The reason for this is because city councils don't actually recycle anything. They send your recyclables to a specialist recycling company. Each recyclable item is treated differently, for example, paper is recycled differently to glass. In line with this, each different specialist companies has different recycling equipment and technology. You can check what goes in your council recycling bin on this website by item or by looking up the links to your council.
Here is a generic list we found on Think Recycle (City of Greater Geelong)
Plastic - Rigid Only
Paper / Cardboard
Recycling contamination occurs if you place items in your council recycling bin that can not be recycled. While items may be able to be recycled, if they are not accepted by the council for recycling, they are considered to be contaminants.
Contamination may include broken glass, crockery, the wrong plastics and dirty nappies. These materials can create health risks for those manually sorting the rubbish and can also lead to damage of the recycling machinery.
Soft plastics, including plastic bags, are generally considered non-recyclable. This is mainly because they can get caught in the recycling machinery. All soft plastics can however be taken to your local Coles or Woolworths for recycling by REDcycle.
There are also hundreds of ways you can recycle direct, without going through the council recycle system. There are many many ways you can use your wallet or merchant choices to recycle almost anything.
Image: Unsplash | Victoria Wendish