Construction waste

Disposing of construction waste

The landfill at the Kempsey Waste Management Centre on Crescent Head Road has reached capacity and is temporarily closed while the construction of a new cell is completed. 

The landfill closure will impact companies disposing of construction and demolition waste with skip bins greater than 9 cubic metres currently not accepted. Loads greater than 9 cubic metres will need to be transported to Cairncross Waste Management Centre, 351 Telegraph Point Road, Pembroke or another facility outside the Shire. 

Asbestos cannot be accepted at this time. 

Once the new landfill is operational, we need to preserve it by not using it for scrap metal, clean concrete, tiles, bricks and untreated timber. These should be separated to go into different stockpiles at the Waste Management Centre to avoid the state waste levy being charged. This is cheaper – or even free, in the case of scrap metal.

If you have resource recovery items in your landfill construction and demolition wastes, there is a higher unsorted waste charge to encourage everyone to Sort & Save.  

The NSW Environment Protection Authority provides information to help builders, contractors, project managers, property developers and demolition companies manage waste responsibly and lawfully.

Advice for home builders and renovators

As much as 40 per cent of Australia’s waste comes from building and demolition activities, yet more than 75 per cent of this waste is made up of reusable or recyclable materials such as bricks, concrete, steel, aluminium, timber, plasterboard and glass. 

By reusing and recycling building materials, we can:

  • avoid landfill disposal costs
  • spend less money on materials and potentially make money by selling unused or recovered items
  • reduce our consumption of energy and water
  • cut our greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the extraction, harvesting, construction, transportation and distribution of new products.

The most effective way to reduce construction waste is to make it clear what you want and expect from your designer and builder. You should talk to them up-front about how to minimise waste materials and maximise resource recovery for scrap metals, concrete, bricks, tiles and untreated timber. If these can be kept separate, you can prevent money and resources from going to waste.

Otherwise, ensure your selected skip bin company sorts to save. A contract clause incorporating this is recommended.

To manage waste effectively at your site, you can also:

  • make space available to sort or store different materials for recycling
  • ensure all contractors are aware of the waste management requirements
  • ensure loose rubbish and construction materials are not washed into drains and waterways. 

More information

Your Home: Australia’s Guide to Environmentally Sustainable Homes

Planet Ark Find a Recycler

Household Building and Renovation, NSW Environment Protection Authority


Please note: Due to the temporary closure of the landfill at the Kempsey Waste Management Centre asbestos cannot currently be accepted.

Asbestos was used as a building material in Australia between the 1940s and 1980s. It is now known to cause several disabling or fatal illnesses, which usually develop many years after exposure. For more information about asbestos visit

How to remove asbestos

A licensed asbestos removalist can identify asbestos and safely remove it from your property.

Only Class A licensed removalists can work with the most dangerous asbestos, known as friable asbestos, which crumbles into dust easily, usually due to age or exposure to the elements or fire. 

Class B licensed removalists are only allowed to dispose of non-friable, bonded asbestos. 

Licensed asbestos assessors and removalists

Council does not make recommendations but to help ensure your safety and to make it easier for you to contact a licensed professional please search for asbestos assessors and removalists on the Service NSW website.

Disposing of asbestos

The Kempsey Waste Management Centre on Crescent Head Road is the only facility in the shire that can legally accept asbestos for disposal. For disposal charges please see the fees & charges schedule(PDF, 2MB).

Because asbestos is a danger to everyone, it must arrive for disposal: 

  • wetted down to prevent dangerous dust fibres being released 
  • clearly labelled Danger Asbestos Hazard
  • double wrapped in thick builders plastic. The corners and edges of asbestos sheeting can be sharp, so folding cardboard around these points when packing is advisable to prevent the plastic from tearing.

Residential loads (of up to 10m²) of waste containing or potentially containing harmful asbestos can be safely disposed of at Kempsey Waste Management Centre

Bonded asbestos greater than 10m² and/or all friable asbestos can only be removed by a licensed contractor. NSW WasteLocate must be used.

How to dispose of your asbestos