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3 Bin System

Who has the 3 Bin System?

This collection is provided to urban houses and duplexes. Rural properties and multi-unit developments larger than two units are on the 2 Bin System, with the option of the green bin if of available in your area.

Why did Council implementing this service?

The previous level of household waste saved from landfill in the Tweed was 42 per cent. The NSW Government has set a target for all NSW councils to divert at least 70 per cent of waste from landfill, by recycling and reusing materials where possible. The 3 Bin System was the best option for Tweed to be able to reach NSW targets and to keep waste costs down for rate payers. With the introduction of the new 3 Bin System in the Tweed, we are now saving 62% of waste from going to landfill!

Audits reveal 51 per cent of what goes into our red landfill bin is food and garden organics waste that could be put to much better use. In 2013, an audit of 220 household red lid waste bins throughout Tweed Shire found 39 per cent of what goes into our bins each week is food waste - and this level is increasing.

We have a responsibility as a whole community to reduce the levels of waste going to landfill. This also brings cost benefits to the community because its saves the cost of operating and creating new landfill sites. Tightening operating standards
for landfill sites, to protect environmental health, make it increasingly expensive for councils to provide landfill services.

Is the green lid organics bin, yellow lid recycling bin and red lid landfill bin compulsory?

If you are a house or a duplex in the urban and village area of Tweed it is compulsory. The green lid organics, yellow-lid recycling and red landfill bin is the standard waste collection service for residential properties. This is a recommended waste collection system for Tweed, which will save the most waste from going to landfill with the least amount of cost to its residents long term.

What can I put in the green organics bin?

ALL food scraps, including fruit (citrus too), vegetables, meat, seafood, bones, dairy products, eggs, cereal, shells, pasta, coffee grinds, tea bags and takeaway scraps can be added. Tissues, food-soiled paper products can also be included such as newspaper, paper and raw compostableproducts (excluding nappies). Garden waste accepted includes palm fronds, lawn, clippings, garden pruning, leaves, weeds and flowers.

How do I store food waste before placing it in my green lid organics bin?

A kitchen caddy is a handy compact container to be kept in the kitchen. Place your food scraps in the caddy using a liner, newspaper or nothing at all, before transferring them to your green organics bin.

Newspaper works well to line the caddy, and you can simply wrap the material to transfer it to the green organics bin (throw the newspaper in too).

You can also use the caddy without a liner (people have been doing this for years) and put food scraps directly into your caddy. Just rinse it after emptying.

Only use compostable liners (must be Australian standard: AS 4736). This means they break down within a 12 week composting period at a commercial facility. DO NOT USE plastic, biodegradable or degradable bag as they pollute the compost that will be used in your community.

The caddy can be stored on top of your kitchen bench, under the sink or mounted inside a cupboard.

Where can I purchase more liners if I choose to use them?

Additional caddies and liners can be purchased from a number of local stores and online sources (search 'kitchen caddy') including those below.

Suitable compostable caddy liners can be purchased from

Council is working with local stores to arrange additional options for residents to be able to conveniently purchase the compostable liners.

How often should I empty my kitchen caddy?

Your kitchen food waste container should be emptied at least every two to three days, or as you feel necessary. In the warmer months, every one to 2 days.

Can I use plastic bags?

No. Plastic bags pollute the composting process and could make the final compost unsuitable for use in our community. Only use the special compostable green liners (must be Australian standard: AS 4736) made with a natural starch base which breaks down once it is in a composting environment. Regular plastic bags don’t readily break down in the environment.

Will the green organics bin smell?

Generally, the organics waste in the green lid bin should not smell. Food waste does not go off quickly using the organics system and it is very unlikely contents of the green lid bin will attract flies or vermin. But in warmer weather, if you are concerned prawn peelings or fish might be an issue before collection day, try putting them in the freezer and then into the organics bin closer to collection day.

Will my red lid landfill bin overflow if it is collected fortnightly instead of weekly?

