Three Bin System
What are you looking for?
- Red Garbage Bin
- Yellow Recycling Bin
- Green Organics Bin
- Items that CAN go in each bin
- Items that CAN NOT go in any bin
- Missed Bin Collections
- Bin placement and use
City of Marion's kerbside waste and recycling collection system consists of three bins:
- Red Bin - Garbage - 140 litre - Collected weekly
- Yellow Bin - Recycling - 240 litre - Collected fortnightly
- Green Bin - Green organics - 240 litre - Collected fortnightly on the alternate week to recycling
The Bin Collection Calendar and Recycling Guide(2208 kb) outlines what goes in each bin and contains important information about bin collections, helpful hints on recycling right, and options for dealing with other waste that must not be placed in any bin.
This is your garbage bin and is for general household waste that cannot go in the recycling or organics bins.
What goes in the rubbish bin?
- Soft plastics, e.g. plastic wrap, cling film, newspaper plastic wraps, plastic bags, bin liners.
- Dirty non-compostable nappies.
- Kitty litter (in a plastic bag or wrapped in newspaper).
- Rags and clothing that cannot be passed on as hand-me downs or given to charity shops.
- Aluminium foil.
- Broken glass and crockery (wrap them in newspaper first).
- Polystyrene foam and bubble wrap.
Download our guide to What goes in the waste bin(252 kb)
Did you know you can recycle soft plastic bags and packaging at many local supermarkets?
This includes shopping bags, fruit and veggie bags, bread bags, biscuit and confectionery packaging, rice and pasta packets, plastic newspaper wrap and frozen food bags.
Gather them in a plastic bag and drop them off in the recycle bins at participating stores (pictured). Find the nearest location on the Redcycle website.
The yellow bin is your recycling bin. Rinse all containers, collect any bottle tops in one bottle and do not put plastic bags in this bin.
What goes in the recycling bin?
- Paper and cardboard (newspapers, magazines, junk mail, envelopes, egg cartons, cardboard boxes - flattened).
- Juice and milk cartons.
- Glass bottles and jars.
- Aluminium/steel cans and lids.
- Aerosol cans (empty).
- Alfoil (clean and collected into at least a fist-sized ball).
- Plastic bottle tops and bread tags (collected in a plastic bottle and once full put in the yellow bin).
- All rigid plastic containers (plastic that holds its own shape) including plastic drink bottles, yoghurt containers and detergent bottles.
Download our guide to What goes in the recycling bin(311 kb)
The Recycling Plastics Poster outlines in further detail what plastics can be recycled, how to identify them and what they are recycled into. Download the Recycling Plastics Poster (526 kb) here.
Not all recyclable products are able to be recycled at home. Just because a product has a recycling symbol doesn't mean it can automatically go into your recycling bin. Please follow the guidelines to ensure you are putting the correct items into your recycling bin.
What happens to my recycling once it's collected?
Once your recycling bin has been emptied, the materials are sent sent to a local materials recovery facility where they are sorted by a combination of high-tech machines and manual labour. The recyclable materials from homes and businesses are sorted into different categories or 'streams' of mixed paper and cardboard, steel, aluminium, glass, and plastics.
All of the mixed material from recycling bins is pushed into a large conveyor for the sorting to begin. Automated machines sort the aluminium, steel, paper and cardboard. There are manual sorters on these lines who remove contaminants such as plastic bags, quilts and pillows, gas bottles, carpet and other items. The remaining items made of glass and plastic are sorted by hand.
After the materials have been separated into different streams, they are crushed into bales and transported to various manufacturers where they are reprocessed into new products such as glass jars, plastic containers, cardboard packaging and steel products.
It is important that you follow the recycling guidelines to help reduce contamination and ensure the safety of those working on the sorting lines.
It is the right of the contractor to refuse collection of recycling bins that contain contaminated or unsafe materials.
The green organics bin is for food scraps and material from your garden.
What goes in the organics bin?
- Food scraps (if you don't have a compost bin or a worm farm, simply wrap your food scraps in paper and put them in the green bin).
- Compostable bags (identifiable with certification AS4736).
- Compostable nappies (make sure the nappies comply with the Australian Standard 4736 which means they are designed to be compostable).
- Small prunings and cuttings.
- Small branches (no bigger than 50mm diameter).
- Lawn clippings.
- Cut flowers.
- pet droppings and paper-based kitty litter (never in plastic bags).
- Shredded paper (mix the shredded paper with your garden and food waste or damp it down so it does not blow down the street when the bin is emptied).
