Recycling and Waste Collection
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ACT NOWaste manages waste and recycling collection services for households in the ACT.
Each household is supplied with a 240 litre bin with a yellow lid for recycling and a 140 litre bin with a green or red lid for domestic garbage.
Hoppers are often provided in place of bins in multi-unit developments.
SITA is the contractor who empties the domestic and recyclable waste bins on behalf of the ACT Government. Domestic waste bins are collected weekly and recycling waste bins are collected fortnightly.
Missed collections for domestic or recyclable waste bins
- For houses and units, contact SITA on 6260 1547 within 24 hours of a missed collection. Leave your bin on the kerbside until serviced.
- For apartment and multi-unit development dwellers, contact your Strata Manager or Body Corporate.
Additional bin services for domestic or recyclable waste, e.g. replacement or repair of missing or damaged bins
- Request a bin repair or replacements online or contact ACT NOWaste on 13 22 81.
- Request additional bin services onlineif you would like additional domestic or recyclable waste bins.
What to put in your bins
To learn about what goes in each bin, please download and refer to the ACT Recycling Guide (PDF 1.3MB) Remember: just because it can't go in your recycling bin doesn't mean it can't be recycled. Refer to our A-Z Waste and Recycling Guide to find out alternate recycling and reusing options.
What can go in the recycling bin?
In the ACT, the following items can be disposed of in your yellow-topped recycling bin or hopper:
- rigid plastic containers, such as ice cream containers, biscuit trays, toothpaste tubes, greasy margarine containers, chemical bottles, take away food containers, plastic deodorant bottles, hair gel container and shampoo bottles (please remove lids).
- paper and cardboard products, including greasy pizza boxes, chocolate boxes and toy boxes (even with plastic windows), newspapers, paper packaging and cards, junk mail, envelopes, telephone books, magazines and soiled paper towels.
- glass bottles and jars, including beer bottles, chemical and poison bottles, makeup and nail polish bottles, wine bottles, vegemite and jam jars, pasta sauce bottles and jars.
- steel cans, aluminium cans, empty aerosols, aluminium foil including pie trays, Easter egg foil, pet food cans, deodorant cans and sardine cans.
- cartons, such as milk, wine and beer cartons.
For all bottles, lids should be removed then placed in the recycling bin with the bottle.
Other than paper, the sorting facility is designed to search for packets and containers only. Please refer to the A-Z Waste and Recycling Guide to find out other recycling and disposal options.
Tips to make recycling easier and ensure recycling doesn't end up at landfill:
- Empty containers of excess food and liquid: containers with food in them go to landfill
- Remove lids from containers before placing them in the recycling bin.
- If you place your recycling in plastic bags, they cannot be opened for sorting (for safety reasons) and all the recycling will go to landfill.
- There is no need to rinse or wash any of your recycling before placing it into the recycling bin, but you may use leftover dishwater to rinse it if you prefer to keep your bin clean.
- Place shredded paper in a sealed box or envelope before placing in the recycling bin: loose shredded paper flies around the materials recovery facility, and ends up in landfill.
What cannot go in the recycling bin or hopper?
In the ACT, the following items must not be placed in your yellow-topped recycling bin or hopper:
- Soft plastic, such as chip packets, muesli bar wrappers, cling wrap, 'squeezy' yoghurts or baby foods and bubble wrap cannot be recycled through your recycling bin, but some supermarket and hardware chains accept all soft plastics for recycling.
- Plastic bags cannot be recycled through your recycling bin, but some supermarket and hardware chains accept all soft plastics for recycling.
- Organic waste, such as food and kitchen scraps, kitty litter and garden waste can be composted but not recycled.
- Clothes, linen and shoes can be donated via charities or offered to family and friends.
- Nappies should be placed in the garbage bin; the ACT has no facilities for recycling nappies, even if there is a recycling symbol on the packaging.
- Oil, such as cooking and motor oil, can be recycled at the Mitchell or Mugga Lane Resource Management Centres.
- Crockery and kitchen glassware, including wine and drinking glasses, Pyrex, ceramic cookware, dinner plates and bowls, and china must be reused or sent to landfill.
- Light globes, window and mirror glass must be disposed of in the garbage bin.
- Car parts, even if they are made from recyclable materials such as steel, cannot be recycled: check with a metal merchant or wrecker.
- Electrical goods and e-waste, including computers, toasters, kettles, microwave ovens, CDs, DVDs and game consoles
- Rubber products, such as thongs, gloves and seals
- Polystyrene or Styrofoam including meat trays and packaging around fragile goods
- Waxed cardboard, such as fruit and vegetable boxes: the wax on the box cannot be removed during the recycling process so they must go in the garbage bin.
- Syringes and needles cannot be recycled or placed in your household garbage bin under any circumstances: take them to your nearest chemist or hospital.
- Firearms or explosives cannot go in the recycling bin: contact the Australian Federal Police for assistance with their disposal.
For more information on disposal and recycling options please refer to the A-Z Waste and Recycling Guide.
What can go in the garbage bin?
In the ACT, the following items can be disposed of in your red- or green-topped garbage bin or hopper:
- general household waste that cannot be recycled
- nappies and sanitary products (bagged for health reasons)
- soft plastics, such as chip packets, inserts to cereal packets, lolly wrappers and the outside wrapping of biscuits packets
- food scraps or expired food that cannot be composted or given to pets
- non-reusable clothes, linen and shoes
- Styrofoam meat trays and polystyrene packaging
- broken/unwanted ceramics, light bulbs, mirrored glass or drinking glasses
- kitty litter
- recyclable, biodegradable or reusable bags
- broken/irreparable toys
- non-reusable pens, pencils, rubber bands, pencil sharpeners and other stationery items.
