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New 3 Bin Collection Service - FAQs

Frequently asked questions

All residents living in urban areas in the Shire currently have 2 bins at each household a red lidded landfill bin and a yellow lidded recycling bin. The Byron Shire Council is introducing a third green lidded food and garden organics bin for residents to use, making the collection service a 3 Bin Service.

Maps of the urban and rural areas are available on Council’s website under the heading ‘Waste Collection Maps’ at

Residents living in urban areas will now have 3 bins

  • Green Organics bin – the new bin for collection of all food and garden organic waste – to be collected weekly
  • Yellow Recycling bin – for collection of recyclable materials including clean paper and cardboard, glass, aluminium, steel and crockery – to be collected fortnightly, as currently collected
  • Red Landfill bin – for all other waste that is not organic or recyclable including loose plastic bags, broken toys and nappies – to be collected fortnightly, alternate week to recycling.

Delivery of the green organics bins will start in early July 2015. It will take 3-4 weeks for all of the bins to be delivered.

Organics collection begins in the first week of August, with the first collection on Tuesday 4 August for properties with Tuesday collections. Please start putting your green organics bin out for collection on your normal collection day in this week.

The NSW State Government has recently released its Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2014-2021 which has a target of increasing recycling rates to 70% for municipal solid waste (that is, household generated waste). The strategy identifies household food and garden organic material as a major resource that can be diverted and processed into a valuable compost product.

With the current 2-bin collection service in the Byron Shire, only 40% of household generated waste is diverted from landfill as recyclable material (that is, the contents of the yellow bin). Council’s objective with the 3-bin collection service is to reach the NSW State Government’s target of 70% recycling rate for household generated waste.

A bin composition survey conducted in 2012 in the Byron Shire revealed that a staggering 50% of what we throw away into our red landfill bins each week is food and garden organic material. A further 17% of the contents of the red landfill bin is recyclable items that should be put into the yellow bin.

Finally, the results of a community survey conducted in 2013 indicated that 98% or respondents would be supportive of introducing new systems in the Shire to increase recycling and reduce waste to landfill.

So we listened! Introducing the service will deliver significant environmental benefits by reducing waste sent to landfill, lowering greenhouse gas emissions and producing organic compost which can be returned into the region’s soils.

All food waste, including fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood, bones, dairy products, egg shells, bread, pasta, cereals, tea bags, coffee grinds and takeaway scraps can be added. Garden waste accepted includes palm fronds, lawn clippings, garden prunnings, leaves, weeds and flowers. Even hair and animal droppings (unwrapped or in Council approved bright green liner bags) can be included.

Please note the maximum size of garden material that can be deposited in the bins is 800mm long by 100mm wide.

Shredded paper can be put into your new green organics bin, as it is not suitable for sorting in the recyclables processing facility.

Each household will receive a free kitchen caddy and roll of Council approved bright green compostable liners when the green organics bin is delivered in July 2015. Place your kitchen caddy on your bench or in a cupboard where you can put your kitchen scraps directly into it.

The Council approved liners are compostable and make it easy, clean and convenient to collect and transport kitchen food waste into the green organics bin.

Newspaper also works well to line the caddy, and you can simply wrap the material to transport it to the green organics bin (the newspaper can go into the bin too).

You can use the caddy without a liner and put kitchen food waste directly into your caddy. Just give it a rinse each time you deposit the material into the green organics bin.

Food and garden scraps from the green organics bin will be taken to Lismore City Council’s organics processing facility and turned into certified organic compost. This compost will then be available for sale from Lismore’s facility adding valuable nutrients to our regional soils to produce healthy food and gardens.

NO. Plastic bags in the green organics bin will contaminate the organic compost. Dispose of plastic bags in the red landfill bin.

Council will provide a 3-6 month supply of approved bright green compostable kitchen caddy liners to each household receiving the service which can be disposed of in the green organics bin.

A bin composition survey conducted in 2012 in the Byron Shire revealed that a staggering 50% of what we throw away into our red landfill bins each week is food and garden organic material. A further 17% of the contents of the red landfill bin is recyclable items.

Once you remove food and garden organics and recyclable materials from your waste, you will be left with mainly plastic wrapping and packaging, soft plastics, foam containers and nappies (see FAQ on nappy management). Much of this type of waste is easily compactable in your red landfill bin and your bin should have approximately two-thirds less waste. Another tip is to use smaller rubbish bags which allow you to remove as much air as possible before placing them in the red landfill bin.

By correctly using the 3-bin service, less material will need to go into your red landfill bin and less will go into landfill. You are becoming part of the solution to recycle our precious resources and live a sustainable existence in the beautiful Byron Shire.

Landfill Bin (red bin)

All odorous putrescible kitchen and food scraps (including meat, bones, seafood, dairy products, citrus) should now be put into the green organics bin to be collected on a weekly basis. As such, only dry, inert, non-smelly waste needs to be put in the red lidded landfill bin. If you use nappies in your household, see the FAQ on nappy disposal.