- Food soiled paper (e.g. bakery bags).
- Paper towel and tissues.
- Cardboard (e.g. pizza boxes).
Please DO NOT put soil, stones, bricks, plant pots, plastics and garden hoses in your green organics bin. Do not put materials in plastic bags or use bin liners.
Download our guide to What goes in the organics bin(493 kb)
The green bags available from Council for use in the kitchen caddies are made from a plant-based material which is compostable. Find out more about kitchen caddies for recycling food scraps on our food waste page.
What is the difference between compostable and biodegradable bags?
Visit the Source Separation Systems website to learn more about the difference between compostable bags and biodegradable plastic bags.
Not sure which bin to put something in? Look for the item in our A-Z Recycling Guide to find out which bin it goes in.
- Download the A - Z Recycling Guide(195 kb)
Some items must NOT be placed in ANY bin. These include:
- All liquid waste (paint and oil).
- Building and construction waste (steel, concrete, bricks, timber and builders' rubble).
- Automobile components (including car tyres and car batteries).
- Rocks and earth.
- Electrical waste (e-waste).
- Hazardous waste (toxic and household chemicals, asbestos, paints and thinners).
- Radioactive materials.
- Hot ashes.
- Medical waste.
- Gas cylinders.
- Flares, ammunition and explosives.
For more information about what to put in which bin, please contact the Waste Education Officer using the below contact details.
Have a question about your bins and what should go in them?
Has your bin been missed, gone missing or is damaged?
Have you moved into a new property and need a bin?
Visit the Missed bin collections, damaged bins and demolitions page for details of what to do in these situations.
To ensure your bins are emptied correctly and on your collection day, you need to:
- Keep a minimum of 30cm clear around each bin.
- Keep bins one metre from any obstacle such as parked cars, letter boxes, stobie poles and street trees.
- Place bins on the kerbside by 6.00am on collection day.
- Place each bin in the right direction, that is, wheels towards the house.
- Be sure your waste is not packed too tightly and keep your bin's mass under 50kg.
- Don't overfill your bin. Make sure the bin can close.
- Place the right materials in the right bins.
City of Marion
Phone: 8375 6600
Fax: 8375 6699
Post: PO Box 21, Oaklands Park SA 5046
In person: 245 Sturt Road, Sturt SA 5047
Waste & Recycling FAQs
1. Glossy paper and tissues: can any type of paper go in the recycling bin?
There is some confusion about this. Basically, glossy paper is fine to go in the recycling bin if it rips. Paper that won’t rip is usually coated in plastic and therefore not recyclable.
2. How clean do items need to be to go in the yellow recycling bin?
Items need to be free from food – so rinse before recycling. Using the water at the end of washing up to give them a rinse is enough.
3. I have heard that strawberry and cherry tomato containers are ok to put in the yellow recycling bin. Is this right?
It depends on how strong the strawberry or tomato container is.
If the container is rigid and holds its own shape, then it is recyclable in the recycling bin.
If you can scrunch it in your hand and it does not bounce back, then it is too soft and needs to be placed in the waste bin with other soft plastics.
4. I know I can’t put soil in any of the bins so where can I take it?
Put soil in your garden or take it to a transfer station such as:
A transfer station sorts out materials and sends them off either for recycling or to landfill.
Alternatively you can take it directly to landfill such as SRWRA (112 Bakewell Drive, Seaford Heights, Phone: 8386 0273).
5. Nappies - do they all go to landfill?
Did you know that in Australia, up to 2.1 billion nappies are sent to landfill a year? As disposable nappies are estimated to take 150 years to break down, it means all those nappies are still sitting in our landfills taking up valuable space.
There are a few compostable nappies available on the market that can go in the green organics bin, but make sure they have the Australian Standard 4736 on them. An internet search will provide a list of local suppliers.
KESAB also has a discount on re-usable cloth nappies and runs a series of information sessions. To find out more, call KESAB on 8234 7255.
6. Packing foam/styrofoam: which bin does it go in?
Packing foam or polystyrene foam needs to go in the waste bin at the moment. This includes foam cups and meat trays. Don't be fooled by the triangle with the number in it - this is just a plastics identification code, not a recycling symbol.
7. Pizza boxes - can we really put them in the yellow recycling bin?
Yes, pizza boxes with no food scraps can go in the recycling bin. If they are badly soiled and have food in them, pizza boxes can be placed in the green organics bin.
