Frequently Asked Questions

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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 or anything left at the end of the meal can be placed in the green lid bin.

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

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

A new roll of liners will automatically be sent to households every April. The roll consists of 150 compostable liners which allows for 2-3 compostable liners per week.

If you run out of compostable liners before April you can collect a free replenishment roll of 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 bin, or use paper towel or newspaper to line your caddy or wrap food waste.

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

Households that generate large quantities of recyclable waste can upsize their recycling bin from a 240L bin to a 360L bin. Please contact Council on 1300 292 442 to discuss this option.

Remember you can also put paper and pizza boxes into your green lid 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 red lid bin in the shade and out of direct sunlight if possible
  • Make sure your red lid 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 red lid 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 lid bin, tying the stocking to the bin lid handle
  • Consider using modern cloth nappies or reusable pads and menstrual cups

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 a collection point within the property boundary for emptying and return the bins to the property once emptied.

Please contact Council's customer service team on 1300 292 442 to discuss this option and to obtain an application form. A letter of support from your General Practitioner should be included with your application.

Why was my bin rejected?

There are a few reasons why your bin may have been rejected for emptying.  A sticker would be placed in your bin to give you an indication as to why it wasn't emptied and would likely fall under one of the below categories:

  • Placing the wrong item in the wrong bin
  • The bin being overfull
  • The bin being too heavy
  • The bin not being a Council issued bin
  • The bin was placed the wrong way around
  • The contents being jammed or stuck in the bin
  • Access being obstructed eg. vegetation, bin placed too far from kerb, placed too close to another bin, animal attack

It is also important to ensure that your bin is presented correctly for servicing.  Please follow these guidelines for placing your bins on the kerbside:

  • Place bins on the kerb before 6am on the day of collection
  • Bins should be no further than 1 metre from the kerb
  • Position bins so that the opening lid faces the street
  • Keep a space of 50cm between bins

I have maggots in my bin, how can I get rid of them?

During warmer weather we often see an increase in fly activity. They are also looking for opportunities to lay their eggs. Warm, moist, decaying organic matter are prime environments.

The best way to manage fly larvae (maggots) is to prevent them calling your bin home in the first instance. You can do this by:

  • Ensuring you place food waste in the green lid bin and present this on the kerbside for weekly servicing
  • Use a green compostable liner to store meat or seafood scraps in the freezer until you are due to place your bin out for servicing
  • Ensure green compostable liners and garbage bags are tied tightly, before placing them in the green and red lid bins respectively
  • Wrap nappies tightly into a plastic bag, and double bag if this is your preference
  • Store bins in a shady location if it is available
  • Ensure your bin lids are kept closed
  • Report damaged bins to Council online or on 1300 292 442

If your bin has maggots, once the bin has been serviced wash the bin out with warm salty water and leave the bin to completely dry in a sunny location.

Can I place fruit fly infected fruit into the green lid bin?


Prior to placing infected fruit in the green lid bin, collect fruit in a black plastic bag and leave in a sunny location for a few days to kill the flies.  After a few days you can tip the fruit into the green lid bin and place the black plastic bag in the red lid bin.

Perhaps leave the transferring of the fruit to the green lid bin to when you place the bin on the kerbside for collection to reduce the length of time the fruit is in your green lid bin.