Waste Disposal and Recycling in Australia

Waste, garbage, rubbish and trash: find out how domestic collection works, and what needs to be recycled...

Domestic rubbish collection in Australia is administered by local councils according to rules set by the states and territories. The states and territories are obliged to comply with the federal government’s National Waste Policy.

Guidelines on how to recycle, collection schedules, and pickup points are available on the website of each local council. Waste collection is paid for via “rates”, or municipal taxes.

In most suburban and rural areas of Australia, waste collection is “kerbside”: residents leave wheelie bins on the side of the street the night before collection. In urban areas and high-rise buildings, communal bins may be provided.

Rubbish is typically divided into two containers: one for landfill and another for mixed recyclable waste, though an increasing number of councils are also issuing food waste containers for organics. Each council issues separate guidelines on which types of waste are recyclable.

Excess rubbish and bulky waste can be disposed of at a council-run tip. Alternatively, council pick-ups can be arranged for a fee. Certain councils offer a number of free collections every year.

Further Information