Thank you for recycling right!

Recycling helps to reduce landfill and keeps valuable resources in use. The information on this page is designed to clarify which items can and can't be recycled.

Inner West Council provides a 240 litre yellow lid fortnightly collection service for recyclables. If a 240L bin is too large, you can order a smaller 120L wheelie bin.

Order a 120 litre recycling bin


Two guys in front of the garbage truck with Be the good sort banner

What goes in my recycling bin? 

Your yellow lid recycling bin is only for bottles, cans and containers from your kitchen, laundry and bathroom, and for paper and cardboard. Items must be loose so they can be sorted at our recycling facility. 

Remember to put recycling in loose!

Items contained in a plastic or paper bag will not be recycled. Bagged items may not be safe for workers at our recycling facility to open and sort through. 

Bagged recycling in a plastic bag
Do not bag recycling

Do not place soft plastics in your yellow lid bin

Putting soft plastics in the recycling bin is a common mistake. Soft plastics can get caught in machinery and create hazards. Soft plastic belongs in the red lid bin.

Graphic of plastic bag and plastic wrapper
Soft plastics cannot be recycled

Do not put batteries in your recycling bin or garbage bin. 

They can cause fires in trucks and at recycling facilities. Drop off batteries at your local supermarket or at Council's Community Recycling Centres.

Graphic of battery with prohibition cross through it
Batteries do not belong in the bin

Common recycling concerns

Do not put your recycling into the yellow-lid bin in plastic or paper bags. Place your items into the recycling bin loosely, so they can easily be sorted into paper, plastic, metal and glass.

Opening bagged recyclables can pose injury or health risks to manual sorters. For this reason, bagged recyclables are sent landfill instead of being recycled.

Do not collect recyclables in paper bags or squeeze recyclables into cardboard boxes. Even though paper and cardboard can be recycled, items need to be loose so they can easily be sorted and processed at the recycling facility.

We recommend using an unlined or reusable container to collect your recyclables. Once full, tip the contents into your yellow-lid bin.

If you prefer to line the bin, ensure you tip the contents out of the bag, into the recycling bin, and either reuse the bag or put it in the garbage.


Please leave lids on plastic bottles and screw metal lids onto glass jars before placing them in the recycling bin.

If a triangle (or chasing arrows symbol) is shown on its own, it means the item is recyclable.

However, if there is a number inside it (like the ones below, found only on plastic items), the number is identifying the type of plastic it is made from. It does not necessarily mean the item is recyclable. Therefore, we no longer use numbers to describe whether an item can be recycled or not.

Seven triangles containing the numbers 1 to 7

Due to the confusion, Planet Ark has developed the Australasian Recycling Label to help people understand if an item can be recycled. You might have started to see this kind of label on different products. Learn more about the Australasian Recycling Label in the next drop down.

The Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) can be found on the label of many everyday items. The icons show you how to discard of each part of the item's packaging.

A black triangle indicates the component of the packaging that goes into your yellow-lid bin. A white triangle indicates that a component can be recycled under certain conditions (for example, fabric handles need to be removed from a paper bag before the bag goes in the recycling bin). The trash can icon is used to show the components that need to go in the garbage bin.

Australasian Recycling Label

Different councils have different recycling capabilities so sometimes the icon will tell you to 'Check locally'. You should then check your local council website to see if the item is accepted. Check if an item can be recycled.

'Soft plastics' are plastics that can be easily scrunched up with one hand and do not bounce back into shape. They include items such as plastic bags, food wrappers, cling wrap and pasta bags. Soft plastics cannot be recycled in the yellow-lid bin and must be placed in your red-lid bin.

The previous soft plastics recycling supermarket drop-off scheme, REDcycle, stopped operating in 2022. Therefore, please disregard any reference to the REDcycle program you may see on products that have not yet removed this messaging.

While soft plastics cannot be recycled in the yellow-lid bin, they do have the potential to be recycled through other avenues and many small-scale initiatives and trials are underway. Government and industry are working together to develop solutions to the soft plastics challenge. 

Inner West residents are able to recycle soft plastics through the RecycleSmart program.

All disposable coffee cups should be placed in red-lid bins.

Most single-use coffee cups contain a plastic lining, meaning they cannot be recycled using the standard paper recycling process. Even 'compostable' cups are rarely composted, as Australia's present composting facilities are unable to efficiently process them. Single-use coffee cups place a significant strain on our waste management systems and the environment, increasing landfill and greenhouse gas emissions.

Try switching your single-use cup for a reusable one, or consider taking a moment away from your desk and drink your coffee while sitting in the cafe.

If you can’t avoid single-use cups, please remember to put them in your red-lid garbage bin.

Remember, your yellow-lid recycling bin is only for plastic packaging, not plastic household items! In addition to soft plastics, non-recyclable plastics include:

  • Hard plastics (Tupperware, plastic buckets, plastic toys)
  • Polystyrene (cups, meat trays, and packaging blocks or peanuts)
  • Netted fruit and vegetable bags
  • Composite plastic items (electronics, scissors, sunglasses)
  • Compostable plastics (such as Bio Cups or plastic made from PLA - polylactic acid)
  • Only beverage containers and jars are recyclable through the yellow lid bin (keep lids on).

    Glassware (drinking glasses and wine glasses), pyrex (measuring cups, mixing bowls and glass ovenproof trays) and plate glass (windowpane glass, mirrors) cannot be recycled through your kerbside bin. They have a higher melting point for recycling and cannot be mixed with glass bottles and jars.

    Contaminated paper is not suitable for recycling. Contaminated paper includes:

  • Paper towels that have been used to wipe benches
  • Used tissues and serviettes 
  • Cardboard takeaway containers with excess food and sauce

  • Greasy pizza boxes can be recycled, however all food must be removed.

    If you're unsure if an item can be recycled or not, and don't have time to check our A-Z What goes where? guide, it's best to throw it in the red-lid garbage bin.

    If you look up our A-Z guide and don't see your item listed, shoot us a message with a description and photo to so one of our experts can let you know.

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    Page last updated: 23 May 2024