Recycling & Waste

Council offers several options for recycling and waste disposal; including kerbside collections, hard rubbish collections and a range of other services to support our community.

Kerbside Collection Calendar

The Three Bin System

  • General Waste (Blue Bin)
    The 140L blue bin is for general waste that cannot be recycled or composted and is collected weekly.
    Where does it go?
    All general waste is sent to landfill.
    General waste tips
    • Any packaging and soft film plastics that do not hold their shape when scrunched cannot be recycled. However, they can be recycled when collected in large quantities, eg Coles Supermarkets - have collections for soft plastic such as plastic bags, bread bags, bubble wrap, food packaging and old 'reusable' shopping bags 
    • 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
    • Chip packets, lolly and chocolate wrappers
    • Disposable nappies
    • Fabric, linen, clothing (not reusable). Check charity stores first before disposal
    • Cleaning cloths and sponges
    • Broken crockery
    • Broken glass, mirrors, ceramics, window glass (wrapped)
    • String, rope, plastic strapping, netting
    • Video and audio tapes
    • Polystyrene foam (meat trays, takeaway containers, cups etc)
    • Soft plastics (cling film, bubble wrap). Can be taken to most Coles Supermarket for recycling
     Food scraps (put in green organics bin)
    •   Garden materials
    • Recyclable materials
    • Hot ash (cold ash must be securely wrapped)
    • Soil and sand
    • Liquids (i.e. paints, oil, solvents and chemicals)
    • LPG gas bottles
    • Building materials (i.e. concrete, bricks and sawdust)
    • Large pieces of metal

    Not sure what goes where? Visit the Recycle Right website.

    blue bin
  • 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.
    Where does it go?
    Recycling is taken to SKM Recycling where they are sorted and reprocessed into new products.
    Recycling tips
    • Place all items loosely into the bin – do not contain items in plastic bags
    • Leave paper and cardboard loose and unbundled
    • Shredded or scraps of paper must be contained in an envelope/paper bag for recycling
    • 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

    Recycle Right
    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.  Then all that effort you’ve put into separating your unwanted items goes to waste, let alone the additional cost for disposal.

    We understand that recycling right can be confusing. It has changed so much over the last fifteen years, and it’s changing even more with SKM Recycling now processing our recyclables and accepting a wider range of household items. 
    • Paper and cardboard (newspapers, magazines, junk mail, envelopes, egg cartons).
    •       Flatten cardboard boxes to leave more room in your bin
    • Glass bottles and jars (all food residual removed, rinse, 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)
    •  Plastic toys
    •  Rigid Plastic items such as laundry baskets, buckets, plant pots, spray & pump bottles
       Pots & Pans, Kitchenware
    • Plastic bags, cling wrap, bread bags, food packaging.
    •       Consider taking these to Coles /Woolworths Supermarkets for recycling
    • Polystyrene foam (meat trays, takeaway containers, cups etc)
    • Textiles, clothing and fabric. Consider taking these to Charity Shops
    • Electrical items
    • Garden materials
    • Food scraps

    Not sure what goes where? Visit Recycle Right.

    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.

    Yellow bin
  • Organics (Green or Grey Bin)
    Your 240L organics bin (green or grey lid) is collected on the alternate week to your recycling bin.
    Where does it go?
    Organics go to Peats Soil & Garden, where it is recycled into mulch, compost, potting mix and top dressing soils.
    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 prunings can be used)
    • Worm farms turn kitchen scraps and garden materials into liquid fertiliser for the garden
    If it grows…….it can go in the Organics Bin
    • All food scraps, including meat, dairy, shellfish, citrus, takeaway leftovers,
    •       soiled pizza boxes, tea leaves & bags, coffee grounds, cut flowers, compostable
    •       corn starch bags
    • Tissues and paper towels
    •  Newsprint Kitty Litter (including their waste)
    •  Hair
    • Lawn clippings, garden prunings, twigs, leaves and weeds
    • Small branches (max 15cm diameter x 60cm)
    •  Sawdust
    • Plastic or glass (of any kind)
    • Gardening tools, hoses and empty plant pots & trays
    • Bricks or building materials
    •   Painted or treated timber
    • Soil, rocks or stones
    • Ash (hot or cold)
    Food waste
    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.