You should have less waste going to landfill with the 3 Bin System, which is best practice and approved by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Remove food, garden organics and suitable recyclable materials from your waste and you should be left with less waste in your red lid bin. Many households find the content of their red lid bin is mainly plastic wrapping.

What about the smell of nappies and the hazard of having them in the red lid landfill bin for two weeks?

The 3 Bin Collection Service is a best-practice system with a fortnightly collection of the red lid landfill bin, instead of weekly. This means nappies could potentially remain in rubbish bins for up to two weeks.

Many Northern Rivers councils and larger metropolitan councils have already introduced a 3 Bin System and have found there are a number of ways to manage the disposal of nappies and controlling smell in the red lid landfill bin:

  • Dispose of any solid waste collected in the nappy into the toilet before disposing of the nappy (we understand this is not always possible)
  • Wrap dirty nappies tightly in a nappy sack or plastic bag
  • Specially designed nappy bins wrap the nappies as they are placed in the bin
  • Use smaller bags that can be closed tightly or double wrapped before placing them in the bin. This will reduce the amount of air circulating around the dirty nappies and reduce the smell
  • Store the red lid landfill bin in the shade and out of direct sunlight
  • Make sure your red landfill bin lid closes properly and there are no cracks on the sides
  • You can use general odour removing products, including cat litter and crystals, bicarbonate of soda and others found in hardware stores and supermarkets
  • Refer to our Disposing of Nappies and other Hygiene Products (813kB PDF) Sheet.

Will the red lid landfill bin smell or attract flies and vermin?

All food scraps should be put in your green lid organics bin. This includes potentially odorous items such as meat, bones, seafood, and dairy products. This means only dry, non-putrescible waste needs to be put in the red lid landfill bin, which should remove the potential for smell.

Here are other suggestions to further reduce the potential for odour in your red-lid landfill bin:

  • store your red landfill bin in the shade
  • place a brick or small weight on the lid to stop flies
  • double-bag pet waste or place it in sturdy, sealable empty pet food bags
  • tightly wrap and double-bag nappies or use a nappy genie
  • place a small amount of an odour control agent in the bottom of your bin to repel flies and odours. You can use natural products such as vinegar, eucalyptus/mint oil or crystals, or there are specially designed products such as bin bombs and bin kill.

How do I dispose of pet waste?

Pet waste must be disposed in your red landfill bin. To reduce potential odour, tightly wrap pet waste in at least one plastic bag (empty pet food bags work well) to limit air flow. Keep your red landfill bin in the shade with a closed lid. We would like to aim to reach an Australian Organic Compost certification and contaminates such as pet waste would not allow us to reach that grade of product.

What will happen to the food scraps and garden organics I put in my green lid organics bin?

The food scraps and garden organics are a valuable resource that will be processed at a neighbouring facility until the Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre facility is up and running. The facilities will produce quality, nutrient-rich compost for use in local farms and residents’ gardens to improve soil.

What if I already compost, have a worm farm or chooks at home?

Thank you for leading the way with reducing waste!

Home composting is very effective for most food and garden waste. However, items such as weeds, bones and dairy cannot go into home composting systems. Some home composters find they can use the convenient organics service to pick and choose which items that they want to put into their compost and which items they place in their green lid organics bin.

If you compost already, you probably don’t have a lot of waste. If this is the case, you can call Council and ask to downsize to an 80L red lid bin and/or a 140L green lid bin as both have a reduced cost.

What are the collection days?

The green lid organics bin will be collected every week and the red lid landfill and yellow lid recycling bins will be collected fortnightly on alternate weeks. One week you put out the red landfill bin and green organics bins, and the next you put out the yellow recycling and the green organics bin. This will ensure there are never more than two bins on your kerbside at the same time.

A collection calendar is available on the Tweed Shire Council's Waste Collection Days page. Enter your address on the downloadable online calendar to find out which bin needs to put out on what day.

What if my property is not eligible to receive the service?

The organics bin service is for houses and duplexes, in the urban and village areas of Tweed Shire. Extending the 3 Bin Service to rural areas is not environmentally or logistically viable because of the distance required to collect the bins, the impact on local roads and associated costs. Similar to recycling services, the urban areas are implemented first, followed by servicing additional areas. Most rural residents have the opportunity for, and are already using, home composting, worm farming or feeding food scraps to dogs or chooks, which is great news. If you are not, now is a good time to start! Tweed Shire Council offers subsidised Compost Bins (external link) at a cost sale at the Murwillumbah Civic Centre and the Stotts Creek Resource Centre, located on Ledday’s Creek Road.

What other councils have the 3 Bin System/ Organics service?

There is a total of 28 NSW Councils across the state that have implemented this service with Ballina Shire, Byron Shire, Clarence Valley, Lismore City, and Richmond Valley in the northern region.

For more information go to Bin Services.

On Call Household Clean Up Collection

Why did Council replacing the previous Household Clean Up Collection with a On-Call Clean Up Collection Service

Council switched to an On-Call Household Collection Service from 1 July 2017 because it overcomes a number of deficiencies with the existing service. It reduces illegal dumping, and decreases the length of time items are left outside a home to less than 24 hours. It also gives a more personalised service, while maintaining the home pick-up service currently enjoyed by Tweed households and with much greater flexibility about when they access the collection.

The previous collection was open to misuse by people who dump illegally, do not put their items out during the scheduled time or don’t adhere to the types and amounts of waste allocated to residents. This has led to rising costs to provide the service and results in a number of complaints from residents negatively impacted by people not doing the right thing.

Who will be able to use the On-Call Household Clean Up Collection Service?

This is available to residential rated properties that currently receive or are eligible for Council’s red wheelie bin collection service. The service is not to be used for vacant allotment clearing, commercial or trade waste, or general farm clean-ups. Households in residential parks will also not be eligible for the service.

When was the On-Call Household Clean Up Collection Service introduced?

The service commenced in the second half of 2017. Eligible households have access to two (2) On-Call Household Clean Up Collections per financial year, and two collections for each subsequent financial year.

How do I book a collection through the On-Call Household Clean Up Collection Service?

Bookings are essential. Residents can book by phoning Council 02 6670 2400 or the link on Council’s website On Call Household Clean Up (external link)

How does the On-Call Household Clean Up Collection Service work?

The on-call service can be booked via phone or online. Residents can request two (2) on-call services per financial year, at the time of year that better suits each household, instead of waiting for a scheduled collection time applied to the whole Tweed. Residents will indicate what items they would like to have picked up and will be advised of the exact date they should be placed out for collection. The resident will place items out no earlier than 24 hours before the advised date of pick-up. A confirmation will be provided to the resident at the time of booking. The allocated service date will be the first available collection day for households in the resident’s area.

Once I’ve made a booking through the On-Call Household Clean Up Collection Service, will I receive a reminder when my bulk waste items are due to be collected?

Once booked, a confirmation number will be provided to the resident and a reminder will be given at least two (2) business days before the collection date. Residents will be able to choose how they receive the reminder.

How long will I have to wait for my bulk waste items to be collected under the On-Call Household Collection Service?

Residents will be able to contact Council’s waste contractor when they have bulky waste to be collected and will be allocated a collection date, usually within the following few weeks. Please note there could be periods of high demand, such as the end of the financial year, when the on-call service is more likely to be fully booked. If a collection period for an area is booked out, another period for that location will be available only a few weeks later. Only place items out the day before your allocated date.

Can I request more than two (2) On-Call Collection services a year?

Each eligible Tweed household will be limited to two (2) on-call services per financial year (1 July to 30 June), maintaining the same level of service provided through the current collection. A maximum volume of two (2) cubic metres may be collected at each booked collection or both four (4) cubic metres can be picked up at once if notified at time of booking. If residents have used their two (2) on-call services, or have a large amount of material that exceeds the limit, it is recommended residents contact a professional waste removal company. Unused services CANNOT be transferred to the next financial year.

