top of page

Waste Types

Proper waste management is essential for the environment and our communities. In Australia, we categorise waste into different types to ensure efficient disposal and recycling. Here's a guide to understanding these categories:

General Household Waste

Waste Types We Accept

Definition: General household waste encompasses everyday items we discard after use. This category typically includes product packaging, clothing, food scraps, and other non-recyclable items.

Disposal Tips:

  • Reduce household waste by practicing the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

  • Ensure waste is placed in the appropriate bin for council collection.

  • Be mindful of the weight restrictions for your skip bins.


Did You Know? Australians produce about 2.7 tonnes of waste per person annually!

An illustration of a household setting highlighting the sorting of various waste items into different bins.

Definition: Garden waste, often referred to as green waste, includes organic materials from our gardens and yards, such as grass clippings, leaves, and small branches.

Disposal Tips:

  • Consider composting garden waste to enrich your garden soil.

  • Utilise council green waste collection services, if available.

  • Avoid placing garden waste in plastic bags; instead, use council-approved green waste bins or bags.

Did You Know? Green waste composting can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, making it an eco-friendly choice for gardeners.

A vibrant garden scene depicting the recycling of garden waste through composting.

Definition: Cardboard recycling focuses on reprocessing and reusing paper-based boards, a common material in Australian households and businesses.

Disposal Tips:

  • Flatten cardboard boxes to maximise space in your recycling bin.

  • Remove any contaminants like plastic wrap or styrofoam.

  • Store cardboard in a dry place before disposal, as wet cardboard can hinder the recycling process.

Did You Know? Recycling cardboard requires only 75% of the energy compared to making new cardboard.

An illustration showcasing the recycling process of cardboard boxes transforming into recycled products.

Definition: Construction waste, often termed as construction and demolition (C&D) waste, encompasses materials generated during the construction, renovation, or demolition of buildings, roads, and other infrastructure. This waste category includes a mix of inert and non-inert waste materials.

Accepted Materials:

  • Timber and wood products

  • Plasterboard

  • Glass

  • Plastics and packaging

  • Insulation and electrical wiring

Not Accepted Construction Materials:

  • Bricks, concrete, and rubble

  • Metals (e.g., steel, aluminium)

  • Asphalt and bitumen

Disposal Tips:

  • Segregation at Source: Separate recyclable materials like timber and bricks at the construction site. This not only facilitates recycling but can also reduce disposal costs.

  • Hire Skip Bins: In Australia, many companies offer skip bin hire services specifically for construction waste. Ensure you choose the right size and type based on your waste materials.

  • Use Recycling Facilities: Direct recyclable construction waste to dedicated C&D recycling facilities. These facilities can recover a significant portion of materials for reuse.

  • Avoid Contamination: Keep hazardous materials, such as asbestos or chemicals, separate from general construction waste. These require specialised disposal methods.

  • Stay Updated on Regulations: Australian states and territories have specific regulations and guidelines for construction waste disposal. Ensure you're compliant to avoid penalties.

Did You Know? In Australia, construction and demolition activities generate about 20 million tonnes of waste annually. With proper management, a significant portion of this can be recycled or reused, reducing the strain on landfills.

he scene captures the vibrant atmosphere of a sunny Adelaide construction site. The "Adelaide Wheelie Bins" logo stands out with its striking orange color and features the brand's distinctive ibis symbol. This emphasizes the brand's unique identity and commitment to sustainable waste management in the city.

Waste Types We DO NOT Accept

Waste Types Not Accepted

While waste management is crucial for both our environment and communities, there are certain types of waste that require specialised handling and disposal methods. In Australia, due to environmental, safety, and regulatory reasons, some waste categories are not accepted by standard waste collection services. This guide will help you understand these specific waste types to ensure they are disposed of responsibly and safely.

Electronic Waste (E-waste)

Definition: E-waste refers to discarded electronic devices and components. As technology evolves rapidly, the disposal of outdated or broken electronics has become a significant concern.

Common Items:

  • Computers, laptops, and tablets

  • Mobile phones

  • Televisions and monitors

  • Printers and scanners

  • Audio and gaming devices

Disposal Tips:

  • Utilise e-waste collection events or dedicated drop-off points.

  • Many manufacturers and retailers offer take-back programs.

  • Avoid sending e-waste to landfills as they contain hazardous materials.

Did You Know? Australia is one of the highest generators of e-waste per capita globally, emphasizing the need for proper disposal and recycling.

Illustration of various electronic devices, including old desktop computers and mobile phones, being placed into a blue e-waste bin with the universal e-waste symbol. Informational posters on the background emphasize responsible electronic waste disposal.

Organic and Food Waste

Definition: This category includes organic materials from kitchens, such as fruit and vegetable scraps, meat and dairy products, and other food residues.

  • Consider home composting or worm farming.

  • Use council-provided organic waste bins where available.

  • Donate edible, unused food to local charities or food banks.

Did You Know? When organic waste decomposes in landfills, it produces methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Warmly lit kitchen scene with a person in a green apron sorting leftover food, vegetable peels, and fruit scraps into a green organic waste bin labeled with a compost symbol. A countertop composting guide is visible in the background.

Medical Waste

Definition: Medical waste originates from healthcare facilities and includes items that are infectious, toxic, or radioactive.

Common Items:

  • Used syringes and needles

  • Expired medicines

  • Laboratory samples

  • Surgical waste

Disposal Tips:

  • Use designated medical waste disposal services.

  • Return unused or expired medicines to pharmacies for safe disposal.

  • Always handle medical waste with care and use appropriate containers.

Did You Know? Proper disposal of medical waste is crucial to prevent the spread of diseases and protect public health.

Brightly lit clinical setting with a healthcare professional in protective gear disposing of used syringes, empty medicine bottles, and protective equipment into a red medical waste container with biohazard symbols.


Q: What should I do with waste types that are not accepted by Adelaide Wheelie Bins?
A: For waste types not accepted, consider reaching out to specialised disposal services or check with your local council for guidance on proper disposal methods.


Q: Can I mix different waste types in one bin?
A: It's recommended to segregate waste types to ensure efficient recycling and disposal. Mixing can lead to contamination and reduce the recyclability of certain materials.


Q: How can I reduce the amount of waste I produce?
A: Practicing the 3Rs - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - is a great start. Consider buying products with minimal packaging, reusing items where possible, and recycling as much as you can.


Q: Are there penalties for not adhering to waste disposal guidelines?
A: Yes, Australian states and territories have regulations and guidelines for waste disposal. Non-compliance can lead to penalties or legal actions.

bottom of page