Kerbside recycling to return across G21 region

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Kerbside recycling will resume across the region from Monday 16 December, after G21 councils signed a landmark agreement with Cleanaway this week.

Cleanaway will take over the processing of the region’s kerbside collected recyclable materials – including paper, glass, metals and plastics.

As part of the agreement, all parties have committed to developing innovative local uses for recyclables collected, with an aim to expand the circular economy within the region.

Cleanaway agreed to work with the councils to identify local secondary markets to maximise the sustainable re-use of recyclables, with an initial focus on the re-use of glass. 

Councils are calling on residents to do their best to put the right thing in their yellow lid bin, to avoid contaminated recycling going to landfill. Plus, the agreement includes discounts for councils with low contamination rates.

Municipal kerbside recycling for the City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire Council, Golden Plains Shire and the Borough of Queenscliffe will resume the week starting Monday 16 December.

Colac Otway Shire has an agreement with another processor until September 2020 however is continuing to work with the G21 councils on a joint recycling campaign.

Surf Coast Shire Council has committed to introducing a fourth kerbside bin for all residents in April next year to separate out glass.

There are some minor changes to what can and can’t go in the yellow lid bin.


  • Empty clean rigid plastic bottles and containers labelled 1,2, 3, 4 and 5, lids separately
  • Clean paper and cardboard
  • Clean steel food cans, aluminium cans and foil
  • Clean glass bottles and food and sauce jars with their lids placed in the recycling bin separately.


  • Bagged material in any type of plastic bag
  • Coated cardboard cartons that are used to package milk, juice and various other liquids
  • Soft plastic packaging such plastic bags, bread and frozen food bags
  • Polystyrene packaging
  • Plastic toys
  • Metal pots and pans
  • Clothing and footwear

Some extra tips to make sure recyclable items get another life:

  • If you’re not sure if a plastic can be recycled, give it a squeeze! If it goes back to its original shape, it’s a rigid plastic and is safe to put in your recycling bin.
  • Food containers need a quick rinse.
  • Make sure to keep your recycling loose and not in plastic bag.

More information about the changes to kerbside recycling in the G21 region can be found at

City of Greater Geelong councillor Ron Nelson, Chair, Waste Management portfolio

Our community has been disappointed to see the contents of yellow bins being sent to landfill, so the return of our kerbside recycling service is very good news. We’re now asking for everyone’s help to make it a success by getting back in the habit of sorting your recycling, and learning about the changes to what can and can’t be put in your yellow bin. In the meantime we will continue to work on new ideas to make sure we have the most effective recycling system possible in the long-term.

Borough of Queenscliffe Mayor Ross Ebbels

Getting our recycling system back on track requires teamwork. That’s why our five Councils are working together on a regional recycling approach, and why we’re asking residents to take extra care with sorting their recycling.

Golden Plains Shire Mayor Owen Sharkey

With recycling back on the way, we all need to start getting back into good practice to avoid contamination. To stop recycling heading back to landfill in the future, we need the help of everyone to only put the correct recyclables in yellow lid bins.

Surf Coast Shire Mayor Rose Hodge

I know our community will be so relieved that a solution has now been reached and that soon we’ll be recovering materials again. Getting our recyclables out of landfill and back into the recycling stream will help limit the new resources we draw on. It also meets the expectations of the community, who have stayed committed to recycling during this period.


Page last updated: Saturday, 7 December 2019