sent to landfill.

What CAN go in your blue bin

✓  Disposable nappies and sanitary products

✓  Fabric, linen and clothing (not reusable) - check charity stores first before disposal

✓  Cleaning cloths and sponges

✓  Broken crockery

✓ Glossy or coated paper take away coffee and drink cups

✓ Polystyrene foam packaging (Consider dropping at the Unley Works Depot, 75 King William Road, Unley. Mondays only 7.30am to 3.30pm. Closed public holidays)

✓  Kitty litter (silica gel crystals)

✓  Broken glass, heat proof glass (pirex), glassware, mirrors, ceramics and window glass (wrapped)

✓  String, rope, plastic strapping and netting

✓  Video and audio tapes

✓  Polystyrene foam (meat trays, takeaway containers and cups etc)

✓  Soft plastics (chip packets, lolly, chocolate wrappers and bubble wrap).

Do not put in any bin

X  e-waste, electronic or electrical items

X  Hazardous and medical waste

X  Batteries (can be taken to Council sites)

X  Hot ash (cold ash must be securely wrapped)

X  Soil, rocks and sand

X  Liquids (eg paints, oil, solvents and chemicals)

X  LPG gas bottles, fire extinguishers

X  Building materials (eg concrete, bricks and sawdust)

X  Large pieces of metal.

General waste tips

  • Any packaging and soft plastics that do not hold their shape when scrunched cannot be recycled. For the short-term, while REDCycle has put their soft plastics collections on hold, we advise residents to place soft plastic wrappers and bags in your landfill bin (blue lid). Please do not place any soft wrap-able plastic packaging or bags in your yellow bin as they wrap, tangle and clog up sorting machinery and contaminate the paper and cardboard stream.
  • Mirrors, ceramics, windscreen and window glass have different melting temperatures or coatings and cannot be recycled with normal glass - wrap and place these in the blue waste bin
  • Videotapes, strapping, string and rope can get caught in machinery that sorts recyclables causing breakdowns so cannot be recycled.
  • Broken glass and dirty plant pots can be an occupational health and safety issue for recycling staff so must be placed in the blue waste bin.

Not sure what goes where? Visit Which Bin and search for your suburb and what you want to dispose of.

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Recycling (yellow bin)

The 240L bin with a yellow lid is for recycling only and is collected fortnightly on the same day as the general waste bin.

Recycling is sorted and reprocessed into new products.

What CAN go in your yellow bin

✓  Paper and cardboard (newspapers, magazines, junk mail, envelopes and egg cartons). Flatten cardboard boxes to leave more room in your bin.

✓  Glass bottles and jars (all food residual removed, rinsed, lids off)

✓  Metal cans and tins (empty aerosol, paint, food, drink and pet food cans)

✓  Rigid plastic containers (rinsed, lids off)

✓  Liquid paperboard cartons (juice, milk, soup, stock - rinsed, lids off)

✓  Rigid plastic items such as laundry baskets, buckets, plant pots, spray and pump bottles. 

What CANNOT go in your yellow bin

X  Plastic bags, cling wrap, bread bags and food packaging

X  Polystyrene foam (meat trays, takeaway containers and cups etc)

X  Textiles, clothing and fabric. (Good quality items can be taken to Charity Shops. Worn out or soiled items should be placed in the landfill bin)

X  Electrical items

X  Garden materials

X  Broken glass (Place in your blue bin) 

X  Food scraps. (Place in your green bin).

Recycling tips

How you manage your recycling is just as important as what you recycle. We need to recycle right as contaminants in recycling and green organics bins can result in the entire contents of the collection truck going to landfill - resulting in additional disposal costs and undoing your effort in separating the waste to begin with.

  • Place all items loosely into the bin – do not contain items in plastic bags

  • Leave paper and cardboard loose and unbundled

  • Remove all lids from jars, bottles and plastic containers

  • Metal lids can be placed in a metal can - squash the can so the lids do not fall out

  • Plastic lids can be put in a plastic milk bottle and, once full, placed in the recycling bin

  • Empty and rinse recyclables (save water by using leftover dishwater)

  • Some meat containers are made of rigid plastics and can be rinsed and recycled.


Not sure what goes where? Visit Which Bin and search for your suburb and what you want to recycle.

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Recyclable bottle, cans and metals

The following recycling depots accept and pay cash for recyclable bottles, cans and metals:

  • Glen Osmond Recycling Centre – 389 Glen Osmond Rd, Glen Osmond.  Phone 8379 1237
  • Daws Road Recycling – 76 Daws Rd Edwardstown. Phone 8277 5588
  • Magill Recycling & Salvage – 6 Nightingale Ave, Magill. Phone 8333 1033.

Organics (green or grey bin)

Your 240L organics bin (green or grey lid) is collected on the alternate week to your recycling bin.

Organics are recycled into mulch, compost, potting mix and top dressing soils.

What CAN go in your green or grey bin

 If it grows, it can go in the organics bin.

✓ All food scraps, including meat, dairy, shellfish, citrus and takeaway leftovers

✓ Soiled pizza boxes, tea leaves and bags, coffee grounds

✓ Cut flowers

✓ Shredded or scraps of paper 

✓ Pet waste 

✓ Compostable food and beverage containers

✓ Compostable corn starch bags

✓ Tissues and paper towels

✓ Newsprint kitty litter (including their waste)

✓ Hair

✓ Lawn clippings, garden pruning, twigs, leaves and weeds

✓ Small branches (max 15cm diameter x 60cm)

✓ Sawdust.

What CANNOT go in your green or grey bin

X  Plastic or glass (of any kind)

X  Gardening tools, hoses and empty plant pots and trays

X  Bricks or building materials

X  Painted or treated timber

X  Soil, rocks or stones

X Ash (hot or cold).

Green organics tips

  • Place organic material in your bin loosely to avoid compaction

  • Only material that was once living can break down for compost and mulch

  • Plastic, glass and building materials etc are contaminants and a few contaminated bins can result in a whole truckload of organics being sent to landfill

  • Make your own compost for use on the garden (food scraps, small quantities of paper/cardboard and garden pruning can be used)

  • Worm farms turn kitchen scraps and garden materials into liquid fertiliser for the garden.

Not sure what goes where? Visit Which Bin and search for your suburb and what you want to dispose.

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Recycling food scraps

The organics bin is suitable for all food scraps including citrus, dairy, meat, seafood shells and bones.

Wrap food scraps in newspaper or paper towel to prevent spills before placing in the green organics bin.

To prevent odours, drain food scraps prior to wrapping.

Consider purchasing a Kitchen Caddy or similar container to contain food scraps in the kitchen, then wrap in newspaper, or empty straight into the organics bin.


Not sure what goes in which bin?

If you are unsure which bin to use, or have an unusual item for disposal, visit the Which bin website.

Visit Which Bin