I want to...

  • Find my collection day
  • Book a pick-up
  • Replace or repair my bin
  • Report a missed collection
  • Recycle e-waste

To minimise waste and reduce the use of natural resources, we need to ensure that recyclable items and materials are put in the right bin. And that’s where you come in — you can help by separating recyclable material from other waste material. Whether you live in a house or an apartment, you can recycle a range of containers, paper and cardboard.

New recycling drop-off event for old clothes, textiles, polystyrene, electronics and more.

Drop off some of your old and unwanted household items at our newest quarterly recycling event, Recycle It Saturday.

Recycle It Saturday will be on Saturday 5 September 2020 from 9am to 3pm at Alexandra Canal Depot, 67C Bourke Road, Alexandria NSW 2015.

You can drop off items for free including clothes and shoes, polystyrene, electronics, batteries, light bulbs, soft plastics, paint, gas bottles, large cardboard, large garden waste and x-rays.

Visit our What’s On page for more information on what you can bring, how to prepare and pack your items before arriving, and what we’re doing to keep you safe on the day.

How to use your yellow lid bin correctly

What belongs in the yellow lid bin

  • aluminium and steel tins and cans
  • aerosol cans – these need to be empty
  • aluminium foil – scrunch into a tennis size ball before it goes in
  • glass bottles and jars – separate metal lids
  • plastic soft-drink and water bottles
  • plastic food containers, tubs, trays and fruit punnets
  • juice and milk bottles
  • plastic containers for laundry liquid and powder, shampoo, conditioner, hand and body wash
  • newspapers, magazines and advertising materials (please remove plastic wrapping before adding to the bin)
  • egg cartons
  • envelopes (even those with clear plastic windows)
  • cardboard boxes including empty pizza boxes (remove any food scraps before putting them in the yellow lid bin)

What doesn't belong in the yellow lid bin

  • plastic bags and soft plastics such as bread bags, biscuit and confectionery packets, frozen food / rice / pasta bags
  • polystyrene such as meat trays and foam packaging
  • light globes, mirrors and window glass
  • crockery, drinking glasses and Pyrex
  • sharps and syringes
  • nappies
  • tissue paper and napkins
  • mixed materials – this means items that combine cardboard, metal, plastic, or foil. For example, waxed cardboard containers such as milk cartons, coffee cups or ice cream containers. Or juice tetra packs, coffee and hot chocolate containers – which usually have a cardboard body, metal base, and foil lining.

We can’t take your bin if it contains items other than those listed above, if the lid can’t close or has material outside your bin (unless bundled and booked as a separate pick-up).

Return and Earn

Council provides kerbside recycling services to the local community. To complement these services, the NSW Government has introduced the largest litter reduction scheme in NSW – the container deposit scheme, Return and Earn.

The scheme started in December 2017 to help reduce the more than 160 million drink containers being littered each year. Return and Earn is part of the NSW Government's commitment to reducing litter volume in NSW by 40% by 2020.

City of Sydney residents, workers and visitors can now Return and Earn at the self-service reverse vending machine on the ground floor of the car park, behind the Kings Cross police station, 8am to 6pm, daily.

There are other collection points in the City of Sydney. Find your nearest collection point.


All enquiries about Return and Earn can be directed to TOMRA, the network operator at, or phone 1800 290 691.

3 Handy recycling tips

1 Keep it loose

Please place your recycling loosely in the yellow lid bin – never in plastic bags. Plastic bags jam the machinery at our sorting facility, so we can’t recycle them or anything placed in them. Use a container or box to store your recyclables before putting them into your bin.

2 To rinse or not to rinse

No need to rinse containers before putting them in the recycling bin. They just need to be empty and dry. You might like to rinse anyway, as it keeps your recycling bin extra clean and odour-free.

3 Soft vs hard plastics – do the ‘scrunch test’

To identify soft plastics, do the scrunch test’. If you can scrunch your plastic into a ball easily, it can’t go in your yellow lid bin. You can recycle soft plastics along with plastic bags through the REDcycle program at participating supermarkets. Your empty packaging will be recycled into useful new products like outdoor furniture. Check REDcycle to find your nearest drop off point. Hard plastic packaging that keeps its structure or bounces back when you try squashing it goes in your yellow lid recycle bin.

Where it all goes

All materials collected are sent to a specialist recycling facility where materials are sorted for recycling. For example, paper and cardboard, glass, metals, and different types of plastics. From here, these items are reprocessed into raw materials and used to produce new products.

You might already know that paper, cardboard, steel, glass and aluminium can easily be recycled into the same type of materials or used in the production of new materials. You might not realise, however, that some plastics are transformed into outdoor furniture, plant pots and polar fleeces.


Last updated: Friday, 31 July 2020