Out of the box and into the yellow top bin

Ipswich City Council can once and for all solve the pizza box mystery.

If there’s pineapple in it, don’t recycle. Pineapple or any other pizza topping for that matter.

Works, Parks and Sport Committee Acting Chairperson Cr David Morrison said the iconic pizza box was definitely recyclable under council’s new Recycle 4 strategy, as long as food scraps were removed.

“Pizza boxes are recyclable – remove any food first though. If you get an extra cheesy pizza and there’s food stuck to the box, rip off the clean half and put that in the yellow top bin and pop the food-contaminated half into the red top (general waste) bin,” he said.

Cardboard is a material that can be recycled easily though cannot be recycled indefinitely – similar to paper – as the fibres break down each time it is recycled. Once it cannot be recycled any further, the material is still biodegradable and can be composted.

Cr Morrison said council encouraged residents to empty boxes in case there was material inside that might contaminate the recycling process and flatten to make more space in the yellow top bin.

Cardboard items which can be recycled include:

Biscuit boxes, cereal boxes (soft plastic inner bag removed), egg cartons, greeting cards, manila folders, laundry powder boxes (remove the plastic scoop), medicine packets (minus tablet strips), toilet rolls, tissues boxes (removes tissues and any plastic film), pizza boxes, milk and fruit juice cartons (square-type cartons used for fresh products, not the long life/foil-lined  variety).

Items not acceptable for the yellow top bin:

No waxed (fruit) boxes, nappies, long-life/foil-lined cartons (long life milk/popper juices), hamburger containers with oil/cheese/meat scraps.

Cr Morrison said be mindful when it comes to recycling particular milk and juice cartons.

“We are able to recycle the cartons that are used for fresh milk and fresh juice products. These are known as liquid paperboard cartons and are recycled as a cardboard type product,” he said.

“However, do not get those confused with the cartons that are used for long-life milk and the popper-style juice products.

“These ‘long-life/foil-lined’ cartons are made from a composite material consisting of thin layers of aluminium, paperboard and plastic fused together which we currently are not able to recycle.”

Cr Morrison said crucial to council’s new Recycle 4 recycling campaign – targeting four specific types of materials to put in the yellow top bin – was cutting contamination rates by more than half.

“We have a new 12 month contract with Visy Recycling and are trying to make it easier for recycling so that we can all work towards getting under 15 per cent contamination for the city,” he said.

The list of four categories for the yellow top bin as part of the fortnightly kerbside collection service is:

  1. Paper: newspapers, magazines, junk mail, office paper
  2. Plastic: bottles and containers (milk, soft drink and shampoo bottles; yoghurt and ice-cream tubs)
  3. Cardboard: boxes, including clean pizza boxes
  4. Cans and tins: aluminium and steel (drink cans, food tins and aerosol cans).

Also check out the Ipswich Bin App and to learn more about council’s new recycling program head to or phone 3810 6666.

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