    Kitchen Caddys & Compostable liners are available to purchase from the Council Offices.

    Green bin

The City of Unley operates a three bin system to help residents and businesses divert materials for recycling and reduce landfill.

To ensure your bins are emptied on your scheduled collection day, you need to:
  • Put bins out by 6am on the day of pick up, or the night before
  • Face each bin with wheels towards the house
  • Keep a minimum of 30-50cm clear around each bin
  • Don’t overfill the bin (maximum weight 75kg)
  • Place the right material in the right bin
  • Don’t pack the waste too tightly
  • Make sure the Lid is closed
  • Bring bins back in within 24 hours of collection. Bins left out can become hazards for pedestrians, block vision of vehicles reversing out of properties and can encourage illegal dumping of rubbish by others.

For all bin repairs, maintenance, missed collections, missing (theft) bins, hard waste bookings and other collection enquiries, please phone SOLO Resource Recovery on the Waste Hotline 8159 5059.

Recycle Right
Use the Recycle Right search engine to find recycling advice and drop off locations closest to your suburb.

Hard Waste

Residents are entitled to one hard waste collection per financial year. (1 July - 30 June).

Bookings are required and are subject to availability and waiting periods may apply.  Bookings made on-line will receive an email advising of the next available collection in their suburb, and a ‘courtesy’ reminder email on the Friday prior to the collection week. 

Any rubbish that is put out without a booking is considered as illegally dumped rubbish and can attract a fine.

To make a booking:

The maximum amount that can be collected is 2 cubic metres. (2m length x 1m wide x 1m height). This amount equates (approx.) to a small 6ft x 4ft trailer load.

Keep your Hard Waste safe and tidy

It is your responsibility to ensure that the hard waste outside your property is placed and maintained safely until collected - even if it is moved by other people. Council will NOT be responsible for removal of any items that have been ‘added’ to your pile by persons unknown.

  • Put your waste out the Sunday evening before it is due for collection - no sooner. Our Collection Contractor will not come onto private property to remove rubbish. Fines may be issued for waste placed on the footpath earlier than this date.
  • Leave plenty of room on the footpath for people to walk past
  • Don't leave anything sharp or hazardous on the footpath
  • Remove all doors from fridges and freezers
  • Don't stack your waste too high
  • Lie taller items down (eg wardrobes)
  • Acceptable Items
     Mattresses including foam mattresses Maximum of two, including the base.
     Household furniture and goods Dismantled, where possible. Eg lounge, chairs, beanbags, crockery, gym equipment, pram, toys, baby seat
     Lawnmower Fuel tank must be empty.
     Hot water service
     White goods Maximum of two, doors removed or taped closed. Eg fridge, washing machine, stove.
     Electrical goods Eg TV, fans, DVD player, toaster, vacuum cleaner, power tools.
     Galvanised Iron sheets or roof guttering Maximum of 15 sheets and no longer than 1.5m.
     Timber Maximum length 1.5m and bundled. Eg floor boards, pergola, fence posts.
     Floor coverings Maximum of two rooms, must be rolled and tied into 1.5m length x 30cm diameter. Eg carpet, underlay, rugs.
     Steel and metals  Ferrous and non-ferrous.  Bundled, dismantled and maximum length 1.5m.  Modular rainwater tank no more than three Modules. Eg free standing swing, small modular rainwater tank, small round rainwater tank, cycle bike, chicken wire.
     Mirrors, glass, windows Securely wrapped in cardboard and marked ‘GLASS’.
    Note:  E-waste and mattresses are collected separately and may be left for a short time after initial collection by the compactor has taken place.

