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10 ways to avoid recycling contamination

Posted on Friday, August 27th, 2021

It’s important that we are aware of what stuff goes in which bin to avoid contamination. When contaminated loads of recycling are found, it can potentially result in the whole load ending up in landfill. Here’s 10 tips on how to make sure you aren’t contaminating your rubbish. 

Look out for recycling labels

Keep an eye out for the recycling labels on the back of packages and bottles. Determine whether or not an item is recyclable before throwing it in the trash.

Remove metal caps and lids


Metal lids and caps from glass jars can be put in the recycling loose because they will be captured by the magnetic sorter.

Empty and rinse all containers

Wet and soiled paper or cardboard is unusable at recycling facilities and will be diverted back into landfills instead of recycled.

Do not recycle plastic bags

Plastic bags are one of the number one recycling contaminators. They get tangled in the gears at recycling facilities, which can be hazardous to the workers who have to untangle them.

Safely dispose of batteries 

Throwing batteries in the recycling bin is dangerous. They can cause fires due to combustion and medical leaks. They can also leak on other materials such as paper and cardboard and contaminate the rubbish load which will then end up in landfill.

Coffee cups belong in the trash


Coffee cups are not actually recyclable. They have a plastic lining on the inside which prevents the liquid from leaking. Throw these in the trash to avoid contamination.

Soft paper products cannot be recycled

It’s common to think that items such as tissues and paper towels, napkins are recyclable. They are soiled by the time they are ready to be recycled which means they can contaminate other recycling products.

Pots and pans cannot be recycled at home



Pots, pans and cutlery items can be recycled at your nearest recycling facility or donated at your local charity shop. 

Compostable items can contaminate your recycling

Compostable items can contaminate your recycling. The processes of composting and recycling are very different, so you can’t recycle food waste or compostable serviceware.

Recycle household products

Don’t forget to recycle shampoo bottles and other household products around the house. Rinse the bottles thoroughly and make sure to check the recycling labels.

It is important to maintain a healthy recycling program so we can make better use of our limited resources and help reduce our carbon emissions. If we learn to stop recycling contamination, we will be able to help our recycling facilities flourish safely and efficiently.


If you are looking to get rid of waste our team at Bonza Bins are happy to help you. Get in touch with us. It’s also always a good idea to look for more sustainable options whenever possible in order to avoid the landfill. The most affordable skip bins Armdale!