Frequently asked questions

Updated 14 August 2017

The old bins are being collected so that they can be recycled and used as materials in producing new bins. Please be advised that after July 1 old bins will not be emptied by the new contractors and won’t be part of your waste service.

After each old bin is emptied for the last time in June, lie it down on its side on the nature strip ready to be removed.

Your old bins will be taken away for recycling in late June/early July.

After each of your old bins is emptied for the last time in June, lie it down on its side on the nature strip ready to be removed. Then it’s time to start filling up your new bins!

Only new bins will be emptied after the new service starts from 1 July 2017.

Council will be directly contacting 900 households who will have changes to the week or day their bins are emptied.

Unless you hear from Council, your new yellow bin will continue to be emptied on the same day of the same fortnight. Your new red bin will be emptied on the alternate week. Your new green bin will be emptied weekly.

The final week of the bin rollout will see about 4,000 bins delivered across the Macleay. If you haven’t received new bins by Wednesday 28 June please contact the Waste Hotline on 1300 342 207

Removal of old bins started on Monday 19 June and will continue for around three weeks until the end of the first week of July. Residents are reminded to place their old bins out on the nature strip lying down, after they have been emptied for the last time in June.

Council is delivering the kitchen caddy to residents who live in blocks of six or more units. These 800 deliveries will be completed before 1 July.

At this stage each household has received one set of new bins. If you are currently paying for a service that includes more bins please contact the waste hotline number 1300 342 207 after 1 July and delivery of additional bins can be arranged.

Changes to the service can be made after 1 September 2017 by calling the waste hotline number 1300 342 207

Standard Service

In order to maximise efficiencies and deliver the most cost effective outcome for the community, the majority of households will receive a standardised waste collection service:

  • 1 x 240 litre green-lidded bin, collected weekly
  • 1 x 240 litre yellow-lidded bin, collected fortnightly
  • 1 x 240 litre red-lidded bin, collected fortnightly


Small service
  • 1 x 140 litre green-lidded bin, collected weekly
  • 1 x 240 litre yellow-lidded bin, collected fortnightly
  • 1 x 140 litre red-lidded bin, collected fortnightly
Recycling Upsize
  • Recycling Upsize 1 x 360 litre yellow-lidded bin, collected fortnightly

The new waste service aims to improve the way we sort and collect our waste in order to:

  • reduce the increasing cost of the State Government waste levy on the local community
  • meet resource recovery targets set by the Environmental Protection Authority
  • extend the life of our local landfill on Crescent Head Road
  • improve efficiencies and keep community costs down over the long term

Recent audits show that we can reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by more than half, simply by putting our waste into the right place - by sorting all food and garden waste into the green bin, and all household recyclables into the yellow bin. Moving waste out of your red bin means it will cost half the price to dispose of it, keeping money in your pocket, and give better environmental outcomes.

These best practice waste management arrangements are becoming the ‘standard’ with Coffs Harbour, Nambucca Valley, Bellingen, Lismore, Clarence Valley and Port Macquarie having already implemented similar services.

For the majority of residents the cost of the new service will be less than what you are currently paying.

If these collection changes are not made waste costs will continue to rise. The savings that come about as a result of the new service will be passed back to households through reduced waste charges

  • Standard Service - $403
  • Small Service - $351
  • Recycling Upsize - additional $10

Council has already put several measures in place to help residents make the transition including waste vouchers sent out with rate notices that can be used to take rubbish to the tip for free.

All households with a waste service will also receive a free kitchen caddy to make it easier to collect food waste for the green organics bin, and a free handy bag for collecting household recyclables for easy disposal in the yellow bin.

Council has also applied for Waste Less, Recycle More funding through the EPA to support the introduction of green food and garden organics bins to all residents. Currently 75% of households who have a waste service currently have a green bin service.

Council’s waste officer can be contacted to research solutions for households that have disabilities which prevent proper sorting of wastes into the 3 bin system.

Yes, from 1 July 2017 multi-unit dwellings will receive a weekly green bin collection, fortnightly yellow bin collection, and fortnightly red bin collection.

Recent bin audits showed for those households that don’t currently have a green bin service, almost half of their red bin contents were made up of compostable material. We need to keep this valuable resource out of landfill where it causes environmental problems and is costly to manage.

Your green lidded bin will be collected weekly. You can opt for the Small Service which means you will receive a 140 litre green bin.

If you currently compost at home, then that’s great and Council encourages you to continue to do so. The good news is that Council’s green food and garden bin accepts all food waste including many things you can’t compost at home such as citrus, bread, bones, seafood, chicken, meat and other items.

The green bin goes to a containerised high temperature composting facility to produce nutrient rich commercial composts for farmers and gardeners to use. Using your green bin can avoid the risks and environmental impacts associated with burning rubbish in rural areas.

Your new green bin is good for safely disposing of:

  • Any food waste you don’t want to deal with on site, compost or feed to animals 
  • Weeds best taken off-site (except for Tropical Soda Apple - visit or call Council for further information)
  • Problematic green wastes (leaves/branches/fruit with thorns, pest or disease issues)
  • Produce or feed that has been soiled or spoiled
  • Unusable fruit drop that is best taken off the ground (e.g. citrus, mangos, avocado)

For more information about the green lidded bin please see question "What can go in the green bin?" or the Green bin - food & garden organics page. 

All food and garden waste can currently go in the green bin, where it travels directly to a commercial composting facility to be reprocessed for beneficial reuse. For more information of what can and can’t go in your green bin, please visit the Green bin - food & garden organics page. The contents of the green bin get processed at a commercial facility, not Council's landfill.

Kempsey Shire Council operates an Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) licensed landfill facility on Crescent Head Road and all red bin waste goes there. All of the yellow bin recycling and green bin organics waste is sent to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s licenced waste facility at Cairncross for processing.

 No landfill waste that is collected by or for Kempsey Shire Council is taken anywhere other than to our EPA licenced landfill facility on Crescent Head Road.

The default Standard Service will replace the current small red bin with a larger version that provides almost the same waste disposal capacity over the fortnightly collection cycle.

By placing all food waste into the green bin, which will be collected weekly, you will reduce odour concerns because it is generally food waste that decomposes causing smells.

Changes to the bin sizes are likely to mean an increase in total waste capacity for the majority of residents over a fortnightly period. It’s a matter of putting your waste in the right place.

Recent audits show about 50% of the contents of our red bins is compostable and belongs in the green bin, while 20% is recyclable and belongs in the yellow bin.

That means by simply sorting your waste into the right place, you could potentially reduce your red bin contents by more than half.

By placing all food waste into the green bin, which will be collected weekly, you will reduce odour concerns because it is generally food waste that decomposes causing smells.

There are a number of things you can do to keep your bins fresh, including keeping lids shut and bins out of direct sunlight if possible, and tightly wrapping and bagging nappies, sanitary and pet waste. It is recommended to place other kerbside bins on the northern and/or western side of the green bin to block direct sunlight heating it up as much during the day.

Only those households who currently receive a kerbside collection service (2 or 3 bins) will be affected by the new waste service which starts from 1 July 2017. If you do not currently receive a Council bin service, there will be no change.

Please contact Council if you have further enquiries after reading these frequently asked questions.

  • You can write to Kempsey Shire Council, PO Box 3078, Kempsey NSW 2044
  • Phone the Waste Hotline: 1300 342 207
  • Fax: 6566 3205
  • Email:
  • Visiting our Customer Service Center at 22 Tozer Street, West Kempsey during business hours