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Your 3 Bins

Your red-lid general waste bin is serviced weekly (selected areas are fortnightly, refer to the Bin Collection, Repairs and Replacement page).

Your yellow-lid recycling bin is serviced fortnightly, on the alternate fortnight to your green-lid garden organics bin.

Your green-lid garden organics bin (in selected urban areas) is served fortnightly, on the alternate fortnight to your yellow-lid recycling bin.

To check your bin collection day and your recycling bin collection week (your garden organics bin will be collected on the alternate week), refer to the Bin Collection, Repairs and Replacement page.

Bin Collection, Repairs and Replacement

To find out more about each of your three (3) bins including what can go in each bin, where your waste goes and what happens to it and view frequently asked questions for each bin, click the heading tabs below.

General Waste (Red-lidded) Bin

Your red-lidded general waste bin is serviced weekly (selected areas are fortnightly, refer to the Bin Collection, Repairs and Replacement’ page).

A general waste bin service is not compulsory for any rate payer who has to ‘bring the bin to top of road’ however, if they choose to, then they must pay the charges.

What can I put in my General Waste Bin?

The following items are accepted in your general waste bin:

  • Bagged garbage
  • Soft plastics such as plastic bags or packets
  • Tissues or paper towels
  • Food scraps
  • Garden materials e.g. grass clippings, small branches, weeds etc.
  • Shoes, clothes or textiles
  • Polystyrene (foam)
  • Nappies, wipes and hygiene products
  • Non-recyclable hard plastic such as toys, buckets and washing baskets
  • Crockery and cutlery
  • Ceramics
  • Drinking glasses
  • Window glass/mirrors
  • Metal household items such as pans and coat hangers
  • Waxed paper/cardboard
  • Bagged animal droppings
  • Disposable coffee cups
  • ··

What can’t I put in my General Waste Bin?

The following items are NOT accepted in your general waste bin:

  • Recyclables
  • Medical waste and syringes
  • Building materials
  • Soil and rocks
  • Batteries
  • Electronic waste (E-waste)
  • Asbestos
  • Tyres
  • Chemicals and chemical drums
  • Fire extinguishers and gas bottles
  • Paint
  • Fluoro globes and tubes
  • Motor oils and other oils

For more information about correctly disposing of the items listed above that are not accepted in your general waste bin, please refer to the sections below:

Electrical waste (E-waste) and household problem (hazardous) waste such as batteries, fluoro globes and tubes, oils and paint can be taken to the Community Recycling Centre located at the Hawkesbury City Waste Management Facility for free.

For details regarding your Kerbside Bulk Waste Household Clean-up Service and Household Chemical CleanOut event, refer to the Special Events and Waste Clean-up Services page.

For information regarding the disposal of other waste such as asbestos, and medical waste and syringes, refer to the Other Waste and Recycling Options page.

Save money and reduce your General Waste Bin size!

If you’re a household or business whose general waste bin is hardly ever full, you can save money by reducing the size of your general waste bin from a 240L to a 140L bin. You can even order an additional recycling bin if you find you have more recycling than you do waste.

To learn more about reducing your bin size and the other changes you can make to your waste collection service, refer to the Bin Collection, Repairs and Replacements page.

What happens to my general waste?

After your general waste bin is collected your waste is taken to the Hawkesbury City Waste Management Facility where it is buried in landfill.

Recyclables, garden organics or other recoverable materials that are placed into the general waste bin will not be sorted; they will be lost to landfill. This is known as resource loss.

Household quantities of recyclables can be dropped off for free at the Hawkesbury City Waste Management Facility.  If your recycling bin reaches capacity before service day, consider using this free service or ordering an additional recycling bin rather than putting recyclables into the general waste bin.

General Waste and Landfill Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a landfill?

A landfill (sometimes referred to as a dump or tip) is a site where waste is disposed of.

What happens to the waste materials at the landfill?

Landfills are divided into ‘cells’ and any one landfill will have multiple cells for disposing of waste.  Waste materials are deposited, compacted and buried in the cells. It is important to remember that all materials sent to a landfill, regardless of whether they are recyclable or not, go to waste.

