Disposal and re-use guide
Make re-use your first choice with 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.
Coles and Woolworths stores across Australia have a soft plastics recycling bin for you to bring in soft plastics that can’t be recycled in your yellow recycling bin. Soft plastics returned to the stores are recycled by REDcycle. Soft plastic items include bread bags, pasta and confectionary bags, plastic bags, biscuit packets, old green shopping bags, fruit and veggie plastic bags.
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:
- Aldi (Bondi Junction)
- IKEA (Tempe)
- Drop off at one of our Problem Waste Drop off days
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.
- 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 problem waste 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. Arrange a FREE pick up from your home at any time.
- 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 SUEZ website or phone 1300 651 116 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.
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.
- SUEZ - provides information on your nearest Transfer Station/Waste Management Facility or phone 1300 651 116.
- Problem Waste Drop off event - 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 items cannot be reused, try the following for correct disposal:
- Woollahra Municipal Council: Council offers various disposal options including paid pick-ups and for parties and functions.
- Visit Suez or phone 1300 651 116 for your nearest Transfer Station/Waste Management Facility.
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.
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. 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 solvent based)
- Smoke detectors
Note: Small businesses are not permitted to use this service.
Needles and Syringes
Please dispose of needles and syringes responsibly. See the Safe Sharps website for your most convenient disposal location. Alternatively, try your nearest hospital or the Diabetes NSW website for more information.
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, 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 problem waste events for recycling.