Some types of waste are difficult to get rid of responsibly, like chemicals, asbestos and medical waste.
Below are some tips on how to deal with common types of problem waste.
If your house was built before 1990, there’s a good chance it contains asbestos somewhere. Common places you might find asbestos include walls, roofs and eaves, vinyl tiling, drains and oven or heating flues.
Visit the Asbestos Awareness website to learn more and get tips on how to protect yourself.
Handling and disposing of asbestos
Strict rules apply to handling and disposing of asbestos. If you’re removing more than 10 square meters of asbestos, you must use a licensed asbestos removalist.
See the NSW EPA website for more information about dealing with asbestos waste.
It is illegal to put asbestos in a household garbage bin or to dump it.
You cannot take asbestos to our waste disposal depot.
Companies that accept asbestos waste
The local companies below can accept asbestos waste. You should check with these companies to confirm pricing and other details.
You can find other facilities in New South Wales that accept household asbestos on the EPA website.
Batteries contain toxic liquids and metals. All types of batteries have the potential to start a fire - especially once they reach waste facilities.
They are dangerous and should not go in your bin!
There are several ways to safety dispose or your batteries:
- Household and car batteries can be dropped off for free at our Community Recycling Centre
- Most Aldi stores have battery recycling bins for small household batteries - ask at your local store if you need help
- Most battery stores accept used batteries for recycling. Find a location on the Recycling Near You website.
Our waste depot at Whytes Gully does not accept building waste.
Building waste includes, but is not limited to:
- Fibro Sheeting
- Galvanised Iron Sheeting
- Plaster Sheeting
- Excavation Materials (including clean and unclean fill).
There are some private businesses in our local area that accept building waste. Please search the internet for 'building waste Wollongong' to find available options.
There are many chemicals around your house that should be kept out of your bin and our landfill. This can include cleaning products, poisons, acids, pool chemicals and more.
Many common household chemicals can be taken to our Community Recycling Centre (CRC).
We also work with the NSW Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to hold a couple of free Household Chemical Cleanout Events each year. Details of what can be included in these cleanouts can be found on the EPA website or our Household Chemical Cleanout flyer PDF, 315.12 KB.
When you’re dropping off items at the CRC or a cleanout event, make sure you handle and transport chemicals carefully. Each item must be no larger than 20kg or 20 litres.
Please note, asbestos cannot be included in chemical cleanouts.
Chemical cleanout events
Used Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs)
Used Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) are a type of medical waste and need to be disposed of carefully.
Please read the instructions that come with your RAT. They should explain how to properly dispose of a used test.
Some tests come with a plastic bag for disposal. If your kit doesn’t include a bag, you should place the used items from the test, including the swab, into a small plastic bag that can be sealed. This bag should be put into another bag that can be sealed and put in your red lid (general waste) bin.
Test kit materials are not recyclable.
Wash your hands carefully after completing the test and disposing of the test kit contents.
For more information about RATs, please see the NSW Government website.
Please dispose of used face masks responsibly.
Single-use face masks should be put in your red lid (general waste) bin after use. If possible, put your mask in a sealed bag before placing it your bin to make sure others won’t touch it.
Most single-use masks contain soft plastics and cannot be recycled. They can also get caught in recycling equipment and be a hazard to waste workers.
For more information about using and disposing of face masks, please see the NSW Health website.
E-waste (electronic waste) is one of the fastest-growing types of waste in our community.
Here are some options to consider instead of sending e-waste to landfill:
|E-waste||What to do|
|Computers and televisions||Book a household cleanup or drop off up to 15 items per visit for free at our Community Recycling Centre.|
|Gaming devices||These can be valuable! Try selling them online, or find a store that deals in second hand games and gear.|
|DVD players, stereos, cameras, iPods and toys||
Recycle your unwanted electronics through your nearest Storage King store. |
For a small cost you can buy an e-waste collection box. Fill it with your old devices (you can even leave the batteries inside) and return it to Storage King. They'll recycle it through the ECOACTIV Product Recovery Program.
Find out more on the ECOACTIV website.
Drop off up to 15 old phones per visit at our Community Recycling Centre. You can also use the Mobile Muster program - all of our library locations have Mobile Muster drop off points.|
Many stores that sell phones will also take old phones for recycling.