Landfills are not designed to break down waste, they only store it. Although the waste materials will eventually decompose, it is extremely slow.  Some materials can take hundreds or even thousands of years to breakdown. The decomposition of organic material such as food waste in a landfill, contributes to the generation of methane; a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.

What are Hawkesbury residents sending to landfill?

Council’s last Waste Audit (2020) revealed that 18% of the material in the average Hawkesbury household red-lidded general waste bin is recyclables that should have been placed in the yellow-lidded recycling bin. A further 10% is garden organics which should instead be placed into the green-lidded garden organics bin. 38% is other organic material such as food much of which could be composted using a backyard compost bin or worm farm.

All up, just over one-third of the material found in the red-lidded general waste bin truly belonged there.

What impact does a landfill have on the environment?

Sending potentially recoverable waste to a landfill not only results in the loss of valuable resources, it also generates a number of environmental impacts.

In order to create a landfill, an area must be cleared in preparation. Land clearing, can result in habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation – the damaging effects of which, lead to a loss of biodiversity.

When organic material such as food waste is buried in landfill, it breaks down anaerobically (without the presence of oxygen) and in doing so, releases harmful greenhouse gases including large quantities of the greenhouse gas methane, which is 24 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Another pollutant known as ‘leachate’, is a highly toxic liquid that accumulates at the bottom of landfills. Modern day landfills have a number of technologies in place to capture and treat leachate to prevent it from escaping and damaging the local environment.

It should be noted however, that although the process of landfilling waste is not optimal, it is the only viable method of disposing of waste materials that cannot currently be recycled or reprocessed.

Waste minimisation and waste diversion- via your yellow-lidded recycling bin, green-lidded garden organics bin or using other waste recovery and recycling options such as backyard composting or visiting the Hawkesbury City Waste Management Facility is the most effective way to reduce the amount of waste destined for landfill. By reducing our waste generation rate, we extend the life of landfills, decrease the demand for new disposal sites, preserve land and reduce our overall environmental impact.

How does Council manage the environmental risk?

Council undertakes regular and stringent pollution monitoring of the landfill located at the Hawkesbury City Waste Management Facility and wastewater facilities as required under the Environmental Protection Licences issued by the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

You can view this data by visiting the Environmental Pollution Monitoring and Response Management page.

What happens when the landfill is full?

Landfills are divided into ‘cells’, and these cells are where waste is compacted and buried. One landfill will have multiple cells for disposing of waste.

When a landfill cell reaches capacity, it is ‘capped’. Capping a cell creates a barrier between the surface and the layers of waste buried below, which helps to prevent rainwater infiltration. Soil and compacted clay are commonly used to create the cap layer on a completed landfill cell. Capped landfills can be turned into recreation grounds or sporting field, as examples.

Recycling (Yellow-lidded) Bin

Your yellow-lidded recycling bin is serviced fortnightly, on the alternate fortnight to your green-lid garden organics bin. To check your recycling bin collection week, refer to the Bin Collection, Repairs and Replacement’ page.

What can I put in my Recycling Bin?

Only the following material types are accepted in your recycling bin:

  • Hard plastic bottles and containers from your kitchen, bathroom and laundry
  • Clean paper and cardboard
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Aluminium such as soft drink cans and clean foil (collect and roll foil into a ball – at least as big as a tennis ball before recycling)
  • Steel / tin cans including pet food cans

What can’t I put in my Recycling Bin?

The following items are NOT accepted in your recycling bin:

  • Bagged garbage
  • Food scraps
  • Hazardous waste such as batteries, paint and oil
  • Garden/green waste
  • Soft plastics such as plastic bags or packets
  • Polystyrene (foam)
  • Non-recyclable hard plastic such as toys, buckets and washing baskets
  • Metal household items such as pans and coat hangers
  • Shoes, clothes or textiles
  • Chemicals and chemical drums
  • Drinking glasses
  • Window glass/mirrors
  • Tissues or paper towel
  • Disposable coffee cups
  • Waxed paper/cardboard
  • Shredded paper
  • Dirty paper/cardboard
  • Ceramics
  • Crockery and cutlery
  • Nappies, wipes and hygiene products
  • Medical waste
  • Animal droppings
  • Electronic waste (E-waste)

Need more Recycling information?

