Skip to Display Options Skip to Main Content
Aboriginal Acknowledgement A -  |  A +
Skip Navigation Links Home : : My Property : : Waste and Recycling : : Recycling and Reducing Waste : : Tips to sort your waste

Email Link   Tips to Sort Your Waste

Your Outside Bins

  • Bins need to be placed out the night before or before 6am on your collection day.
  • Ensure your lid closes completely, that your bin is not broken or cracked and is stored in the shade whenever possible.
  • Only place correct items in each of the bins. Collection vehicles are fitted with cameras to monitor bin contents when emptied. Bins that have incorrect items will be tagged and will only be collected once the resident has put correct items in each bin.
  • Your bin must not weigh more than 60kg.

Inside Your Home

There are many options to help separate your waste inside your home. Your landfill and recycling system can be placed together, while using a kitchen caddy/container for food scraps

Tips and hints for your kitchen caddy

See our How to Dispose of Food Scraps (1.1mB PDF) Sheet

See our Buyer's Guide - Kitchen Caddy Options (325kB PDF) Resource

Tips and hints for your green lid organics bin

  • Liners can be used but are not necessary. Liners and newspapers help separate, store and transport your food scraps
  • Place a bit of newspaper/ paper in the bottom of your caddy and/or green lid organics bin to absorb small amounts of liquid
  • Layer your food and garden waste in your green lid organics bin
  • During hot weather, wrap meat, bones and seafood scraps in newspaper and freeze until you put your bins out for collection
  • As you do with your other inside bins, empty your caddy regularly, keep lid closed or locked
  • Keep your caddy liners in a cool dry place as they will break down if left in the sun or near moisture
  • See our A to Z Organics Guide (266kB PDF)
  • See Green Lid Bin - Organics

Tips and hints for your yellow lid recycling bin

  • Give containers a quick rinse or scrape to remove excess food from recyclables
  • Labels don’t need to be removed
  • Crush or flatten items prior to placing in bin to make more space
  • Do not place your recyclables inside a plastic bag
  • Recycle your plastic bags at Coles, Woolworths and some participating local IGA stores
  • Reuse cloth bags, stainless steel/glass water bottles and travel mugs
  • Rule of thumb: if a plastic is soft and can be scrunched into a ball in your hand it CANNOT be recycled at our facility (even if it has the recycle symbol on it)
  • See our A to Z Recycling Guide (230kB PDF)
  • See Additional Recycling Options
  • See Yellow Lid Bin - Recycling

Tips and hints for your red lid landfill bin

  • Ensure your lid closes completely; that your bin is not broken or cracked and is stored in the shade
  • Dispose of any solid nappy waste prior to wrapping a nappy
  • Tightly wrap your nappies, using at least one plastic bag or use a nappy genie
  • See ‘Disposing of Nappies and other Hygiene Products (813kB PDF) Fact Sheet
  • Tightly wrap your pet waste, using at least one plastic bag or place in sturdy, sealable empty pet food bags
  • Place a small amount of natural or commercial odour control in the bottom of your bin such as vinegar, or eucalyptus/mint oil, crystals, kill bin or bin bomb products
  • Overfull bins and those with incorrect items will not be collected. They will be tagged and residents will be asked to put the correct items in each bin.
  • See Additional Recycling Options
  • See our A to Z Landfill Guide (242kB PDF)
  • See On-Call Household Clean Up for larger landfill items
  • See Red Lid Bin - Landfill

Tips and hints for large household items

  • See Additional Recycling Options
  • Donate items to friends, family or local charity stores
  • Refer to our list of recycling shops/services for the possible pick up of large sellable items/furniture in good condition on Additional Recycling Options.
  • Hold a garage sale during the year or wait for our Tweed wide Second Hand Saturday event held around September each year
  • Sell items online and make some extra money e.g. Gumtree, eBay or through local Facebook buy, swap and sell pages. It is surprising how fast an item can be sold and how much pocket money you can make!
  • Place garden organics in the green lid bin (provided to urban households)
  • Pre-Book an On-Call Household Clean Up collection

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the green organics bin smell?
Generally, the organics waste in the green lid bin should not smell as it is serviced weekly.
But in warmer weather, if you are concerned prawn peelings, meat or fish might be an issue before collection day, place them in the  freezer and then into the organics bin closer to collection day. Wrap food scraps in newspaper, or use liners to assist. See our Tips for Summer.
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 compostable products (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?
Council will deliver a free kitchen caddy and a trial roll of Australian certified green compostable liners to each eligible household. The caddy is a handy compact container to be kept in the kitchen. Place your food scraps in the caddy using the liner, before transferring them to your green organics bin.
Newspaper also 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 bags (must be Australian standard: AS 4736). This means they break down within a 12 week composting period. DO NOT USE plastic bags 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?
Suitable compostable caddy liners can be purchased from a number of local stores as well other sources:
  • Bunnings
  • IGA, Coles, Woolworths
  • Some local hardware stores
  • Vending machines will be available in major shopping malls: Tweed City Shopping Centre (near Woolworths & near Coles), Tweed Mall, Sunnyside Mall Murwillumbah, Kingscliff Village Shopping Village
Online: Source Separations , Compost-A-Pak , Ecovend (external link) , Cardia (external link) , Biopak (external link)
What about the smell of nappies and the hazard of having them in the red lid landfill bin for two weeks?
The 3 Bin System 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.
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. However, in warmer months it should be emptied every one to two days.
Last Updated: