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Hard things to recycle - and where to recycle them!

Use our guide below to learn more about hard to recycle items and where to recycle them!


How to recycle batteries?

Give dead batteries a new life with B-cycle Australia's official battery recycling scheme. Tape up the ends (for safety reasons) and take them to a local drop off point including Woolworths, IGA, Officeworks and more!

What happens to the batteries?

B-cycle has partnered with accredited battery collectors and recyclers, to make sure that the precious materials in your batteries are safely managed, recycled and remade into something new.


How to recycle your bedding?

Sheridan are proud to be the first Australian homewares brand with a recycling program. Their program ensures old sheets and towels — of any brand — are diverted from landfill. Return any of your pre-loved quilt covers, sheets and towels to any Sheridan store (please wash items prior).

What happens to the bedding?

Quilt covers, sheets and towels are sent to our partnering factories to be made into recycled yarn that is re-purposed into new products. Any fibres that are unable to be converted still find a second life — one example of this is insulation.


How to recycle your blister packs?

Pharmacycle is Australia’s first and only end-to-end recycling program for household and commercial medicinal blister pack waste. Find a drop off location.

Pharmacycle is currently operating in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Darwin.

What happens to the blister packs?

Once collected, blister packs are transported to one of Pharmacycle's processing facilities. There they are put through a series of mechanical recycling processes to separate the aluminium from the plastic. Finally, the separated aluminium and plastic materials are sent to end-users to be turned into a range of new products.


How to recycle cigarette butts?

CigCycle is a community collection program for individuals and businesses to recycle cigarette butts.

CigCycle is currently only operating in Metropolitan Melbourne.

What happens to the butts?

Butts are transformed through the process of myco-cycling (using a strain of mushroom to break down acetate plastic) and are used to make products like bricks, benches and insulation.


How to recycle clothes or fabrics?

You can give your old clothes a second lease on life thanks to Upparel. Sign up for a collection via their website and send your unwanted textiles for processing.

What happens to your clothes/fabrics?

Currently, approximately 65% of the items received are in new or fit-to-wear condition. These items are hand-sorted by their dedicated team and passed on to our charity partners, like Save The Children, St Kilda Mums, Youth Projects, grassroots social enterprises and many more! The remaining 35% is either repurposed or transformed into new materials that are entirely recycled, and also circular in design!


How to recycle coffee pods?

Coffee pods can be recycled with Nespresso. Nespresso have more than 19,000 collection locations in Australia.

Find your nearest collection with the Nespresso Store Locator. All stores accept coffee pods.

What happens to coffee pods?

The collected coffee pods are processed in NSW, where the aluminium is separated from the residual coffee. The coffee is sent to an industrial composting facility to be transformed into compost, while the aluminium is recycled and sent back to the aluminium industry to produce new aluminium products.


How to recycle disposable nappies?

DiaperRecycle is a startup disposable nappy recycling business in Melbourne. Sign up to subscribe to our waste disposable nappy collection service!

DiaperRecycle is currently only operating in Metropolitan Melbourne.

What happens to the nappies?

They separate the plastic and the fibre. The plastic goes to plastic recyclers, and from the super absorbent fibre, we’re making cat litter. The fibre can also be successfully composted by industrial composters.


How to recycle your ink cartridges?

As cartridges are made up of a combination of plastics, metals, foam and ink, they cannot be recycled unless pulled apart for components. Thanks to 'Cartridges for Planet Ark' you can drop off your ink, printer and toner cartridges to be recycled for free at over 3,500 locations Nationally (Australia Post, The Good Guys, JB Hi-fi to name a few).

What happens to the cartridges?

Once collected, Close the Loop hand sort the cartridges, and they're either sent back to their original manufacturer for component recovery or depending on the cartridge they're processed through various machines to remove ferrous metals, aluminium or plastics.


How to recycle your mattress?

Thanks to the Australian Bedding Stewardship Council, spring, foam and ensemble mattresses can all be recycled effectively. There are five participating recyclers across Australia including Soft Landing Mattress Recycling, a social enterprise and creates jobs for local communities. (NSW, WA and ACT only). Collections costs apply. Book a collection here.

ABSC approved mattress recyclers are currently only operating in ACT, Adelaide, NSW, QLD, VIC and WA.

What happens to the mattresses?

The mattresses are manually stripped and components are separated for recycling. The timber, foam, wadding, springs, some fabrics and other materials can all be recycled.


How to recycle mobile phones?

Recycling your old mobiles has never been easier thanks to MobileMuster. You can recycle at your local Optus, Telstra, Vodafone, Woolworths, and Officeworks store, or search for your nearest drop off point here. They accept all brands of mobile phones, chargers and accessories for recycling. You can also recycle at home using our free post back options.

What happens to the phones?

Through their recycling process over 95% of the materials in a mobile phone are recovered. MobileMuster partners with TES, a global leader in electronic waste recycling, to maximize recovery rates and ensure all mobile phone components are processed in an environmentally responsible manner.


How to recycle your paint?

Paintback takes unwanted paint and packaging and responsibly disposes of it, diverting it from landfill and vital waterways. Operating nationally, they have over 165 drop off locations.

What happens to the paint?

Unwanted paint and packaging containers are recycled subject to contamination. The solvent paint is used as an alternative energy source. Water is separated from acrylic paint, with the by-product used in a variety of industrial applications significantly reducing landfill.


How to recycle paper cups?

coffee cup that can be recycled with simply cups

Paper cups such as coffee cups, hot drink paper cups, take-away soft drink cups and other milkshake cups can be recycled with Simply Cups.

Simply Cups does not currently operate in Tasmania or the Northern Territory.

Find your nearest collection with the Simply Cups Location finder. All types of paper cups are accepted.

What happens to paper cups?

Cups are recycled into a range of products including garden beds, reusable cups, roads, sustainable building material and lightweight concrete. Find out more about products made from paper cups here.


How to recycle plant pots?

PP5 is Australia’s leading PP5 recycling service for your plastic plant pot and label waste. Find your nearest PP5 recycler here.

What happens to the pots?

Once your PP5 plastic waste is collected and recycled, Norwood printers and Garden City Plastics (GCP) create new plant pots out of the recycled materials.


How to recycle your running shoes?

TreadLightly is a national recycling initiative that takes unwanted sport and active lifestyle footwear and responsibly recycles it to give it new life. Click here to find your closest collection location.

What happens to the running shoes?

TreadLightly partner SOS cuts the shoes into pieces, reusable components are and turned into SOS ‘crumb’ (80% recycled tyre rubber and 20% recycled shoes) and sent to manufacturers to make retail flooring, anti-fatigue mats and other products.


How to recycle sporting equipment?

Game On Recycling is a national recycling scheme for sports equipment. That means rather than being thrown into landfills, sporting equipment including Tennis Balls, Basketballs, Volleyballs & Footballs are donated or recycled. They have collection points all over Australia.

Game On Recycling does not currently operate in Tasmania or the Northern Territory.

What happens to the equipment?

Items collected will be sent to ANZRP’s processing facilities in Melbourne to be sorted and separated into items that can be reused and donated to charity organisations, thereby extending the life of the product; or items that have well and truly come to the end of their life and need to be recycled.


If there’s anything else that you’re not sure about, you can check out handy sites like or to find a local participating collection/recycling program.


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