Check out the Visy Recycling Flyer which includes images of the items you can and can’t put in your recycling bin..

You can also visit Visy’s website for other educational resources such as posters and helpful videos.

Need a second Recycling Bin?

If you’re a household or business whose recycling bin always seems to be full and overflowing, Council offers a solution to cope with your large volumes of recyclables. You have the option to order an extra recycling bin for a fee. The cost however, can even be offset by reducing the size of your rubbish bin from a 240L to a 140L bin.

For more information, refer to the Bin Collection, Repairs and Replacements page. (Include link to new sub-sub-page ‘Bin Collection, Repairs and Replacements’).

What happens to my Recycling?

Recyclables from your yellow-lidded kerbside recycling bin are collected Council's contractors, JJ’s Waste & Recycling, who transport the materials to the Visy Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at Smithfield, Visy’s largest MRF.

At the MRF, materials are sorted manually and  by machine into different material types ready for reprocessing into new products.

What do the recyclable materials get turned into?

Recycling is the process of turning something old, into something new. Recyclables are remade or repurposed in a number of ways.

Plastic PET and HDPE plastics (examples of these are water / soft drink bottles, shampoo bottles, milk jugs and cleaning product bottles) are remanufactured into a range of bottles and durable plastic products onsite at Visy Smithfield.  This is part of Visy’s Re+ program, where their recycled plastics plant can produce bottles made up of 15% to 100% recycled content.

Paper and Cardboard is processed into paper pulp, which, at the Visy Smithfield Paper Mill, becomes recycled paper of varying thickness.  Other paper mills can produce high quality kraft paper or cardboard packaging.

Aluminium & Steel are shredded, heated and turned into rolls, to be sold to local and international metal manufacturers to be made into new products such as steel cans for food companies.

Glass: Glass is screened, sorted by colour and crushed into ‘cullet’ (cullet refers to glass that has been crushed and is ready to be remelted).  The glass cullet is sold to glass manufacturers for further processing and used in road base, new bottles and flooring.

How much packaging does Visy recover and recycle in a year?

In 2018/19, Visy’s global recycling efforts, included:

  • Paper and cardboard: 1.8 million tonnes
  • Glass: 229,000 tonnes
  • Plastics: 96,000 tonnes
  • Metals (e.g. aluminium and steel cans): 40,000 tonnes

Recycling Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What happens to the recyclable materials at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF)?

The role of a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) is to sort commingled recyclables into groups based on their material type ready for reprocessing. This is done via a combination of manual and mechanical sorting.  MRF workers firstly hand-sort material to remove any non-recyclable materials.  These materials are called contamination and can cause many issues at the MRF as well as being a potential hazard to the workers.  The rest of the sorting is done by machinery such as conveyer belts, powerful magnets and rotating drums (trommels) that transports, sorts and separates the various material types.

What happens if non-recyclable materials are put in the yellow-lid recycling bin?

Non-recyclable materials are known as contamination. Contamination in the recycling stream affects productivity at the MRF and hazardous materials can pose a risk to MRF workers. Soft plastics for instance, can get caught in the machinery at the MRF and, as such, impede the sorting process whereas batteries or gas bottles can cause explosions or fires.

Remember to only place the correct items in your yellow-lid recycling bin to avoid contamination and safeguard the health and safety of MRF workers.

Why can’t I recycle all my waste materials?

The potential recyclability of an item is impacted by the whether there is market demand for it, how cost effective it is against how time-consuming it is and if the product is made from a single material type or not. In the case of disposable coffee cups for instance, these are not accepted in your recycling bins as they are composite materials with multiple thin layers of materials such as paper and plastic. This design makes them very difficult to recycle.