What cannot go in the garbage bin?
In the ACT, the following items must not be placed in your red- or green-topped garbage bin or hopper:
- recyclable or reusable materials
- garden waste
- furniture and appliances
- rocks and soil
- commercial, industrial or building waste
- paints and household chemicals
- clinical waste
- syringes or sharps (even if they are in a "sharps" or similar sealed container)
- hot ash
- car batteries
- gas cylinders
- motor oil and solvents
- fire arms or explosives
- dead animals or carcasses.
When to put your bins out
There are two ways to keep track of your domestic and recyclable waste collection dates.
The easiest way is through the my-waste App. When you set up my-waste on your smartphone or tablet, it can remind you when your garbage and recycling collections are, notify you of changes to your services and allow you to report a problem with your service. It also includes a search function to help when you don't know which bin materials should go into.
To download the free App, search for 'my waste' in your favourite App store or go to www.my-waste.mobi.
You can also download the Kerbside Recycling and Garbage Collection Calendar. If you would like us to post you one, free of charge, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact ACT NOWaste on 13 22 81.
The following suburbs have split collection days and residents should check their collection day and week carefully using these detailed maps:
- Dunlop (PDF 198KB)
- areas to the north of Ginninderra Drive are collected on Wednesdays, with recycling collected in Week A
- areas to the south of Ginninderra Drive are collected on Thursdays, with recycling collected in Week B
- Evatt (PDF 291KB)
- areas to the north-east of Clancy Street are collected on Wednesdays, with recycling collected in Week A
- areas to the south of Clancy Street are collected on Thursdays, with recycling collected in Week A
- Lyneham (PDF 166KB)
- areas to the north of Ginninderra Drive are collected on Thursdays, with recycling collected in Week A
- areas to the south of Ginninderra Drive are collected on Fridays, with recycling collected in Week B
For missed domestic and recyclable waste bin collection, contact SITA on 6260 1547 within 24 hours. Leave your bin on the kerbside until serviced.
How to put your bins out
To ensure that your waste and recycling is collected, please remember the following:
- Put your bins out the night before or by 7 am on collection days.
- Remove your bins from the kerbside as soon as possible after they have been emptied.
- Bins should be placed on the kerbside with the front of the bin facing the road and the wheels at the back.
- Leave a gap of at least 30 cm between bins so the truck's arms can pick up each bin.
- To assist the trucks to safely access bins, they must not be placed adjacent to trees, parked cars, poles or letter boxes.
- Bins must be placed a minimum of 1m from any side or rear obstruction.
- Do not overfill your bins or place materials beside them - only materials inside a bin will be collected.
- Make sure the lids of your bins are closed to avoid littering.
For missed domestic or recyclable bin collections, contact SITA on 6260 1547 within 24 hours. Leave your bin on the kerbside until serviced.
Difficulties putting your bin out
Wheeled bin assistance may be available free of charge for people affected by a disability or where circumstances no longer allow the resident to safely bring their bin/s to the kerb and back.
Maintaining your bin
It is the responsibility of the resident (or body corporate) to keep their bins clean. Occasionally rinse out bins (ensuring the waste and any rubbish does not flow into gutters and stormwater drains), or use a specific bin cleaning service. Refer to the yellow pages for options.
All supplied wheelie bins remain the property of the ACT Government and should not be painted or permanently marked.
If you are moving house, the wheelie bins remain at the address in which they were originally allocated.
Ordering a new bin
Repair or replace your domestic or recyclable waste bin
If you have a broken, stolen or stray domestic or recyclable waste bin please complete and submit the online bin repairs and replacements request form or contact ACT NOWaste on 13 22 81. Arrangements will be made to either repair or replace your bin free of charge.
New domestic or recyclable waste bins for a new property
If you are moving into a brand new house that doesn't have a set of domestic or recyclable waste bins complete the online new or additional bin request form or contact ACT NOWaste on 13 22 81 to arrange your free set of bins to be delivered.
Initial services for new unit or townhouse complexes need to be completed by the body corporate or a managing agent. Please allow two to three weeks for delivery of new hoppers.
Note: You must attach an electronic copy of the unit or townhouse site plan to your application.
Need an extra domestic or recyclable waste bin?
Need an extra recycling or waste bin at home? Contact ACT NOWaste on 13 22 81 or complete the online new or additional bin request form. Additional services in multi-unit developments must be organised through your body corporate.
If you have more recycling than can fit in your recycling bin, don't forget about the FREE recycling drop-off centres where you can drop off paper, cardboard, glass bottle and jars, cartons, rigid plastic containers as well as steel and aluminium cans and foil - just like your home recycling bin.
Bin replacement program
ACT NOWaste is currently undertaking a program to start replacing domestic waste bins that are approaching the end of their useful life, many of which are 20 years old. These bins do not have the same degree of UV protection as newer bins and become brittle over time.
Bins are being replaced when they break, or where the oldest bins require frequent repairs.
The new domestic waste bins have the same 140 litre capacity but are more compact, meaning they are less likely to tip over. They also have a red lid which is the Australian standard for domestic waste lids. All domestic waste bins will eventually be changed to red lid bins as the old bins reach the end of life. The standard colour helps ensure an easy transition for people who move locations.
No additional cost is incurred as these bins need to be replaced regardless of the colour of the lid.
Recovered bins and parts are being reused where possible, or recycled.
The bin replacement program will take place progressively over coming years.
ACT NOWaste also has a continuing program of replacing damaged bin components (such as cracked or missing lids, broken wheels etc). All new replacement bin lids are also now in red colour.