What can and cannot be recycled

Tangoskip Bin Hire takes our nation’s efforts to recycle seriously.  Not everything needs to end up in a landfill.  Where possible, Tangoskip works with our recycling partners to recycle the waste we collect. If you are passionate about recycling, you will find the information below helpful.

Getting rid of waste

There are many different types of waste produced from our households and garages. We know what to do with the common items like paper, glass bottles and jars, general rubbish – but what about the other waste we know not to put in our garbage bins, but then what should we do with it?

Recycling statistics

Managing waste is a growing problem for modern societies.   The following statistics from NetWaste NSW will shock you.
  1. Australia is the second highest producer of waste per person in the world at approximately 650 kgs per person, second only to the USA, which produces approximately 715 kgs per person.
  2. The amount of waste produced in Australia has nearly doubled in the last 10 years’ from 22.7 million to 43.8 million tonnes of waste.
  3. Household waste makes up almost half of the solid waste, the rest is commercial and industrial waste, and building and demolition waste.
  4. The average Australian family of 4 people makes enough waste in one year to completely fill a 3-bedroom house from the floor to the ceiling.
  5. Only 52% of household waste can be recycled. The balance of 48% ends in a landfill.
What each person throws: 330 kg of paper 552 kg of aluminium cans 118 kg of plastic 74 kg of metal 414 kg of food 206 glass bottles/jars

What can and can’t be recycled

Knowing what can be recycled and what can’t, will make a difference to our country’s recycling efforts. Far too many people are making the mistake of putting contaminants into their household recycling bin.  Putting the wrong things into your recycling bin can contaminate the rest of its contents and the entire contents may end up in the landfill instead.

Items that can be recycled

Paper: office paper, magazines, newspapers and junk mail Cardboard Green, clear and brown glass bottles and jars Juice and milk cartons All plastic bottles and containers marked, but no lids please Steel (tin) and aluminium cans and empty aerosols

Items that cannot be recycled

  • Plastic bags or recyclables inside plastic bags
  • Takeaway coffee cups
  • Disposable nappies
  • Garden waste
  • Polystyrene (foam)
  • Bubble wrap
  • Syringes or medical waste
  • Dead animals
  • Oils
  • Ceramics, ovenware or light bulbs
  • Pizza boxes
  • Bottle caps
  • Dyed, heavily soiled or damp paper
  • Plastic bags

Household chemical waste

Examples of household chemical waste include gas cylinders, paint, fluorescent tube, pool and household cleaning chemicals, and pesticides. Check your local council to find out how you can dispose of your household chemical waste. You can also use a skip bin hire to remove the waste.  Be sure to tell the operator that you are putting household chemicals in the skip bin.


Electronic waste can come in many forms including computers, photocopiers, printers, faxes, monitors, batteries and mobile phones. Some of these items can be highly toxic and environmentally damaging. When e-waste is sent to landfill, poisonous substances can leach from decomposing waste and into the environment. Substances such as; Lead in cathode ray tubes and solder, Mercury in switches and housing,  Arsenic in cathode ray tubes, Antimony trioxide as flame retardant, Selenium in circuit boards, Cadmium in semiconductors, Cobalt in steel for magnets. At Tangoskip Bin Hire, we clarify with our clients to find out if they are intending to throw any e-Waste into their bins.  We usually ask the client to put these aside so it’s easier for us to separate them from the common waste in the bin.

Used motor oil

Used motor oil incorrectly disposed of, can seep into the ground and contaminate soil, streams, rivers, lakes and drinking water. Used oil contains contaminants such as arsenic, lead and magnesium which when released into the environment are toxic. One litre of used oil can contaminate up to one million litres of water – about half the size of an Olympic swimming pool! Used oil can be cleaned and recycled for use by heating the used oil to very high temperatures, impurities are removed and the end result can be re-sold as ‘base oil’ to be incorporated into other products such as hydraulic oil or lubricating oil. There are specific used oil recycling centres throughout NSW.  Check with your local council or look up NetWaste website. If you are using a Tangoskip bin and you have used oil you would like to throw out, be sure to let us know when you are making a booking.  We will give you instructions of what you have to do.

Make it easy to recycle at home

Set up a recycling system at home

You don’t have to head outside every time you want to put an empty can or bottle in the recycling bin. If you have the space in your kitchen, get a separate bin so you can pop your recycling in and then take it out to your kerbside recycling bin all at once. Don’t have the space in your kitchen to have an extra bin for recycling? Grab a box or a tub to fit any empty space you might have, and put your recycling in there. This is especially helpful in apartments where you can keep your recycling tub on a washing machine or balcony.

Prepare the recycling

One of the biggest problems in our recycling system is unwanted food scraps, so always remove food and liquids from containers and bottles before putting them in your recycling bin. Containers don’t need to be spotless. Just scrape all the food out for it to be ready for recycling. As for jar or bottle lids, metal and plastic lids can vary between each council. To know exactly how to prepare these for your recycling bin, check with your local council.

Know your local council

Find out from the council what you can and cannot recycle in your area.  For example, most councils accept glass in the same bin as paper and hard plastic, but some have a separate collection for glass. Visit your council website to learn what items you should be keeping out and putting in your recycling bin. Many councils have a helpful A to Z Waste and Recycling Guide or a quick guide to recycling for their residents. If you need to hire a skip bin call Tangoskip Bin Sydney today. Tangoskip is Sydney’s leading skip bin hire.  We have a wide range of skip bins for hire from small 2 cubic metre bins to large 10 cubic metre bins.  To book a bin call us on 0422 222 468 or email us: Tangoskips@gmail.com