Frequently Asked Questions

If you can't find the answer you are looking for, please send your question to

When does the new service start?

The new service starts 2 April, 2018.

Why are my bins being removed?

There are a number of reasons why old bins need to be removed. These include:

  • The current bin fleet does not conform with the Australian Standard for bin colour
  • A change in the size of the general waste bin
  • Some of the old bins are heavy and more difficult to manoeuvre than the new bins
  • Some of the old bins have surpassed their industry standard lifespan, meaning they are more prone to damage leading to increased likelihood for repairs and replacement

Your old bins will be recycled and turned into new plastic products including street furniture and new garbage bins.

Old bins will not be emptied under the new service starting 2 April.

Can I hold on to my old bin?

No. Your old bins will be collected, recycled and used to manufacture new garbage bins and other recycled plastic products. The new bins are made up of 20% recycled plastic.

How will my bins be removed?

Old bins will start to be removed from properties following their final waste collection after 19 March 2018. It is anticipated that this process will be completed by 20 April 2018.

Follow these steps to prepare your old bins for removal

Monday 19 to Friday 23 March

If you are normally due to place all three bins out:

  • once your bins have been emptied, place the garden waste bin and recycling bin on their side on the nature strip
  • return your general waste bin to your property for use over the next week

If you are due to place only your general waste bin out:

  • return your general waste bin to your property for use over the next week

Monday 26 March to Friday 30 March

If you are normally due to place all three bins out:

  • once your bins have been emptied, place all three bins on their side on your nature strip

If you are normally due to only have your general waste bin out:

  • once emptied, place your general waste bin on its side on your nature strip

Why does bin removal take so long?

Much like the new bin delivery, there are a substantial number of old bins that need to be removed and sent for recycling. Residents will be kept up to date with weekly removal reports available through Council News, Council’s Facebook page and through Your Waste website.

Residents can take their old bins directly to Gregadoo Waste Management Centre where they will be accepted free of charge.

What is the kitchen caddy for?

The kitchen caddy is designed to help residents separate food waste in the kitchen. Use the provided compostable liners to line your caddy and simply fill with food scraps including meat, bones, cheese, bread, vegetable and fruit peels, eggs, seafood, rice, pasta and prawns. Essentially any leftovers from meal preparation.

Once full, tie a knot to seal the compostable liner close and place in your green lid food organics and garden organics bin.

I have run out of compostable liners for my kitchen caddy, where can I get more?

A roll of 150 compostable liners is included with the delivery of the new bins and kitchen caddy, this allows for 2-3 compostable liners per week, which is estimated to accommodate the majority of households for one year. A new roll of liners will automatically be sent to households every April.

If you run out of compostable liners before April you can collect a free replenishment roll of 75 liners from Councils Customer Service Centre, corner Baylis and Morrow Streets. If you cannot attend Council, please call 1300 292 442 to arrange delivery of a replenishment roll of compostable liners.

A limit of one roll per household per visit.

Can I use a plastic bag, or bags marked 'degradable' or 'biodegradable' to line my kitchen caddy?

No. Plastic bags, including degradable and biodegradable bags, will be treated as a contaminant if placed in the food organics and garden organics bin. These products are not compostable. They are essentially plastics that have the ability to decompose faster than the traditional plastic bag.

As an alternative, you can place food waste directly into the green lid food organics and garden organics bin, or use paper towel or newspaper to line your caddy or wrap food waste in.

My recycling bin is always full, can I get an additional bin?

Households that generate large quantities of recyclable waste will be able to upsize their recycling bin from a 240L bin to a 360L bin as of 1 July 2018.

Fees will apply following the adoption of the 2018/19 Revenue and Pricing Policy adopted by Council from 1 July. As soon as costs are confirmed they will be available through this website.

Remember you can also put paper into your green lid food organics and garden organics (FOGO) bin if it has capacity. Eligible beverage containers can also be taken to a Return and Earn site for redemption rather than into your recycling bin if you wish.

What about nappies, won’t they smell?

Unfortunately nearly all bins smell, particularly ones containing nappies.

A study was undertaken by Lake Macquarie City Council into odour associated with the fortnightly collection of the general waste bin and nappies. The study concluded that the smell of a general waste bin was no worse after two weeks than it was after one week.

If you have young children in nappies, or members of the family that rely on absorbent hygiene products, there are some simple measures you can take to minimise odour:

  • If possible, tip the contents of the nappy down the toilet before disposing
  • Wrap the nappy into itself using the tabs
  • Seal nappies tightly in plastic bags (you may try double bagging or using scented bags if you wish) before placing in the general waste bin
  • Store the general waste bin in the shade and out of direct sunlight if possible
  • Make sure your general waste bin lid closes properly and there are no cracks in the bin sides. If your bin is broken or cracked, contact Council to request a repair or replacement
  • You may consider using general odour neutralizing products in your bin, including cat litter, crystals or bicarbonate of soda
  • Place some odour neutralising products in the foot of a stocking and hang it on the inside of the red lidded bin, tying the stocking to the bin lid handle
  • Consider using modern cloth nappies

I have difficulty getting my bins to the kerbside, can I get assistance?

Residents who find it difficult to manoeuvre bins to the kerbside for reasons of physical limitation can access the 'infirm service'.  This means the contractor will manually retrieve the bins from the collection point within the property boundary for emptying and return the bins to the property once emptied.

To access this service please obtain a letter of support from your General Practitioner and present this in person to Council's Customer Service Centre on the corner of Baylis and Morrow Streets.

If you can't make it in person, have the letter of support signed by a Justice of the Peace and email this, along with the details of your request to