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Recycling your waste is one of the easiest ways you can contribute to bettering the environment; however, it must be done in the correct way. Contrary to what some people believe, you cannot place items of your choice into recycling and expect them to be recycled; nor is all recycling free. At CopperRock, we are passionate about recycling and want to assist our community with learning the correct recycling practices. Therefore, we’ve created a helpful list of 6 common recycling misconceptions so that you can develop good recycling habits.

1.    All Recycling is Free

Busted: Some recycling comes at a cost

As much as we wish recycling could be free, there are charges associated with recycling some items. This is because some recyclable items require more physical labour to be broken down into a state that is suitable for recycling, and the extra cost is simply going towards paying staff for their hard work. The following items can be recycled but come at an extra cost:

  • Tyres
  • Green waste
  • Concrete, bricks and tiles
  • Mattresses
  • Mixed rubble
  • Motor oil
  • Commercial paper and cardboard

2.    Biodegradable materials can be recycled

Busted: These are specifically designed for general waste only

What may surprise some people is that biodegradable packaging and bio plastics, while they look like they could be recycled, are actually not designed for recycling. This is because these materials are specifically designed to break down in the general waste stream and are not recyclable because they start to degrade before the recycling process can begin.

3.    Disposable coffee cups can be recycled

Busted: They cannot be recycled under any circumstance

Some people are under the impression that disposable coffee cups and their lids are recyclable; however, this is not the case. Coffee cups cannot be recycled because they are made up of a mix of materials that are difficult to recycle, which is why they need to be placed into general waste. However, these coffee cups can take up to 30 years to break down in landfill, so it is recommended that you bring a reusable coffee cup to your local café to minimise the amount of coffee cups that go into landfill.

4.    The only way to recycle is through the local council bins

Busted: There are other ways you can recycle

This is false! There are plenty of other ways you can recycle that don’t include placing items in the council provided recycling bin at your home. At CopperRock, we have a dedicated recycling facility where you can bring your recyclables to be broken down and sent to our recycling partner to have a new lease of life.

Recycling Bottles

5.    My bottles and containers need to be completely clean before recycling

Busted: A light clean will suffice

Something that often deters people from recycling glass and soft plastic is having to wash them. While this does need to be done to an extent, recyclable glass and plastics do not need to be washed in the way you would your dishes. This is because small amounts of food and liquid do not interfere with the recycling process; therefore, it’s sufficient to simply give your glass bottles and plastic containers a quick rinse to ensure most of the food has been removed. While you are more than welcome to scrub your recycling with dish soap, this is not required.

6.    Aluminium should be placed in general waste

Busted: It’s perfect for recycling!

Despite what some people believe, aluminium can be recycled! All aluminium products including cans, foil and trays are suitable for recycling. It’s important to note, however, that aerosol cans are not classified as aluminium cans and cannot be recycled under any circumstances.


CopperRock are a waste and recycling centre located in Melbourne’s Bayside area. As industry leaders in waste and recycling, we are passionate about serving our local community and want to encourage good recycling practices among our customers. Learn more about our waste and recycling process.