Disposal and re-use guide

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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.

Soft Plastics

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:

Bottle/Container Recycling

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&MZara and Uniqlo have textile recycling bins in store where you can deposit unwanted clothing which is then sent for recycling offshore.

Computers and Televisions

Try these links for more information on recycling of computers and other electronic goods (e-waste):

  • Book a free e-waste collection from your home.
  • Drop off at one of our e-waste collections
  • 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.

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

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.

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:

  • 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.

Junk Mail

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.

Mobile Phones

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

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.

Problem Waste

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 team at RecycleSmart will come to your home and collect problem items that can't go into your recycling bin at home. This includes soft plastic, clothing/textiles, household batteries, polystyrene, X-rays, DVDs, CDs, light globes, paint and lots more. Visit RecycleSmart to find out more about how to use this service.

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
  • Steel and aluminum aerosol cans

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.

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.


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.