Apple Giveback lets you trade in old devices to get an Apple store gift card. |
If your old Apple doesn't qualify for a trade-in, Apple will still recycle it for free.
Conditions apply. See Apple's website for details.
Transport for NSW has a program to help boaters dispose of expired flares. The mobile collection program runs during the peak boating season (October to April) at sites across the Illawarra and South Coast. We'll add details of the next collection program to this page when they are available.
Most flares have a use-by date of three years, and must be replaced before the expiry date.
Flares contain explosive matter which makes it difficult to dispose of them safely and legally. Please handle and dispose of flares properly.
Visit the Transport for NSW website for more information.
Lead can be found in many parts of your home - especially in older homes.
Some of the places you might find lead include:
- old interior and exterior paint
- in dust found in ceiling cavities, carpets or furniture
- soil around your home
- fumes from tools like heat guns or soldering irons that have come into contact with lead surfaces
- water pipes
- leadlight windows
- PVC products
- lead sheeting.
You can also buy lead test kits from most hardware stores.
Vegesafe soil testing program
Macquarie University has a free Vegesafe program tests soil for metals. If you’d like to know more or take part, visit Macquarie University’s website.
You can also read the university’s guide to soil that might be lead-contaminated.
If you need to get rid of a mattress, don't dump it - try these options:
Old medicines can be dangerous to you and your family, and bad for the environment.
Get rid of old or unwanted medicines at your local pharmacy through the Return Unwanted Medicines (RUM) program.
Search the SafeSharps website to find places where you can drop off syringes and sharps. You must use a suitable rigid container, such as a Medispose container, when dropping off syringes. Loose needles will not be accepted.
If you find needles or syringes on public or private land, call the Needle Exchange on (02) 4275 1529. They operate between 8 am and 5.30 pm Monday to Friday, and can quickly arrange collection by a qualified person in most cases during these hours.
If you feel ok about handling the discarded needle or syringe safely, follow these steps:
- Place the needle in a strong puncture-proof container with a lid. Don't use a glass container as it can break.
- Carry the container to the needle, place the needle inside the container and make sure the lid is on tightly.
- Call the Needle Exchange to arrange for pick up or take it to a drop off location.
Kidney dialysis patients
Council offers a Kidney Dialysis Residual Waste Service for households that have excessive residual waste associated with kidney dialysis which can't be managed using the standard collection service.
To apply for this service, please visit the Wollongong Waste website
Disposable nappies have a big impact on our environment. They can take over 400 years to start breaking down in landfill.
Using cloth nappies is an environmentally friendly alternative, and it doesn't have to be hard. Find our more on our Nappies page.
Polystyrene cannot be recycled at our waste depot. Do not put polystyrene in your yellow bin.
You need to put it in your red bin, or take it to our waste depot.
Fees apply for taking polystyrene to landfill. Please note there is minimum charge for loads up to 100kg.
|Parent HierachyArea||Fee NameFee Name||GSTGST||Current Fee (incl. GST)Current Fee (incl. GST)|
|Parent HierachyWaste Management | Household Waste - Wollongong Waste And Resource Recovery Park Only | Mixed General Waste||Fee NameExpanded Plastic (polystyrene & other light) loads by volume – Charge per m3||GSTY||Current Fee$217.00|
|Parent HierachyWaste Management | Special Waste Disposal - Wollongong Waste And Resource Recovery Park Only | Special Waste - Expanded Plastic||Fee NameSPECIAL WASTE – Expanded plastic (polystyrene & other light) loads by volume – Charge per m3 (applicable to loads > 25% by volume polystyrene)||GSTY||Current Fee$217.00|
You can now drop off x-ray film for free at our Community Recycling Centre.
Please remove your x-rays from the envelope before recycling. The envelope generally includes your personal details, so we recommend you take this home with you.
X-ray film can then be placed in the bin marked Waste Film Only.
If you need help locating the x-ray bin, please ask one of our staff wearing hi-vis jackets.
Please note, only household quantities are accepted (no commercial waste).
About x-ray recycling
Wondering what will be done with your old x-rays?
X-ray films are processed in a refinery to extract the silver. This is done by heating them at temperatures over 1000 degrees celcius.
The extracted silver is then turned into a more pure form of silver. This can be reused for things like silver solder, jewellery, silver plating, electrical parts, and making new film.
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