Unwanted household items
Last published 13 Feb 2018
Did you know that leaving your unwanted household items outside your property or on the street is illegal? You could be fined up to $4000 for it.
Dumped rubbish is unpleasant and makes the neighbourhood look untidy. There are better ways to get rid of unwanted goods.
Council household item collection service
Many local councils offer free collection services for unwanted bulky household items. If you have something that can’t go in your waste or recycling bin, call your council and ask them about their clean up or bulky household item collection services. Each council has different rules about the type and quantity of household items that can be collected.
Find your local council for advice on what recycling and waste services are available in your area.
If you live in a unit complex your local council may have special rules regarding collection services for your home. Contact your Client Service Officer who can assist organise a clean up service for the whole complex.
If you are not able to participate in a council clean up service, you can take your items to a Resource Recovery Centre where fees apply, or check the Yellow Pages for rubbish removal services.
Reuse, donate, recycle or sell unwanted items
Before contacting your council about their household item collection services, consider whether you can help people in need and keep waste out of landfill.
1. Reuse – Some councils support reuse and repair centres that collect, repair and sell furniture, appliances, household goods, bikes, books and more. The Bower Reuse & Repair Centre offers a free collection service for household furniture and items in good condition in many council areas in Sydney.
2. Donate – Consider giving useable items to friends or family, or donating them to charities or op-shops. Many charities accept furniture, toys, clothes, bric-a-brac, books and appliances that are in a good condition.
3. Recycle – Planet Ark’s Recycling Near You website to find out what you can and cannot recycle, and where you can drop-off your items to be recycled.
Planet Ark Recycling Hotline
1300 733 712 (Mon to Fri, 9am - 5pm)
4. Sell or trade – Take unwanted items to a pawnshop or use social media, online marketplaces such as eBay or Gumtree, or freecycling sites like Yours2Take or Ziilch to list your items for sale, trade or free collection.
How to recycle problem household waste
Community Recycling Centres are drop-off centres for common household problem wastes that can’t be collected via council kerbside waste and recycling collection services. The Centres operate throughout the year and offer a free and easy way to dispose of household problem waste such as gas bottles, motor oils, paints, batteries and fluorescent light globes.
Household chemicals: Chemical CleanOut events are a free and safe way to dispose of your household chemicals including cleaning products, hobby chemicals and pesticides. They are normally held on weekends with household quantities of up to 20kg or 20 litres accepted. Community Recycling Centres are also listed on the CleanOut website, they accept some problem items year-round for council residents.
Medicines: Return out-of-date medicine to your local chemist for safe disposal.
Mobile phones: Recycle your old mobile phone through Mobile Muster bins or at your local bank or Telstra, Optus, Virgin Mobile or Vodafone store.
Did you know that your electronic waste such as TVs, computers, telephones, entertainment appliances and household appliances (vacuum, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, hair dryer) can contain precious metals and raw materials that should be recycled? Contact your local council or visit Recycling Near You to find out where you can take your e-waste for recycling.
What to do when moving out?
Tenants are responsible for ensuring that all their belongings and any waste from the property are removed at the end of a tenancy.
If you have unwanted bulky household items like mattresses and appliances, contact your local council at least 4 weeks before your tenancy end date to enquire about their clean up or bulky household item collection services.
You may be required to pay for the cost of storing and/or disposing of household items you leave behind, after you have been given correct notice.
Report Illegal Dumping
Illegal waste dumping is a crime. By reporting illegal dumping you can help keep your neighbourhood clean and stop dumping activity. When caught, dumpers can be fined and required to clean up and lawfully dispose of their waste.
Reporting is quick, easy and you can make your report anonymously. Your report is appreciated, even if you did not see who dumped it.
The Environment Protection Authority, councils and Regional Illegal Dumping squads can investigate illegal dumping and work with communities to deter dumping.