Sustainable living

7 easy recycling tips while at home

Be the planet’s best ally during self-isolation.

7 recycling tips while at home

With most of us working, studying or caring for children at home, our waste and recycling bins fill up quickly. Here are some easy ways to keep household waste under control in these challenging times.

  1. Love your leftovers: Enjoy them for a snack or another meal. Use the entire vegetable - stalks and peel make tasty stocks. Join Love Food Sydney for more ways to reduce your food waste.
  2. Sort single-use items properly: Disposable masks and coffee cups must go in the rubbish (red lid) bin. Plastic takeaway containers can be re-used to store food or other items. If you can’t re-use them, they can be recycled in your yellow lid bin. Just make sure they're clean - empty food and liquids.
  3. Keep soft plastics out of the bins: Plastic bags, bread bags and food wrappers can’t be recycled in your home recycling bin. Book a RecycleSmart pickup and have them collected from your doorstep. You can also take them to soft plastic drop-off points at your local supermarket. Look for the RedCycle bin.
  4. Think yellow for hard plastics: Packaging that keeps its structure or bounces back when you try squashing it (like a biscuit tray) goes into your yellow lid bin.
  5. Make space in the bins: Flatten cardboard boxes to fit more in the recycling bin. Keep it loose. We can’t recycle items tied up in plastic bags.
  6. Go green: Whether you have a few pots on a balcony or a full backyard, all plants need a bit of maintenance. Recycle your garden waste in the green lid garden organics bin. If you don’t have one, you can order one free.
  7. Book a free pick-up for bulky items or a RecycleSmart pickup for smaller ones: City of Sydney residents can have their bulky waste collected once a week. We accept furniture, mattresses, whitegoods, electronics and large garden organics, and recycle as much as possible. If you have items that can fit inside a shopping bag, like batteries or broken appliances, book a pickup with RecycleSmart to have them collected from your doorstep. Your first pickup is free with the code CITYOFSYDNEY.

Still have questions? Ask a waste expert all your tricky questions about reducing, reusing and recycling.

Learn more about managing your recycling and waste and read more about extra cleansing on city streets.

Published 10 August 2021, updated 30 September 2021