Your actions make a big difference and the first one is to make sure you follow your local council's system of separating your rubbish into the right bins. If you're unsure many councils have a Do/Don't list of what is permitted, sometimes in the form of a handy sticker, fridge magnet or flyer.
Make sure you acquaint yourself with the system your council uses. This is especially important if you've been away from your home for a long period of time, or have moved locations. What was correct for your last council collection system, may well be wrong for your current one.
Contamination is the very thing that undermines your good work in separating your recyclable materials from your main rubbish. Check you local council's website, which will give you the correct information.
Check out our residential page here for information about plastics and smart shopping.
To see where you waste ends up, check out this video from the Southern Metropolitan Regional Council.
Information is also available from the Planet Ark website called "Recycling Near You"