Your waste questions answered

Read common questions and answers about waste and recycling services in Kempsey Shire, including how to use your red, yellow and green bins.

When are my bins collected?

Your green bin is collected every week.

Your yellow and red bins are collected fortnightly on alternate weeks. 

Use the bin collection calendar to find out when your bins are collected.

Kerbside bins are serviced between 6:00am and 5:00pm on collection day. 

How do I change the service I have – for example, upgrade to a larger recycling bin?

Call the Waste Hotline on 1300 342 207.

What are the bin sizes and collection arrangements?

To deliver the most cost-effective outcome for the community, most households receive a standard waste collection service:

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

Other options

Small service

  • one 140-litre green-lidded bin, collected weekly
  • one 240-litre yellow-lidded bin, collected fortnightly
  • one 140-litre red-lidded bin, collected fortnightly

Recycling upsize

  • one 360-litre yellow-lidded bin, collected fortnightly


What can I put in the green bin?

All your food and garden waste can go in the green bin. It will be taken to a commercial composting facility and processed for reuse. 

Your green bin is ideal to safely dispose of:

  • food waste you don’t want to deal with, compost or feed to animals 
  • items you can’t compost, like citrus fruits, bones, seafood, meat and chicken
  • weeds best taken off-site (except for Tropical Soda Apple – contact Council for more information) 
  • problematic green wastes, such as leaves, branches or fruit with thorns, pest or disease problems
  • produce or feed that has been soiled or spoiled
  • unusable fruit drop that is best taken off the ground, such as citrus fruits, mangoes or avocados. 

For more information on what can go in your green bin, read Which Bin? An A to Z Guide.

What if my bin has not been emptied?

If you believe your bin was missed, please phone the Waste Hotline on 1300 342 207.

I live in a unit – what do I need to know?

Multi-unit dwellings have a three-bin service. You can put food and garden waste in the weekly green bin collection.

What if I am renting?

Contact your real estate agent to discuss your bin size needs with your landlord.

What if I rent out my property as holiday accommodation?

You can arrange an additional waste collection for a fee. Phone the Waste Hotline on 1300 342 207.

Council recommends you also:

  • display waste signs in your holiday accommodation 
  • provide waste information in your accommodation information pack.

What if my business requires a commercial service?

Contact Cleanaway on 13 13 39 to discuss your commercial waste needs. 

Where does waste from Kempsey Shire go?

All red bin waste goes to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) licensed landfill facility on Crescent Head Road, which is operated by Kempsey Shire Council.

Yellow bin recycling and green bin organics waste is sent to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s licensed waste facility at Cairncross for processing.

Why isn’t my red bin collected every week anymore?

Council changed the waste service in mid-2017 to improve the way we sort and collect our waste to:

  • reduce the increasing cost of the state government waste levy on the local community
  • meet resource recovery targets set by the Environment Protection Authority
  • extend the life of our local landfill on Crescent Head Road
  • improve efficiencies and keep long-term community costs down.

Our red bins should be our last bin option. Audits show that simply by putting our waste in the right place, we can more than halve the amount of waste going to landfill. This means putting all food and garden waste in the green bin and household recyclables in the yellow bin.

Moving waste out of your red bin means we halve the cost of disposing of this waste, keeping money in your pocket and improving environmental outcomes.

These best practice waste management arrangements have become standard: Coffs Harbour, Nambucca Valley, Bellingen, Lismore, the Clarence Valley and Port Macquarie have already implemented similar services.

How do I manage odours, pests and hygiene concerns with a fortnightly red rubbish bin collection?

You can do several things to keep your bins fresh:

  • It is often decomposing food waste that smells, so you can reduce odour concerns by placing all food waste in the green bin, which is collected weekly. 
  • We recommend that you tightly wrap and bag nappies, sanitary items and pet waste.
  • You can also keep your bin lids shut and keep bins out of direct sunlight if possible. You can place your yellow bin on the northern and/or western side of your red and green bins to stop the direct sunlight heating them up during the day.

Read the Keeping your bins fresh factsheet(PDF, 1MB)


How can I reduce waste at home?

We can all make a big difference by making small changes at home.

  • Choose reusable or recyclable products, or products with less packaging. 
  • Buy locally available produce using reusable bags and containers.
  • Choose recycled products, such as recycled paper for the office, kitchen and toilet.
  • Buy quality items for long-term use, resale or gifting to friends, family or charities.
  • Choose reusable mugs or drink bottles over single use disposable containers.
  • Make rubbish-free lunches with fresh ‘nude foods’, reusable containers and cutlery.
  • Put a no junk mail sign on your letterbox.

What can I do with problem items?

Some items pose problems for people, equipment and the environment. It is an offence to put them into your kerbside bins.

Many are accepted free at the Kempsey Waste Management Centre on Crescent Head Road, including:

  • all liquid wastes such as paint, oil and chemicals
  • building and construction wastes such as metal, concrete, bricks, timber and rubble 
  • automotive parts like tyres, batteries and metals
  • heavy or small particle items such as rocks, thick wood and soil
  • hazardous waste such as toxic and household chemicals, asbestos, paints and thinners
  • radioactive materials, including fire alarms and smoke detectors
  • gas cylinders
  • flares or ammunition
  • electronic waste such as TVs, computers and mobile phones
  • needles and syringes.

What if I have more questions?

If you still have questions, you can:

  • phone the Waste Hotline on 1300 342 207
  • email us at
  • visit Council Customer Service at 22 Tozer Street, West Kempsey, during business hours.