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Update on COVID-19- The safety of our communities, customers and staff is our top priority. We are continuing to monitor daily developments in response to COVID-19. Find out the latest.

Garbage services

Red and yellow bins

There are multiple ways of disposing of waste safely and in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Throughout Port Stephens, we offer our residents a red bin for household and green waste and a yellow bin for recyclable products.

Your red bins will be collected weekly.

Waste that can go in your red bin:

  • food scraps
  • non-recycling packaging e.g. plastic bags
  • green waste
  • nappies
  • broken household items that are unable to be reused or fixed
  • pizza boxes and other paper products contaminated with food

The organic portion of your red bin contents is processed into compost through advanced resource recovery technology. This compost is then used as a resource to rehabilitate mine sites through the Hunter Valley. We are able to divert 50% of the contents of your garbage from landfill each year as well as return a natural resource back to the environment.

Changes to waste processing

On Thursday 25 October 2018, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) announced it would stop the use of mixed waste organic material on agricultural land and cease use on plantation forests and mining rehabilitation land until further controls can be considered.

Residents’ red bin waste will still be collected weekly and treated by the current process. However, it will be landfilled in the interim - as directed by the EPA - until new guidelines are developed for the use of mixed waste organic material in mine site rehabilitation.

The EPA has offered financial support to ensure Council and our residents are not financially impacted by this decision.

For more information, please visit the EPA website.

Your yellow bins will be collected fortnightly.

Recyclable waste that can go in your recycling bin:

Plastics Fruit punnets, biscuit trays, detergent bottles, cake trays, plastic containers, juice bottles, milk bottles, soft drink bottles, margarine and butter containers, shampoo and conditioner containers, ice cream containers, small and large yogurt containers, bottle lids.
Glass, bottles and jars Medicine and vitamin bottles; soft drink, water, beer, wine and champagne bottles; condiment and pickling jars.
Aluminium Cans, foil lined cartons (juice and milk, foil trays, pots and pans.
Paper and cardboard Books, cardboard, egg cartons, envelopes, gift wrap, greeting cards, magazines, newspaper, cardboard rolls, tissue boxes, scrap paper, pizza boxes, phone books.
Steel Aerosol cans (deodorant, bug spray, air freshener), cooking oil tins, pet food cans, canned condiments, pots and pans.

Additional recycling information:

Free drop-off days

We encourage you to add as much household and green waste to your red bins as possible for weekly collection. If you have larger quantities of waste, Council offers free drop-off days around Port Stephens most weeks for both green and problem waste.

Green waste drop off days are back but due to COVID-19 physical distancing requirements, booking are essential. You must book a time slot on one of the following days by calling 02 4988 0255.

COVID-19 green waste drop-off locations and times:

  • Sunday 5 July — Karuah
  • Sunday 12 July — Raymond Terrace
  • Sunday 12 July — Salamander Bay (added due to popular demand)
  • Sunday 19 July —  Lemon Tree Passage
  • Sunday 26 July — Salamander Bay

Karuah will be cancelled if bookings don't increase. Spots are limited at each site, bookings are restricted to one per month per household, no commercial operators and vehicles without bookings will not be accepted.

Materials accepted include:

  • tree cuttings
  • shrub cuttings
  • loose leaves
  • grass clippings

Conditions of service:

  • For residents and rate payers of Port Stephens only
  • Commercial operators are unable to use the services for their business waste
  • Only quantities of less than 1 cubic metre will be accepted
  • Materials less than 1.5m in length only will be accepted
  • Residents must unload their own material into a skip of truck provider and must comply with all instructions from the site operator
  • Large loads will not be accepted at the Karuah drop-off site as it is not set up for this

If you have waste that is not easily disposed of, Council offers residents free drop-off days for problem waste.

Problem waste can include:

  • mattresses
  • tyres
  • electronic waste
  • scrap metals
  • chemicals

If you're unsure of how to properly dispose of waste, have a look through our A-Z of waste page.

Frequently asked questions

For new or additional garbage services, please contact us on 02 4988 0255.

Please contact the Waste Customer Call Centre on 1300 734 470.

Residents can take excess waste to the Council operated Waste Transfer Station at Salamander Bay or the privately owned waste facility at Newline Road, Raymond Terrace. Find out about the Waste Transfer Station operating hours, fees and what types of waste are accepted.

Alternately, you can use your 2 kerbside collections per financial year by calling 1300 734 470.

Yes. If you require assistance with your bins, download our Wheel Out Wheel In Flyer for more information on how we can help.

EPA decision on mixed organic waste

In October 2018, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) announced that mixed organic waste could no longer be used due to potential environmental concerns.

After a further year of research, the NSW EPA made its final determination in October 2019 that the ongoing use of mixed organic waste on mine site rehabilitation, agricultural land and forestry land will not be permitted.

No. While this decision impacts how we process waste, it will not impact red bin collection. We will continue to provide the same waste services in Port Stephens.

The NSW EPA commissioned independent research to assess the benefits and risks of mixed organic waste for use on agricultural land, mining rehabilitation and forestry land.

The research found that there were potential risks to humans and the environment from physical contaminants like plastic and glass.

The mixed organic waste that we’re generating has been going to landfill for the past 12 months since the EPA’s decision and will continue to do so until we transfer to a new service or process.

There will be cost implications, but the EPA is offering a financial package which is currently up for consultation.

There’s no short-term fix for this. We’ll continue to work with the EPA and our contractor as part of the public consultation process.

Over the next 12 months, we’ll be developing a new waste strategy and process for moving forward. We will be asking our residents what our new waste system should look like and we’ll be considering all options.