Recycling household organics, glass, paper, cardboard, hard plastics and metal 

We are standardising household waste and recycling services across the state. 

We are working with councils and Alpine Resort Management Boards to roll out the new four-bin waste and recycling system.

All households will have access to the new services. This will improve the quality and quantity of recycled materials. It will also reduce waste going to landfill.

There will be a staged transition to the new system, which councils will complete as per the needs of their local communities. 

All households will have access to services for glass recycling by 2027 and to food organics and garden organics by 2030.

Councils will adopt the new four-bin system which will use standardised bin lid colours to make recycling easier. 

The four-bin waste and recycling system


Green Bin - Food organics and garden organics, Purple bin - Glass recycling, Yellow bin - mixed recycling, Red bin - Rubbish

With dispersed populations, councils in rural and regional Victoria will decide if drop-off points or transfer stations are a better alternative to kerbside collection. Some councils may choose a combination.

We’re supporting councils to transition to the new four-bin waste and recycling system, visit for more information.

Frequently asked questions

  • When we collect glass in mixed recycling bins, it can break. Glass fragments can stick to other materials, particularly paper and cardboard, contaminating them. It is very difficult to separate glass from other materials. It means neither the glass nor other materials are properly recycled.

    By separating glass, we can make sure more of it is effectively recycled. Jars and bottles are then transformed back into jars and bottles and used in new roads and footpaths. 

  • Food waste is one of the main causes of greenhouse gas emissions as well as of odour from landfill sites. Removing food waste from the rubbish (general waste) bin also means it can be an energy source. It can provide valuable nutrients as compost.

  • Councils are rolling out the new four-stream waste and recycling system from 2021.

    Timing is in line with the needs of local communities and existing council contracts. All households must have access to a glass recycling service by 2027. Access to a food organics and garden organics service must be in place by 2030.

    Consistent bin lid colours will be in place across Victoria by the end of 2030 for:

    • food organics and garden organics
    • glass recycling
    • mixed recycling
    • rubbish
  • Victoria’s waste management systems are largely managed by individual councils. With almost 3 million households across Victoria, living in 79 different council areas, a staged transition to the new system is best.

    This gives councils time to make sure the right infrastructure – such as bins, trucks and processing facilities – are in place. This also allows time to make sure Victoria has the right infrastructure to manage these waste streams and develop end markets.

Reviewed 21 July 2021

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