Reduce, Reuse and Recycle


Recycling provides a new life to many different materials by keeping them in circulation for as long as possible. This is extremely beneficial for the environment as recycling reduces the extraction of virgin materials needed for new products, plus the amount of water and energy it takes to create them.

Yes, accepted in the yellow lid recycling bin

Tick Materials accepted


Examples (all items must be empty & clean)


Hard rigid plastic bottles & containers


Yogurt tubs, milk bottles, margarine tubs

Strawberry punnets, rigid biscuit trays, juice bottles, peanut butter jars

Clear & clean meat trays (black trays are not picked up by the machinery)

Shampoo bottles, laundry liquids containers

Glass jars & bottles


Pasta sauce bottles, stir fry sauce jars

Steel cans


Tomato tins, corn tins, bean tins

Aluminium cans


Soft drink cans

Empty aerosol containers


Empty deodorant, air fresheners

Paper & Cardboard


Egg carton, newspaper, magazines, envelopes with plastic window, cardboard boxes (flattened)

Liquid paperboard (juice & milk cartons)


Empty long life milk cartons, plant-based milk cartons, poppers, juice cartons


Recycling tips to help you recycle

Recycling Tip


Remove lids & place in rubbish bin


Lids are often made from a different material than the base therefore can’t be recycled attached.

Lids are often too small to be recycled by themselves. The smallest size of a recyclable item is the size of your palm. If lid is smaller than palm place in rubbish bin, if lid is larger than can be placed in recycling bin separately.

Leaving lids on bottles and containers can cause explosions at the MRF when baled which is a hazard to the staff working.

Keep it clean

All recyclables must be empty of food or other remnants.

Leaving food inside can reduce the quality of the material when it’s recycled. Eg: greasy pizza box. If there is cheese and oil attached to the base, unfortunately it must go in the rubbish bin. Tear off the pizza box lid and if it’s clean place that in the recycling bin.

Size is important

The size of your palm is the minimum size of an item that can be recycled in the yellow lid-recycling bin.

Items that are too small will just fall through the cracks on the conveyer belt at the Material Recovery Facility and not be recycled.

Keep it loose

Don’t bag your recycling. Plastic bags and other soft plastics can’t go in the yellow lid recycling bin, they get tangled at the Material Recovery Facility and slow down operations.

Use the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) as a guide to help you recycle. This label is often found on packaging items in the supermarket and can assist in disposal methods.







No, NOT accepted in the yellow lid recycling bin

no Material



Plastic bags


Plastic bags will get caught in the machinery at the Material Recovery Facility.

Including bagged recyclables. Do NOT place your recyclables in plastic bags, the staff at the Material Recovery Facility do not have the time to open the bag and sort the recyclables, this will end up in landfill.

Soft plastics (chips & lolly wrappers)


Soft plastics will get caught in the machinery at the Material Recovery Facility.

Garden waste


This material is not recyclable at the Material Recovery Facility and will contaminate other items.

Food waste


This material is not recyclable at the Material Recovery Facility and will contaminate other items.



This type of plastic is not recyclable at a Material Recovery Facility. Please dispose of in your rubbish bin or return to Styro Products Gympie for recycling.

Single use coffee cups


These items are not recyclable at Gympie’s Material Recovery Facility.



Due to the hazardous and corrosive nature of batteries, these items can start fires in the back of rubbish trucks and should NOT be placed in either the yellow lid recycling bin or rubbish bin.

Please dispose of batteries at a safe collection point like Woolworths or Aldi.

General waste items


Only certain materials (hard rigid plastics, steel, aluminium, glass, paper and cardboard) are recyclable in the yellow lid bin therefore all over waste goes in the rubbish bin.


What happens to your recycling?

The Recycling Process

Collection: Cleanaway trucks collect recyclables from yellow lid bins.

Transfer station: consolidation of recyclables until volume is high enough to be taken to the Material Recovery Facility (MRF).

Transport to MRF: A semi-trailer collects recyclables from transfer station and transports it to MRF, where the recyclables are emptied into a large open area.

First sorting station: a front-end loader picks up recyclables and places them onto a conveyer belt. Cleanaway staff remove large cardboard and contaminants.

(Contaminants: items that are not recyclable)

Cardboard is sent down a chute to a baler. Contaminants are sent to rubbish bin and then transferred to landfill.

Paper separation: paper and light cardboard are separated by a disk screen, which bounces the light items like paper and cardboard to another baler. The heavier items (steel, aluminium, glass and plastic) fall through and continue along the conveyer belt.

Glass separation: an air classifier blows the lighter items like steel, plastic & aluminium to another conveyer belt, leaving behind the glass to continue into a holding pit.

Steel separation: the remaining steel, plastic and aluminium items continue along the conveyer belt passing underneath a magnet which attracts the steel off the belt and drops the steel in a holding cage.

Aluminium separation: the remaining items continue on the conveyer belt and pass through an eddy current which repels the aluminium cans into a storage cage for baling.

Plastic separation: plastic bottles and containers pass through a densifier, which pierces the plastics bottles, and then they fall into a plastic storage cage.

Baled materials: paper, cardboard, plastic, steel and aluminium are all baled into large cubes ready for distribution.

Each commodity is transported to reprocessing centres both in Australia and overseas, where they are manufactured into new products. Cleanaway Material Recovery Facility is located at Dundowran Recycling Centre, 48-50 Industrial Avenue, Hervey Bay QLD 4655

Education video: Cleanaway Material Recovery Facility - YouTube


Material Recovery Facility (MRF) Education Tours


Gympie Regional Council offers free education tours of MRF in Hervey Bay to all local schools. Contact Waste Minimization Officer for more information.

0499 522 269


There are 2 x MRF tours for the community held each year. Contact Waste Minimization Officer for more information about the next upcoming tour.

0499 522 269

More Information

Reducing, reusing and recycling our waste is good for our environment. It is also good for our wallets!

Here are some ways you can reduce, reuse and recycle at home.

  • Be careful what you buy:

    Reduce food waste

    Tips to reduce food waste

    • Check what you already have at home before shopping
    • Buy only what you need
    • Store food correctly
    • Use leftovers

    Think about what you throw away

    Did you know that up to 50 per cent of general waste could be composted? 

    Food and garden waste that ends up in landfill is bad for the environment. It creates methane gas. Methane gas is a potent greenhouse gas. 

    Converting food and garden waste into compost for your garden has many benefits. It helps to improve soil quality and reduce weeds. It also means that your soil will keep more moisture and you’ll be less likely to use chemical fertilisers.

    You can create your own compost system using a compost bin or heap in your yard. You can also use a worm farm or chickens.

    Do and Don't compost


  • Avoid single-use plastics

    Single use plastics graphic

    Here are some tips to avoid using single-use plastics

    • Use reusable shopping and produce bags
    • Say yes to reusable water bottles, keep-cups, and straws
    • Say no to balloons and plastic glitter
    • Say no to single-use plastic utensils and plates
    • Use plastic wrapping alternatives such as paper and beeswax wraps
  • Once you have REDUCED and REUSED as much as you can, RECYCLING is the next best way to help our environment.

    Click on the button below to see what can be recycled.

    Recycler's List


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