Organics Bin (green bin)

Use approved bright green compostable liners (as initially supplied by Byron Shire Council), wrap food scraps in newspaper or use paper bags to help reduce smells. You can also freeze particularly odorous food scraps, like seafood, and put them in the green organics bin the night before collection.

The implementation of the new 3 Bin Collection Service will result in the frequency of the red landfill bin changing to a fortnightly collection instead of weekly. This means nappies could potentially remain in rubbish bins for up to two weeks.

Council understands this problem and took advice from surrounding and larger metropolitan Councils that have introduced a 3 bin system with a fortnightly red landfill bin collection.

Encouragingly, these Councils indicated that the majority of households disposing of nappies found that they were able to manage using a 3 Bin system with a fortnightly red landfill bin collection service.

 Here are some suggestions that can help to reduce the smell from nappies being in the red landfill bin:

  • Dispose of any solid waste collected in the nappy into the toilet before disposing of the nappy (we understand that sometimes this is not always possible).
  • Wrap dirty nappies tightly in a nappy sack or plastic bag.
  • Specially designed nappy bins are available on the market which actually wrap the nappies as they are placed in the bin.
  • The rubbish in larger rubbish bags is not easily compacted, and air can easily circulate through the rubbish. Use smaller bags that can be closed tightly or double wrapped before placing them in the bin. This will reduce the amount of air circulating around the dirty nappies and reduce the smell.
  • Store the red landfill bin in the shade and out of direct sunlight.
  • Make sure your red landfill bin lid closes properly and there are no cracks in the bin sides.
  • You can use general odour removing products including cat litter and crystals, bicarbonate of soda and others found in hardware stores and supermarkets.
  • There are odour elimination and reduction products available on the market for use in your red landfill bin.

Council thanks and congratulates you! This is the most effective and environmentally friendly way to manage your food and garden organic material.

Any food waste that you do not/should not currently compost such as meat, seafood, bones and citrus can be placed into your green organics bin. Garden waste material that is notoriously difficult to compost such as palm fronds, weeds and larger sticks/branches. Please note the maximum size of garden material that can be deposited in the bins is 800mm long by 100mm wide.

It doesn’t matter how much or how little you have, your bin does not have to be full for collection.

Council promotes home composting by offering subsidised compost and worm farms at the Second Hand Shop located at the Byron Resource Recovery Facility on Manse Road, Myocum.

Council will be following best practice guidelines for the implementation of the 3-bin service to achieve the full potential environmental benefits and the NSW State Government’s target of increasing recycling rates to 70% for municipal solid waste (that is, household generated waste). This involves introducing the service as the standard service for all urban residential properties.

There will be a Council determined exemption for space constrained multi-unit dwelling (townhouse or unit) complexes. See multi unit dwelling FAQ.

Exemption will be available for residents with a medical condition that may require a weekly red landfill bin collection service. See medical condition FAQ.

The green organics bin service is only being implemented in the urban areas of the Byron Shire.

Implementing a 3bin service to rural areas is not environmentally or logistically effective, due to the distance required to collect the bins, impact on the local roads and associated costs. In addition, a bin composition survey conducted in 2012 indicated that the amount of recoverable organic material in the rural area red landfill bins is low relative to the urban areas.

Most rural residents have the opportunity for, and are already, home composting, worm farming or feeding food scraps to dogs or chooks, which is great news. If you are not, now is a good time to start!

Byron Shire Council offer subsidised compost bins and worm farms for sale at its Second Hand Shop at the Byron Resource Recovery Centre located on the Manse Road, Myocum. Compost Bins are just $47 and Worm Farms are only $70. Whilst you're there, check out the amazing range of second hand bargains!

The cost of the service will be included as part of the annual waste management fee that is paid with your rates. Council is required under Section 496 of the NSW Local Government Act 1993 to make this a compulsory charge for all residential land parcels in the Shire.

At this stage, the cost of introducing the service is undergoing financial modelling to determine the impact on the annual domestic waste management fee. Preliminary results show that the annual charge should not be much more than the current charge. This is due to Council’s success in gaining a grant from the NSW State Government to cover the cost of the new green organics bin, kitchen caddy, 3-6 month supply of bright green compostable caddy liners and information package provided to urban households.

When the precise annual waste management fee is determined, it will be included in Council’s proposed annual fees and charges which will be advertised and made available for public submission in June 2015.

Council has identified that there may be a potential space constraint issue associated with fitting a third bin into multi unit dwelling (MUD) complexes. As such, a representative from Council’s collection contractor, Solo Resource Recovery, will be undertaking an audit on behalf of Council of all MUD bin storage areas during April and May 2015 to determine if there is space to fit the green organics bin.

A letter was sent to all MUD owners explaining the details of the audit and potential implications for space constrained complexes.

There will be no changes to you current collection day. The green organics bin will be collected every week and the red landfill and yellow recycling will be collected fortnightly on alternate weeks. One week you put out the red landfill and green organics bins, and the next you put out the yellow recycling and the green organics bin. This will ensure there are never more than two bins on your kerbside at the same time.

A new collection calendar system will be made available on the Byron Shire Council website prior to the service commencing on 4 August. You enter your address to find out which bin needs to put out on what day and you can download a collection calendar.