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

Download the City of Unley Kerbside Bin Collection Calendar to determine your bin collection day.

All waste bins (blue lid) are collected each week, recycling (yellow lid) and organic (green lid) bins are collected on alternating fortnights.

The Three Bin System

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

Garbage truck collecting kerbside waste
  • 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 and clothing (not reusable). Check charity stores first before disposal
    • Cleaning cloths and sponges
    • Broken crockery
    • Broken glass, 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 (cling film and 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 (eg paints, oil, solvents and chemicals)
    • LPG gas bottles
    • Building materials (eg 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 for sorting and reprocessing 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.
    • 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)
    • Plastic toys
    • Rigid plastic items such as laundry baskets, buckets, plant pots, spray and pump bottles
    • Pots, pans and kitchenware
    • Plastic bags, cling wrap, bread bags and food packaging.
    • Consider taking these to Coles/Woolworths Supermarkets for recycling
    • Polystyrene foam (meat trays, takeaway containers and cups etc)
    • Textiles, clothing and fabric. Consider taking these to Charity Shops
    • Electrical items
    • Garden materials
    • Food scraps

    Not sure what goes where? Visit the Which Bin website.

    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 and 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 and 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 and compostable liners are available to purchase from the Council Offices.

    Green bin
  • General House Keeping of Bins

    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.
  • Bin Entitlements
    Residential Properties

    All residential rateable properties are entitled to a domestic kerbside bin collection service compromising of household recycling, green organics and general waste to landfill.

    • 1 x 140L Blue Bin General Waste – collected weekly
    • 1 x 240L Yellow Bin Recycling – collected fortnightly
    • 1 x 240L Green Bin Organics – collected fortnightly*

    The supply and collection of extra bins in addition to the standard entitlement, is by arrangement with Council’s Contractor on an agreed fee for service basis, after application approval by Council. The annual fee is set by Council and payable to the Contractor. 

    *Exceptions may apply due to dwelling density, location or service availability.

    Business/Commercial Properties

    All rateable commercial properties are also entitled to a domestic kerbside bin collection service compromising of household recycling and general waste to landfill.

    • 1 x 140L Blue Bin General Waste
    • 1 x 240L Yellow Bin Recycling

    Green Organics Bins are only provided if there is substantial landscaping required of the property.

    Commercial food waste collection should be sourced by a commercial waste contractor.

  • Additional Bins
    Residential Properties

    Additional bins are only available through an application to Council for residential properties for an annual service fee per bin.
    Service fees are published under Fees & Charges. If the application is approved, the information will be forward to Council’s Waste Contractor who will follow up to arrange payment and subsequent delivery of the bins.

    Business/Commercial Properties

    Additional bins are not available through Council to an individual business, industrial and commercial premises. It is expected that each business will access commercial waste and recycling collection suppliers for any needs to excess of kerbside collection services.

    For further information regarding kerbside collection in relation to Business and Commercial properties please contact the Waste Management Officer on 8372 5111.

  • Missed Bin Collection

    For all enquiries associated with a kerbside collection bin that has not been collected on your scheduled collection day, please contact:

    SOLO Waste Hotline

    Phone: 8159 5059

  • Bin Maintenance

    If your kerbside collection bin is damaged or is in need of replacement parts (e.g. lid pins, wheels, axles, lids or the bin body), please contact:

    SOLO Waste Hotline

    Phone: 8159 5059

  • Missing or Lost Bins

    If a kerbside collection bin is missing from the front of your property after it has been placed there for collection, it should be reported as missing or lost.

    You will need to report it to SAPOL via the Online Lost Property Reporting (OLPR), as SOLO will require the OLPR number before a replacement bin is provided.

    If you find a bin, please contact Solo.

    SOLO Waste Hotline

    Phone: 8159 5059

  • Bins No Longer Required

    If your property is being demolished, you are required to surrender your kerbside collection bins to Council.

    When the new property becomes occupied replacement bins will be provided, please contact:

    SOLO Waste Hotline

    Phone: 8159 5059

Recycling Glass

Glass is made from three raw materials: sand, soda ash and limestone. Recycling your glass bottles and jars can help conserve these materials.

In order to minimise your glass use, buy in bulk and/or take glass jars to stores be refilled (services available at health food stores and co-ops).

For other glass bottles and jars, re-use them as containers in the kitchen, house and shed, or donate them to a community craft group or school.

  • What glass CAN be placed in your Yellow Recycling Bin

    For effective recycling, all jars and bottles need to be empty and dry, rinsing containers is not a must-do for recycling. Remove lids or caps, but no need to remove paper labels.

