• 2020.12.02
  • Recycling
In Australia, bottles, cans, plastic bottles, and similar waste that can be reused are separated as recycling, with the recycle bin separate from the combustible garbage. In my home-state of Queensland, however, waste isn’t carefully separated as it is in Japan, and there are only two types of waste: general garbage and recycling. We use the garbage bin with the green lid for general garbage and the garbage bin with the yellow lid for recycling. You can put the things below in the recycle bin.
- Plastic bottles and containers
- Aluminum and steel cans, empty spray cans
- Glass bottles and containers
- Clean cardboard, newspaper, paper, advertising brochures and leaflets, magazines

Below are the things that are not treated as recycling.
- Plastic bags (disposable shopping bags)
- Plastic wrap (cling wrap), plastic packaging
- Disposable diapers
- Clothes, shoes, accessories
- Pyrex dishes, heat-resistant glass
- Ceramics, china
- Light bulbs, fluorescent tubes
- Tiles, bricks, rock, soil, animal carcasses

The actual garbage bins: The yellow lid is recycling waste. The lid shows what can and can’t be put in the recycle bin.

I didn't even know that heat-resistant glass and Pyrex dishes can't be recycled. I thought all the waste in the recycling-only bin with the yellow lid that we normally put out was recycled, but in fact some of it might not be recycled, for example if the discarded cardboard has liquid stains or tape stuck to it, or if cans, plastic bottles, glass bottles, and so on are not completely empty or the lids are still on. That’s why you have to take the lids off the plastic and glass bottles and rinse them out before putting them as is in your yellow recycle bin, without putting them in a plastic bag.
An initiative called Containers for Change started up in Queensland in 2018 to improve environmental conservation and recycling rates for plastic bottles and the like. Under this system you get a refund of ten cents (7.5 yen) for plastic bottles, empty cans, and glass bottles if you collect and take them to a recycler. It's only ten cents, but if you collect 100 of them, you get ten dollars, or 100 dollars for 1,000, so it really is making money out of garbage. The money from this refund system means that children busily get to work collecting empty cans and bottles to earn some pocket money, and beer-loving Australians are now collecting the large quantities of beer bottles and cans that used be thrown out as recycling waste and bringing them to recyclers, so every year, apparently more than half of the 2.7 billion recyclable containers that used to be thrown out as general garbage are now reused, thanks to the efforts of a lot of people. For example, plastic bottles are 100% reusable and the plastic bottles recovered by recyclers are reused by transforming them into trays for packaging meat and fish.
In Australia the garbage bins in parks and other public places don’t distinguish between general garbage and recyclable garbage, and waste sorting in households is still not very careful, but I think it would be good if there were even a small reduction in garbage, starting with people getting into the habit of throwing out the recyclable waste they put out every day in a clean state.


  • Chieko Suganuma (maiden name : Nagura)
  • JobCompany employee

She moved to Australia in 2000. She worked for a Japanese-affiliated travel agency, and then started her current position at a construction company in 2014.On her days off, she enjoys making soy candles that is a hobby of mine and walking on the beach.She hope to share rare lifestyle information from the local area with you.

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