There are so many different plastics, how do I know if a plastic item can be recycled or not?

Try to scrunch it up in one hand. If you can scrunch it into a ball without much effort and using only one hand, then it is considered ‘soft plastic’ and should not be put in the recycling bin. Some examples of soft plastic are chip packets, pet food bags, lolly and ice-cream wrappers, muesli bar wrappers, bread bags, rice and pasta bags.

Only hard plastic bottles and containers from your kitchen, bathroom and laundry should be placed in your recycling bin. Other hard plastic items such as toys, buckets and washing baskets are not recyclable.

I’m not sure if an item is recyclable. Should I still put it in my recycling bin?

Recycling can be confusing, so if you are unsure about an item, it is best not to place it in your recycling bin. Keeping contamination to a minimum is essential.  This make the recyclables easier to sort, protects Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) workers and improves the quality of the final recycled product. Remember: If in doubt, throw it out!

Garden Organics (Green-lidded) Bin

Your green-lidded garden organics bin (in selected urban areas) is serviced fortnightly, on the alternate fortnight to your yellow-lidded recycling bin.

What can I put in my Garden Organics Bin?

Only the following material types are accepted in your garden organics bin:

  • Grass clippings
  • Sticks / branches (no longer than 40cm in length and 10cm in diameter)
  • Leaves
  • Garden prunings and weeds
  • Cut flowers

What can’t I put in my Garden Organics Bin?

The following items are NOT accepted in your garden organics bin:

  • Bags of any material type – including those labelled biodegradable or compostable
  • Paper and cardboard – including tissues
  • Food waste
  • Tree stumps
  • Soil and rocks
  • Terracotta and plastic pots
  • Pet droppings
  • Household garbage
  • Hoses and twine
  • Electrical (E-waste) and hazardous waste (paints, chemicals etc.)
  • Building materials
  • Timber
  • Bamboo or palm trees
  • Paper and cardboard
  • Sticks / branches larger than the specified accepted dimensions of no longer than 40cm in length and 10cm in diameter

Am I eligible to receive the Garden Organics Bin?

If you would like to check if your household or business is eligible to receive the garden organics bin, please refer to the Service Options and Charges section of the Bin Collection, Repairs and Replacement page.

What happens to the materials from my Garden Organics bin?

Council's contractors, JJ’s Waste & Recycling, collects the material from the garden organics bins and take it to the SUEZ Eastern Creek Resource Recovery Park (Wallgrove Road, Eastern Creek).

This material is processed at the Organic Resource Recovery Facility (ORRF) into mulch, high-quality compost, and other products, using open windrow and composting technology.

Organics Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why can’t I put compostable or biodegradable bags in my garden organics bin?

The garden organics service is not designed to process these materials.  Plastic bags of any description, including compostable and biodegradable plastics must not be placed in the garden organics bin.  These materials can cause issues at the processing facility and are regarded as an unacceptable material (contaminant).

Why can’t I put other organics material such as food, paper (tissues, cardboard etc.) or pet droppings in my garden organics bin?

The garden organics service is not designed for organics other than those listed in the accepted materials section (grass clippings, leaves etc.).  Other materials can’t be processed or separated properly when sent as a combined load to the Organic Resource Recovery Facility (ORRF).

What happens to the materials from my garden organics bin?

The Eastern Creek Organic Resource Recovery Facility (ORRF) converts garden organic materials into compost and soil conditioners. The site can process up to 50,000 tonnes of source-separated organic materials each year. Open windrow composting technology is used to produce high-quality compost and mulch products for use in home gardens, agriculture, sporting fields and public spaces

What are the impacts of disposing of organic waste in a landfill?

When organic material such as garden materials and food waste is buried in landfill, it breaks down anaerobically (without the presence of oxygen) and in doing so, releases harmful greenhouse gases including large quantities of the greenhouse gas methane, which is 24 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Utilising a garden organics bin and backyard compost bin helps to convert these waste materials into a valuable end product and keeps organic materials out of landfill.

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