Disposal and re-use guide
Make re-use your first choice with The Bower
Instead of sending your unwanted goods to landfill, or buying new materials for a DIY or craft project, make re-use your first choice with Reverse Garbage and The Bower.
Think before you throw! This directory will provide the information you need to make informed decisions about re-use, recycling and responsible waste management. For even more information, visit Get Rid of it Right or Recycling Near You.
Cuddle Bundles are an amazing group of volunteers who put together essentials for babies and deliver to vulnerable new mums/charities in need of these items. They accept donations of baby goods in excellent condition and have drop off points in Double Bay, Matraville and Queens Park. Please visit their website to see how you can help.
Dandelion Foundation and Mummies Paying it Forward also collect and distributes baby/children's items to support families in need. Visit their websites to find out more.
Batteries should never be placed in your household garbage or recycling bins. They contain toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and mercury and can pose a fire hazard if they get damaged or overheat. Batteries can be processed to recover these metals and other elements which are used to make new batteries. Drop your batteries off for recycling in one of our battery recycling bins located at the Paddington Library and on the landing outside the Woollahra Library at Double Bay. Other options for drop off include:
Revolve Recycling collects, refurbishes and recycles bicycles, e-scooters and other personal transport vehicles. They donate salvagable bikes to kids charities and families in need. Please consider donating pre-loved bicycles to Revolve.
The NSW Government has introduced a new container deposit scheme (CDS) where you can return eligible containers for a 10 cent refund. Bottles and containers can be returned at various collection points throughout the state. See the Return and Earn website for collection point locations and more information.
Australia Post, Officeworks and Harvey Norman outlets have drop-off bins for your used printer, photocopier & facsimile cartridges. Go to the Recycling Near You website for more information.
Australia’s obsession with fast fashion means tonnes of textiles are being dumped in landfill each year. Most are made of synthetic fibres and will never fully decompose.
The ultimate solution is to buy less and make sustainable choices, but when all else fails there are a few ways to recycle your unwanted clothes after your next wardrobe clear out.
Remember, only donate pre-loved clothes to charity stores if the item is good enough quality to give to a friend.
- Dress for Success accepts pre-loved women’s work wear in good condition.
- The Clothing Clean Up collects clothes in good condition from your door.
- Red Cross Shops accept pre-loved clothes in their Paddington and Bondi Junction stores.
- Buy, Swap, Sell groups have sprung up on Facebook for many popular women’s clothing brands – list your item on one of these (or eBay or Gumtree) to fund your next purchase.
- If your item isn’t in good enough condition to pass on, then H&M, Zara and Uniqlo have textile recycling bins in store where you can deposit unwanted clothing which is then sent for recycling offshore.
- Upparrel will re-use, repurpose and/or recycle your textiles including clothing, shoes, linen and fabric off-cuts for a small fee. Once boxed, items can be booked in and collected from your home!
Computers and Televisions
Try these links for more information on recycling of computers and other electronic goods (e-waste):
- Book a free Council e-waste collection from your home.
- Drop off at one of our Recycle It Saturday events
- Officeworks will take up to five items at a time of computer/computer related accessories (stores at Bondi Junction & Alexandria).
- Recycling Near You website for other options.
- Arnies Recon will collect and recycle e-waste, small appliances like toasters, microwaves, tools and larger appliances like washers, driers, dishwashers and air conditioning units etc.
- The Reconnect Project - refurbishes and distributes devices to people in need. They accept donations of mobile phones, tablets and laptops in any age or condition for repair/refurbish.
Construction and Demolition Waste
- See the Cleanaway website or phone (02) 8645 4304 for your nearest Transfer Station/Waste Management Facility that will accept construction and demolition waste.
- Visit our page on skip bin providers for a list of companies that have licences to place skip bins on roads.
- For more businesses that can accept construction and demolition waste including, metal, timber, plasterboard, concrete and more go to Recycling Near You
Hazardous waste includes chemicals, cleaning solvents, paints, pesticides, gas cylinders, car batteries, asbestos, pool chemicals, light globes/fluorescent tubes, fire extinguishers and motor oil.
- Chemical Clean Out - provides information on dates and venues for collection of the hazardous waste above. Phone the environment line on 131 555 for more information.
- Cleanaway - provides information on your nearest Transfer Station/Waste Management Facility or phone (02) 8645 4304.
- Recycle It Saturday - Council hosts problem waste drop off events to recover and recycle some common hazardous items that can't go in your recycling bin at home like batteries, light globes/fluro tubes and X-rays.
Household Items in Good and/or Working Condition
Council has partnered with the Bower Re-use and Repair centre as part of our commitment to reducing waste. Residents can donate unwanted household items and building renovation materials in good condition by:
- Booking a free collection - The Bower runs a free collection truck that will come to your home and collect your items.
- Searching the Re-use database - In the event the Bower cannot accept your items, take a look at who else might be able to re-home or repair household items.
The following organisations may also pick up household items for free if they are in good and/or working condition. Make sure you phone and book first.
If you have the means for drop off, ReLove would love to take donations of small furniture items in good condition that can be redistributed to people and charitable organisations that need a helping hand.
Perhaps you could make a little money by selling your second hand goods. Visit Gumtree, Ebay, Trading Post and Facebook Marketplace.
Try Freecycle or Ziilch - electronic forums for advertising your unwanted items for free. Your trash may be someone else's treasure!
If items cannot be reused, try the following for correct disposal:
Stop all those unwanted, unaddressed flyers and catalogues from ending up in your mail by placing a 'No Advertising Material' sticker on your mailbox. Council can provide one for you. Pick one up from the customer service area at Council.
Lighting including globes and fluorescent tubes contain mercury which is toxic and should not go into your regular garbage bin. The mercury can be extracted as well as glass, aluminium and other metals for recycling. Recycle your used light globes and tubes at:
Any pharmacy will take unwanted and out of date medicines for safe disposal free of charge. Visit the Return unwanted medicines web site or phone 1300 650 835 for more information.
Reverse Garbage is a creative re-use centre that can accept items you never thought could be of any use. They accept a diverse range of items including things like bottle lids, mannequins, commercial offcuts of fabrics, foam, corflute, cardboard and many more unique and miscellaneous items. Visit the Reverse Garbage website for more information about what they can and can't accept.
Plastic packaging that is not acceptable in recycling bins at home can be packaged into a shoe box and sent to Banish. They will take all of your hard to recycle items including: toothpaste tubes, mascara bottles, plastic razors, medical blister packs, single use coffee cups and lids, plastic bread tags, pens, highlighters and loads more. Visit the Banish website for more information.
Book in a free Council e-waste collection or go to Mobile Muster to find out where your nearest mobile phone drop off location is. Alternatively, consider donating phones in working order to the Reconnect Project. The Reconnect Project gives mobile phones to people in need, providing them with the means to (re)connect with family, friends and essential services.
Needles and Syringes
Please dispose of needles and syringes responsibly. Dispose of sharps at your nearest hospital or see the Diabetes NSW website for more information.
Organic Waste includes fruit and vegetable scraps, tea bags, coffee grounds, egg shells, tissues, pizza boxes, hair, garden organics, grass clippings, weeds, prunings, leaf litter, small, twigs and branches, etc. Composting is nature's way of recycling organics. You can compost at home using a compost bin or worm farm. Join our compost revolution program and get 80% off the cost of a compost bin or worm farm!
By recycling organics you will:
- save money on synthetic and chemical fertilizers and water,
- have a healthy garden free from drought and disease,
- benefit from improved soil quality, and
- save precious landfill space and resources.
There are a few different options when it comes to problem waste. Councils hosts drop off collections throughout the year - visit our our page on Problem Waste for more information.
The Household Chemical Cleanout hosted by the NSW EPA accepts various problem wastes at their scheduled collection days. Check their website for dates and locations.
Problem waste items can also be taken to Randwick Community Recycling centre. ONLY the following items in household quantities (20kg or 20L maximum container size) are accepted:
- Fluorescent globes and tubes
- Gas bottles and fire extinguishers
- Household and car batteries
- Motor oil and other oils (cooking, etc)
- Paints (water, oil and solvents)
- Smoke detectors
Note: Small businesses are not permitted to use this service.
Inner West Community Recycling Centre in Tempe will also accept the above items in household quantities. Check the website for opening days/hours.
November 2022 update: These should go in your red lid general waste bin until further notice. The recycling program at Woolworths and Coles supermarkets for recycling through REDcycle is currently suspended until at least mid 2023.
Soft plastic items include bread bags, pasta and confectionary bags, plastic bags, biscuit packets, old green shopping bags, fruit and veggie plastic bags.
Kids can accumulate and outgrow toys at a very fast rate! instead of letting them clutter your home or throwing them in the bin, take them to your nearest Big W store to be recycled. Help reduce landfill by using this alternative to disposal. Check their website for what is acceptable and a store location near you.
If your toys are good quality and can be reused, bring them to our next Recycle It Saturday event. Your toys will be donated to the Salvation Army. Please make sure they are clean, and in great condition (not all toys are accepted - no board games, books, broken or unclean toys please).
Did you know that X-rays contain silver that can be recovered for recycling? Drop off your old X-rays to one of our Recycle It Saturday events for recycling.