frequently asked questions

For most councils in the Perth Metropolitan Area, there have been changes regarding what can and can’t be recycled in your yellow-topped bin. These changes are part of an effort to reduce contamination and make recycling easier for everyone to understand.

In the past there’s been a lot of different information about what goes into your recycling bin depending on which council you live. This has meant that over time, there has been some confusion about just exactly what can and can’t go into the yellow topped bin.

Changes in the industry and tighter restrictions on recyclable products now mean that some materials previously accepted will now be excluded, in an effort to reduce contamination and produce a cleaner stream of recyclable materials.

Many of the items that should not be placed into your recycling bins either cannot be recovered through your kerbside collection or can get mixed up with other streams and spoil good quality recyclables. Some items, such as hazardous materials can even pose risks to staff and equipment involved in the recycling process.

For more information on the changes click here

Lids and containers are made from different types of materials. By separating them and putting both the lid and container into the recycling bin, you are increasing our ability to recover precious resources. When the lid is kept on a container, the items inside have the potential to go putrid, contaminate other recyclables, and be hazardous to workers. It is for these reasons that we ask you to remove the lid from bottles.

Containers, especially those holding organic waste, should be rinsed prior to placing into the recycling bin. Recyclables are sorted at the SMRC into different types, before being baled and sent to a factory for further processing. In the process, workers come in contact with your recyclables. To ensure it is a safe environment for our workers, and to reduce the potential of putrid contamination, please rinse your containers before placing them into the recycling bin.

We ask for items to be rinsed to reduce the risk of putrid contamination from food residue sitting in containers and for the safety of workers handling the material.

You can use your leftover washing up water to give your recyclables a quick rinse before placing them in the bin, to remove remaining food and liquid.

If an item is not able to be rinsed or contains oily or sticky residue which is difficult to remove through rinsing, it should be placed into your general waste bin so as not to contaminate clean recyclables.

All construction waste needs to be disposed of properly. If you place bricks, pavers, rubble, or other construction waste into either your green or yellow-topped bins, it can damage the sorting equipment. Help the SMRC improve recovery rates by doing the right thing and disposing of this waste properly. You can use our mobile recycling app to locate your nearest local construction and demolition waste disposal site, landfill site or transfer station.

The Recycle Right education program, which includes tours, incursions, and education resources, is tailored to the sustainability cross-curriculum requirements.

Free tours of the Regional Resource Recovery Centre meet all nine sustainability organising ideas.For further information about the free tours and incursions please contact our Tour Guide at, or on 9256 9528.

Your green-topped general waste bin is composted instead of going into landfill. It is taken to the RRRC where the waste is sorted to remove large and hazardous items. Waste is then placed inside one of our four digestors. Inside the digestor the waste is broken down by microbes and made into compost. Material is then sieved to remove any metals and materials which did not breakdown during the digestor process. The compost then spends four weeks at the RRRC maturing and undergoes chemical testing. Contractor NutraRich then further processes the compost to meet industry standards. This compost is then finally used by Western Australian agriculture.

Tetrapaks and long-life cartons are made up of paper, plastic and foil and are difficult and costly to recycle through a kerbside recycling bin.

This type of packaging should be placed in your general waste bin.


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