    Here is a quick guide to the types of glass that CAN be placed in your recycling bin:

    • Beer bottle (green, amber and clear glass bottles)
    • Wine bottles (green, amber and clear glass bottles)
    • Soft drink bottles
    • Sauce bottles
    • Jars.
  • What glass CANNOT be placed in your Yellow Recycling Bin

    Here is a quick guide to the types of glass that CANNOT be placed in your recycling bin because they are toughened glass and melt at a higher temperature than normal glass bottles and jars:

    • Drinking glasses
    • Mirrors
    • Ceramics
    • Plate glass
    • Frosted glass
    • Window or windscreen glass
    • Oven-proof or heat-treated glass (pyrex)
    • Light globes
    • Medical glass.

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.

Empty is preferable and, if possible, rinsed.
  • What plastic CAN be placed in your Yellow Recycling Bin

    Any plastic container that is rigid can be recycled. A handy tip for deciding if the container is ‘rigid’ is if it:

    • Holds its shape when crumpled, and/or
    • Would hold liquid.

    For effective recycling, all containers need to be empty and dry, rinsing containers is not a must-do for recycling.

    Here is a quick guide to plastic containers that CAN be placed in your recycling bin:

    • Carbonated soft drink bottles
    • Detergent bottles
    • Milk and cream bottles
    • Shampoo bottles
    • Cleaning bottles
    • Clear cordial and juice bottles
    • Squeeze bottles
    • Ice cream containers and lids
    • Plastic take away containers, sushi trays and coffee cup lids
    • Yoghurt containers
    • Margarine/butter containers
    • Fruit punnets and biscuit trays
    • Toys, buckets, plant pots and storage containers
    • CD and DVD covers only.

    Loose plastic lids and other small pieces of rigid plastic, such as cable ties can be placed in a rinsed plastic bottle. When the bottle is full, just screw on a lid and pop the full bottle in the recycling bin. This will be recycled as a mixed plastic. Leaving them loose in your recycling bin means they are often too small to be captured when sorted.

    Collecting bread tags, even broken ones, makes a difference to our environment too as they are recycled into seedling trays, cornices, skirtings, outdoor furniture, coat hangers, poles and decking. 1079 Life have partnered with ‘Container of Hope’ to ship all collected bread tags to South Africa to a group called ‘Bread tags for Wheelchairs’, who help disabled adults and children obtain much needed wheel chairs. Take your bread tags along to The Roadies each Monday or drop them off to 1079 Life with a gold coin donation to help with postage and they will send them on your behalf.

    For further information visit: 1079 Life and Bread Tags for Wheelchairs.

  • What plastic CANNOT be placed in your Yellow Recycling Bin

    This part can get a little tricky, a handy tip is to ask “Is the plastic soft, easily wrapped or squish-able in your hands?” If yes, it CANNOT be recycled in your Yellow Bin. 'Soft' plastics in this category include grocery shopping bags, cling-wrap, lightweight polystyrene meat trays and packing foam.

  • Soft Plastics

    Soft plastics, the kind that can be scrunched into a ball, are among the biggest problems in the kerbside recycling system as they get caught in the recycling machinery.

    Soft plastics can only be recycled through the REDcycle program at participating supermarkets.

    The plastic is used as a resource to produce a huge range of recycled plastic related products, from fitness circuits to sturdy outdoor furniture, bollards, signage and more.

    To locate a drop off point in your area visit REDcycle.

    What you can recycle:

    • Plastic shopping bags (single use)
    • Bread, rice, pasta, lolly and cereal bags
    • Biscuit packs (but not the trays)
    • Frozen food bags
    • Newspaper wrap
    • Bubble wrap
    • Dry cleaning bags
    • Fruit and veg bags and netting
    • Toilet paper and similar product packaging
    • Old green (and other re-usable) bags.

Biodegradable, Degradable, Compostable

The difference in the types of plastic bags we use day-to-day can be confusing. Unfortunately, this mix-up can lead to the wrong bags contaminating our green bins.

The below tips will help clarify what goes where.

For more recycling tips, visit our Reducing Waste Page.

  • Degradable - Goes in your waste to landfill bin

    Degradable describes where the ordinary plastics are treated with additives, usually consisting of heavy metals to cause the material to disintegrate over a number of years.  
    Causes of the degradation: sunlight, time, water, chemicals, micro-organisms
    Time to degrade: varies, but generally a long time

  • Biodegradable - Goes in your waste to landfill bin

    Biodegradable plastic bags are a specific type of degradable. But that still doesn’t mean they are ok to compost.
    Causes of the degradation: mainly naturally occurring micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi
    Time to degrade: varies from days to months to years depending on the material and environment

  • Compostable - Goes in your green organics bin

    Compostable bags are a specific type of biodegradable that:

    • are made from 100% compostable materials (cornstarch, vegetable oil and a compostable polyester) that need to be certified to Australian Standard AS4736-2006.
    • break down at the same rate as paper
    • looks like compost when fully broken down
    • do not leave a toxic residue 
    • should be able to support plant life

    Causes of the degradation: microbiological, in a controlled environment
    Time to degrade: around 30 days in a commercial composting environment