8. Plastic Bags?
Throw plastic bags in the waste OR watch out for plastic bag collections at one of the major supermarkets.
9. Plastic bottle tops – we are told to take the tops off but not where to put them?
Collect all your plastic bottle tops in ONE bottle - they fit in quite easily. Once that bottle is full you can cap it and place it in the recycling bin. Metal lids can be placed in a metal can then squash the opening so they don’t fall out. Then place in the recycling bin.
10. Saucepans and frying pans: can they go in the recycling bin?
Yes. You will need to remove any plastic handles before placing the pans in the yellow lidded recycling bin. Please note, electric pans cannot go in your recycling. They count as e-waste and need to be handled accordingly.
11. Soft plastics: what do I do with flimsy biscuit trays and light packaging plastics?
Soft plastics such as food wrappers, glad wrap and plastic bags need to be placed in the waste bin unless you are prepared to take them to a plastics recycler for soft plastics yourself. Some of the major supermarkets are now running soft plastic collections - ask your local shop where their plastic recycling bin is and what you can put in it.
12. The triangle on plastics is confusing. What does it actually mean?
The triangle with the number inside is a plastic identification code not a recycling symbol. It only lets you know what kind of plastic the item is made from, but not whether it is recyclable via the recycling bin.
13. Tissue Paper: I’ve heard that this can’t go in the recycling bin? Where do they go then?
Tissue paper CAN NOT go in the recycling bin BUT it can be placed in the green organics bin. The same applies to paper towel.
14. Tricky Waste: Computers and other e-waste
Things are changing fast in this area so keep your eyes open for new options. Currently you can recycle your TVs and computers for free at certain sites. Visit the Zero Waste SA website for a full list of collection sites. An internet search may give you more local sites to take your e-waste to.
You can also take these items to:
While dropping off TVs and computers are free, there is currently a charge involved with other e-waste disposal.
15. Tricky Waste: Video (VCR) tapes is another confusing question.
These currently go in the rubbish bin unless there is another collection system that advertises for them.
16. Tricky Waste: What can I do with paint tins that still have some paint in?
Only clean, dry tins can be recycled.
Get rid of the excess paint through drying it out with kitty litter or spreading it out on newspaper - this then goes in the rubbish bin. For larger amounts of water based paints, you can buy a drying out kit from major hardware stores.
Once the tin is clean and dry, it can go in the recycling bin.
17. What about those big spring water bottles?
Bottles as large as plant pots can go in the recycling bin as long as they are a rigid plastic that holds their own shape.
18. What about used motor oil and kitchen oil?
Avoid pouring oils down the drain. There are quite a few options for disposal of oils. One of these is that you can take used oils in containers to a transfer station such as Solo Resource Recovery (181 Morphett Road, North Plympton, SA 5037, Phone: 8295 5077). You can pour out your oils and dispose of your container at the site.
Vegetable oils are ok added to compost or put in your green organics bin but only a little at a time.
19. What can I do with my food scraps?
Over 30% of landfill waste in the City of Marion comes from food waste. If you are not in a position to run a compost bin or worm farm, you can wrap your scraps in paper (or even leave them loose) and place them in the green bin. This includes all meat, dairy, fruit and vegetable scraps.
Remember, you can collect a FREE Kitchen Caddy from City of Marion (one per household whilst stocks last) with a roll of corn starch compostable bags.
Simply come to City of Marion's customer service desk at 245 Sturt Road, Sturt with proof of residence (e.g. driving licence or rates notice) and fill in the relevant form to collect your caddy. These caddies are designed to help you collect your food scraps and transfer them to the green organics bin.
20. What can I do with shredded paper?
Shredded paper can:
21. Where do I put batteries? I’ve heard some can go in the rubbish bin but some can’t?
The City of Marion's Tricky Waste webpage has information about batteries and recycling options.
22. Which wrappers can and can’t be recycled ?
Wrappers come in all shapes, sizes and types. Here are a few and what to do with them:
23. Why can’t I put mobile phones in the yellow bin if they are recyclable?
Mobile phones contain a variety of valuable components. However, they are made of composite materials (glass, plastic, metal) and require specialised recycling to break these down into their separate components.
Mobile muster is a free service for recycling phones with many locations such as:
24. X-rays: can they be recycled?
Yes, old x-rays contain components such as silver. Take your old x-rays to any Red Cross Centre but first check with your doctor that you do not need to keep them for any reason. There are a couple of organisations that recycle x-rays in Adelaide and an internet search can provide more information.