Waste FAQ

What are the three kerbside waste bins?


The organics bin is for any kind of food scraps (meat, fruit, vegetables, etc.) and garden waste (lawn clippings, prunings, etc). Food scraps can be placed loosely in the organics bin, or in Council provided green caddy liners or commercially purchased certified compostable bags - no other bags should be placed in the organics bin. FOGO bins are 240 litres and collected weekly.

RECYCLING (Yellow lid)

Recycling includes steel, tin, aluminium cans, empty aerosols, clear, brown and green glass bottles and jars (no lids), plastic bottles and containers, cardboard, milk and juice cartons and newspapers, magazines and junk mail. Recycling bins are 240 litres and collected fortnightly.


Landfill waste is non-organic and non-hazardous material such as nappies and sanitary waste, soft plastics, pet waste and kitty litter, mirrors, ceramics, cookware, clothing and drinking glasses. Landfill waste bins are 240 litres and are collected fortnightly.


How do I put my bin out for collection?

Please be aware the following guidelines have to be followed at all times to allow our kerbside collection vehicles to service your bin:

  • Bins need to be placed outside the night before or before 6 am on the collection day.
  • Lids must fully close, bins can't be overfilled.
  • The bin needs to be kept clear of vehicles, trees or other objects.
  • The bin cannot be heavier than 70 kg.
  • The front of the bin must face the road and be placed within one metre from the edge of the road.

Space must be left between bins, 1 metre is ideal


What if my bin collection is missed?

You can submit a request through Council’s Waste Collection Hotline – 1800 312 934 for your bin to be serviced if your service was missed. Council will not arrange for re-collection if:

  • The bin was put out too late and the collection vehicle had already serviced the street (bins should be out by 6am).
  • The bin was too heavy (our trucks can only lift up to 65 kg) and contents have not been removed.
  • The bin was overfull and contents have not been removed.
  • The presented bin was not a Council issued bin.

If the truck is unable to collect your bin for any of these reasons, you will need to make other arrangements to transport your materials to the closest Waste Facility or wait for the next collection day.

Please note that all of the kerbside waste collection trucks are fitted with cameras that continuously collect footage during their daily runs (see below example) looking to the front, rear, left and right of the truck. One camera is also fitted within the truck hopper recording the waste as it is tipped into the truck. This is especially useful in determining whether or not a recyclables bin or FOGO bin has contained any contamination. The truck footage is also used to determine if a bin was present on the kerb when a truck passed by that location, which may be relevant if a resident calls Council to complain that their bin was not emptied.



What is my bin is damaged or stolen?

If you have a damaged or stolen kerbside bin, provided by Upper Hunter Shire Council, Council will provide you with a replacement. Requests can be made by calling Council’s Waste Collection Hotline – 1800 312 934.

Please note that for a request to replace a stolen bin you will need to contact NSW Police – 131 444 and obtain an Incident Number prior to calling the Waste Collection Hotline on 1800 312 934


Why wasn't my bin collected?

Your bin will not be collected if it is:

  • Overfull.
  • Grossly contaminated with unacceptable items.
  • Contaminated with hazardous waste.
  • Not a Council provided mobile garbage bin.
  • Unable to be accessed due to incorrect positioning or obstacles.
  • Too heavy (over 65kg).
  • Not present at collection time (your bin must be presented before 6am on day of collection).


Why has a sticker placed on my kerbside recycling or FOGO bin?

A sticker has been placed on your kerbside bin because the collection driver identified a problem with servicing the bin. Bins are most commonly stickered because contamination has been identified. Contamination means that the wrong items have been placed in your bin.

The sticker and any subsequent notice letters intend to inform and educate residents about what are acceptable and unacceptable items for collection. Stickers may also be placed on bins that are too heavy to lift or are overfull with the lid open and items sticking out the top of the bin.


Why has a 'Contamination Notice' letter been sent to me?

Contamination was identified on collection of your recycling or FOGO bin.

Notice letters intend to provide details of the contamination incident to inform and educate residents on acceptable and unacceptable items that can be placed in their FOGO and recycling bins.

Contamination notices also provide information to the resident about further actions that may be taken if bins continue to be contaminated.

Council will issue you with a series of four contamination letters if you repeatedly contaminate your FOGO or recycling bins. After the fourth letter has been issued Council may decide to cease collection of your recycling or food and garden organics bin.



Why has Council stopped emptying my recycling or FOGO bin?

Regular contamination is expensive and affects the safety and efficiency of sorting processes at the recycling and organics processing centres. Contamination also harms the environment through increased greenhouse gas emissions and lost resources as this material may be landfilled if considered unsuitable for recycling or making compost.

Because of these effects of contamination, Council may cease the collection of the Food and Garden Organics or Recycling bins after four contamination incidents at an address occur within a short time frame.


What do I need to do to start having my recycling or FOGO bin emptied again?

If Council has ceased collection of your recycling or food and garden organics bin, you must move your bins from the kerbside back on to your property. Once all contamination is removed you can contact Council’s Waste Collection Hotline on 1800 312 934 to discuss how to have your service reinstated.

Please note that if a bin remains on the kerbside after the scheduled collection day it may be investigated as obstructing a roadway or causing nuisance, in which case penalties may apply.


What if someone else contaminated my bin?

To avoid this happening, place your bins out later in the evening or early in the morning. Please note bins must be out by 6am on the day of collection and brought back in to the property by the end of the collection day.


Why does contamination of my recycling or FOGO bin matter?

When recycling and organics bins are contaminated their contents may end up in landfill, wasting valuable materials that could otherwise be used to create new products. While a large number of residents in the Upper Hunter Shire are proud recyclers and food and garden organics bin users, some households continue to contaminate their recycling and organics undoing the hard work of others. One heavily contaminated bin load of recyclables or food and garden organics can effectively contaminate a whole truck load once it becomes mixed in. At the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF - for recyclables) or at the Organics Processing Plant (OPP) staff hand pick the garbage and contamination out of the recyclables and food and garden organics. This is not a pleasant task.

Therefore, issuing contamination notices and ceasing service to addresses with regular contamination incidents is required as part of a suite of actions to reduce contamination and optimise the volume of resources recovered through kerbside collections.

Contaminated recycling and food and garden organics bin materials may end up in landfill. This prematurely fills our limited landfill space, adds to greenhouse gas emissions and is an extra cost to council and its residents. Both the MRF and OPP charge Upper Hunter Shire Council higher fees for processing recyclables and FOGO loads that are contaminated. In extreme cases highly contaminated loads may be landfilled with Council paying these additional charges.