  • Not Acceptable Items

     Hazardous products, toxic substances, explosives, flammables, ammunition.
    eg paint, pesticides, garden fertilisers, cleaning agents, suspected Asbestos items, explosives, ammunition, fuel, gas bottles, fire extinguishers, fibreglass.
     Building material from erection, demolition or renovation of a property or shop
    eg bricks, concrete, gyprock/plasterboard, cement mix, dirt, rubble, wooden pallets, tiles, toilet bowl and cisterns
     Large rainwater tanks
     Car bodies, panels, engines, parts
     Batteries eg car, scooter, power packs, small AA
     Liquid waste including paint and oil
     Garden waste, tree stumps
     Wooden pallets
     Domestic waste
     Vegetation and garden waste including fruit and vegetables
     Unwrapped or broken glass
     Cardboard, bottles, cans eg kerbside recyclable items
     Unsanitary or sharps items eg syringes and medical waste

  • Alternative drop-off points for some non-collectable items

    Full-service rubbish removal
    Phone 1800 468 586

    Metals, gas bottles, clothing, e-waste
    Glen Osmond Recycling Centre
    389 Glen Osmond Rd, Glen Osmond. Phone 8379 9955

    Household furniture, vegetation, metals, timber, e-waste
    Adelaide Waste and Recycling Centre
    181 Morphett Road, North Plympton. Phone 8295 5790

    Household furniture, asbestos
    Metro Waste Thebarton
    19-25 Murray Street, Thebarton. Phone 8443 8827

    Metals, bottles, e-waste
    Daws Road Recycling Centre
    76 Daws Road, Edwardstown. Phone 8277 5588
    Household furniture, vegetation, metals, timber
    Integrated Waste Services (IWS)
    Wingfield Road, Wingfield. Phone 8243 2644
    Hazardous wastes. Eg liquid, paint, pesticides, fertilisers.
    Zero Waste Household Hazardous Waste Depot
    Magazine Rd, Dry Creek. Phone 8204 2051


  • Other tips for disposal

    Residential quantities of household batteries, fluoros, globes, mobile phones, engine and cooking oil.
    Unley Works Depot, 75 King William Road, Unley. Phone 8372 5111.
    Liquid paint
    Unwanted paint can be disposed of for FREE by taking it to Cleanaway, 20 George St, Wingfield. Alternatively, allow paint to harden (dry out), then tap out contents into the waste bin and the container (tin) placed in the yellow-lid recycling bin.
    All chemists will take unused or unwanted pills and medications, and some will accept and replace sharps containers.
    Clothing and textiles
    Glen Osmond Recycling Centre. Phone 8379 9955.
    Local Charity Opportunity Shops such as St Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army.

Recycling Plastics

Have you ever wondered what the triangular symbol means at the bottom of plastic bottles and containers?
This symbol is NOT a recycling symbol, but a plastics identification code used to tell manufacturers and recycling companies what type of plastic the item is made from.
  • What plastics CAN be recycled?
    Rather than worry about a number, a handy tip is that any plastic container that is rigid can be recycled.  
    A container is “rigid” if it:
    • holds its shape when crumpled, and/or 
    • would hold liquid.

    Here’s a quick guide to containers with a plastic code that CAN be recycled:
     PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) Carbonated soft drink bottles, detergent bottles.
    HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) Milk and cream bottles, shampoo bottles, cleaning products.
     PVC  (Polyvinyl Chloride) Clear cordial and juice bottles. 

     LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) Squeeze bottles.
    PP (Polypropylene) Ice cream containers and lids, plastic take away containers.
     PS (Polystyrene) Yoghurt containers and margarine/butter containers.
  • What plastics CANNOT be recycled?

    This part can get a little confusing as some plastic items marked with a 4 or 6 cannot be recycled. A handy tip is to ask “Is the plastic soft, easily wrapped or squish-able in your hands?” If yes, it CANNOT be recycled. “Soft” plastics in this category include grocery shopping bags, cling-wrap, lightweight polystyrene meat trays and packing foam.

    Do not place soft plastics in the recycling bin. Plastic bags can be recycled through specially labelled bins at your local supermarket, and place polystyrene foam in your waste bin.

For more handy recycling tips, visit Reducing Waste.