Three Bin System

About the three bin system

The three-bin system includes a dedicated bin for garden organics that can be converted to mulch. This bin is in addition to the standard bins for recycling and general waste.

The City of Cockburn has rolled out the three-bin system to residential properties over 400m2. Rural, multi-residential, commercial and industrial properties are excluded from the rollout.

The three-bin system includes:    

Bin lid colour Bin size Bin purpose
Lime green 240L Garden organics
Yellow 240L Recycling
Red 140L General waste

What can be put in each bin

To find out what you can put in your bin, please refer to the Recycle Right website.
Garden organics bin (lime green lid)
All organic waste grown in your garden can be placed in this bin, including:
  • Grass clippings 
  • Weeds (including noxious)
  • Twigs and sticks
  • Prunings, cuttings and trimmings
  • Palm fronds
  • Tree nuts.
The contents of this bin are sent to Henderson Waste Recovery Park to be mulched.
General waste bin (red lid)
The following items can be placed in the red-lidded bin:
  • Non-recyclable general waste
  • Food scraps
  • Items contaminated with food, such as paper towels, serviettes, tissues, paper plates, pizza boxes and fish and chip paper
  • Pet excrement 
  • Pet hair & fur
  • Nappies
  • Band-Aids
  • Soiled items
  • Shredded paper
  • Sanitary items
  • Cotton wool and cotton wool buds
  • Clothing that cannot be sent to charity
  • Soft plastics
The contents of this bin are sent to landfill at the Henderson Waste Recovery Park. 
Recycling bin (yellow lid)
The contents of this bin are sent to the Veolia Materials Recovery Facility in Bibra Lake where they are separated, baled and sent to be recycled. You can dispose of the following items in your yellow-lidded recycling bin:
  • All hard plastic tubs, bottles and containers 
  • All glass bottles and jars
  • Steel and aluminium cans and lids
  • Cardboard, paper, newspapers, magazines (not shredded)
  • Foil (scrunched into golf ball size)
Please rinse and empty containers. Remove lids.  Do not bag items - place them directly in the bin.

Items that should not be placed in any of your bins

Some items should not be placed into your bins, including:
  • Batteries, mobile phones, printer cartridges and light bulbs can be dropped off at recycling hubs at any of the City's libraries
  • Spray paint, chemicals, gas bottles, aerosol cans and other hazardous household waste can be taken to Henderson Waste Recovery Park.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why are we moving to a three-bin system?
"Source separation" is the most effective waste management tool for reducing waste processing costs and increasing recycling rates. 

A third bin allows garden waste to be separated from the general waste stream to be processed into high quality mulch. This will result in significant economic benefits for the City.
How will a third bin reduce contamination?
Garden organics were previously placed in the general waste bin along with other general household waste, and sent to the Regional Resource Recovery Centre where they were processed into low-quality compost. This has no commercial value; it cannot be sold as it is contaminated with plastic, glass, metal and other items.

By separating garden organics into a different bin, contamination levels are reduced. The mulch produced can be used to create high quality compost.
Why does Cockburn have a GO bin, instead of a FOGO bin?
The State Government has released their new ‘Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030’ which includes a target for all local governments in the Perth and Peel region to implement a consistent three bin system by 2025. Under this consistent system, food organics and garden organics (FOGO) would both be collected via the lime green lid bin.

As resolved by Council as part of the City’s waste strategy, the City of Cockburn’s lime-green lid bin is for garden organics (GO) only. A number of other Councils in WA have implemented a third bin for garden organics only, as the fundamental goal is to separate waste at source to make recycling and waste disposal more efficient and effective.  
When will my bins get emptied?
Your red-lidded general waste and yellow-lidded recycling bins will be emptied on a weekly basis on your normal bin collection day. 

Your new lime green-lidded garden organics bin will be emptied fortnightly on the same day as your other bins. 
Will I still get a bulk garden organics verge collection?
Yes, bulk garden organics verge collections will continue for the foreseeable future.
Will I still get my trailer passes for Henderson Waste Recovery Park?
Yes. We have no plans to change the issuing of six annual trailer passes to Cockburn ratepayers.
Will residential properties less than 400m2 be allowed a garden waste bin?
Residents with properties smaller than 400m2 can request a garden organics bin if the City agrees there is a sufficient garden size to justify the service.
My red-lidded general waste bin is too small. Can I get a bigger one?
Bin audits show that 31 per cent of the 240L general waste bins were filled with garden organics. The smaller general waste bin should be adequate after the garden organics have been removed.

If you struggle to reduce your general waste, contact the City's Waste Education Team, who will be happy to provide tips on how to increase recycling and decrease overall waste production. 

You could also consider getting a compost bin, Bokashi bin, worm farm or EnsoPet pet waste composter to reduce the amount of food waste you need to put in your red-lidded bin. We provide subsidies on these items.
I don't need a garden organics bin. Can I opt out?
No, the garden organics bin will be rolled out to all residents with properties over 400m2.

More information and contact 

Further information can be found in the Resource Recovery Calendar, available to download from the 'Related Documents' section below. 

For more information, please contact the City’s Waste Education Team on 08 9411 3444 or email us.



City of Cockburn
Whadjuk Boodja
9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965

Office opening hours:
8.30am to 4.30pm
Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)

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Cockburn Nyungar moort Beeliar boodja-k kaadadjiny. Koora, yeyi, benang baalap nidja boodja-k kaaradjiny.
Ngalak kaadatj dayin boodja, kep wer malayin. Ngalak kaadatj koora koora wer yeyi ngalang birdiya.

City of Cockburn acknowledges the Nyungar people of Beeliar boodja. Long ago, now and in the future they care for Country.
We acknowledge a continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to the Elders, past and present.