3 major contaminations in our recycling bins and how to avoid them

You are currently viewing 3 major contaminations in our recycling bins and how to avoid them

Welcome to my new waste education series: 🍩 Donut Waste Time, Save the Planet. 🌏

In these blog posts, I will be giving you tips on how to live more sustainably, how to recycle correctly and answering all your waste and recycling-related questions.♻️

Which you can pop underneath this very article.πŸ‘‡

Today I talk about the 3 major and common contaminations in our yellow-top recycling bins.


Soft plastic is in fact number one contamination in our recycling bins here in WA and in other states.


Because it chokes the machinery in the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) and stuffs up the separation process.

What to do with soft plastics

Take them to Coles and Woollies and put them in a REDcycle bin. The full list of the types of soft plastics that can be accepted can be found on their website.

If you can’t be bothered saving the planet, put them in your general waste bin.


Electronic waste (e-waste) is an electrical item with a plug, battery or cord that is at the end of its useful life.

E-waste does not belong in the recycling bin, what’s more, it should not be put into any of your kerbside bin.


Because if it contains a battery, it can cause to ignite a fire within the collection truck when compacted with things like cardboard. (Remember that pizza box you put in there?)

It also contains valuable materials such as precious metals which we worked hard to dig out of the ground and that should be extracted for reuse.

Furthermore, your cables (or any rope-like waste) can wreck the machinery at MRF and cost the facility thousand of dollars.

What to do with e-waste

Your old, no longer functional electronics can be brought to your nearest drop-off point such as recycling centre, tip, office works etc.
You can find your nearest location through e.g. Total Green Recycling website.
Always make sure your chosen drop-off accepts your item and if there is a fee.
Recycling Centre Balcatta accepts all e-waste free of charge.


Nappies are, believe it or not, still problematic and common contamination in yellow-tops.


Because they can’t be recycled (especially with poo in it, dah) and contaminate your whole bin, hence the whole truck.

What to do with nappies

No matter what type you have (compostable, biodegradable, single-use) all these go to the general waste bin.

Please let me know if you have any waste and recycling-related questions.

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