Did Council consider other options?

A number of alternative options have been investigated and referred to the community for feedback. Options included vouchers for residents to make free deliveries to the resource recovery station but this option received little support from the public because of access issues for the majority of residents. Public feedback indicated a significant proportion of the community does not have the mobility or transportation to delivery bulky items to the recovery site.

Will the On-Call Household Clean Up Collection Service be as convenient and have the same level of service as the current Household Clean Up Service it is replacing?

The new On-Call Household Clean Up Collection Service will provide an improved service which is more convenient for households and addresses a number of issues with the previous collection it will replace. It will be easy for households to make a booking by phone or online and residents will be able to nominate a collection date that is more convenient for them.

Will the On-Call Household Clean Up Collection Service be more expensive to provide to the community?

The service is more cost effective for Council and the community because the collection contractors will be better able to ensure residents are using the collection correctly. The previous system continues to lead to rising costs because of problems such as illegal dumping and disposal of inappropriate items. Evidence indicates a large proportion of items dumped illegally are left by people living outside Tweed.

How will the On-Call Household Clean Up Collection Service prevent illegal dumping?

Households will be advised of the exact date their bulk waste items will be removed by the collection contractors and residents will be asked to place their items on the kerbside the day before. This will mean that waste items will only be on the kerbside for less than 24 hours. In addition, on any given day, only a very limited number of households throughout the collection area will have items out for disposal. For both these reasons, there will be much less opportunity for other people to add materials.

As seen in other Councils, an on-call service is expected to substantially reduce illegal dumping. It will be much less visible to neighbours and other people, improving visual amenity in Tweed neighbourhoods and providing less of a trigger for illegal dumping.

How will the On-Call Household Clean Up Collection Service reduce the amount of waste going to landfill? How will it increase levels of recycling?

Residents making a booking for the on-call service will be asked to identify the type of items they are putting out for collection. The booking process will identify specific materials that are suitable for recycling and items that are suitable for the bulk waste collection. This will assist to reduce recyclable items that are regularly left out for the kerbside collection from unnecessarily going to landfill as well as reducing the cost of the current service.

The on-call service will also allow residents time throughout the year to donate clean, unwanted household items and clothing in good condition to charities.

Many public complaints about the current kerbside collection relate to the length of time waste remains on the roadside. Waste service contractors providing the current kerbside collection are under time pressure to complete the collection quickly to adhere as closely as possible to the schedule.

Other Councils that have implemented an on-call service have experienced a decrease in the amount of waste going to landfill and an increase in recycling.

How much bulky waste can I dispose of?

The amount of waste allocated to each household is 2 collections of two (2) cubic metres or 1 collection of four (4) cubic metres (notified at booking). All items must be able to be lifted by two people. Excess rubbish will not be collected.

How will Council know the difference between waste that is booked in for the On-Call service and waste that is not booked in?

A confirmation number that connects to the residential address will be given at the time of booking. A Non-Conforming letter will be issued if the material has been placed out for clean up without a booking. If the material is not cleaned up it will be deemed as illegal dumping.

How will the On-Call service impact on commercial waste collection services available in the Tweed?

Commercial waste collection services will still be needed for all items that are not eligible for collection through the on-call service, such as builder’s waste, asbestos and car parts.

The system will allow better control of the type of waste left out for collection and will encourage residents to adhere to the types and amounts of waste allocated for each clean-up. This could create increase public demand for commercial waste collection services so residents correctly and responsibly dispose of waste not eligible for the on-call service.

Only Tweed residential properties are eligible to use the bulk waste collection service and the on-call system will help to ensure commercial and industrial organisations are not contributing to materials left for collection. This could also elevate demand for commercial and industrial businesses to use commercial waste collection services.

What can I dispose of through the On-Call Household Clean Up Collection Service?

See On Call Household Clean Up for further information.

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