FAQs

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You might find the answers to your queries below. If you cannot find the answers you are looking for, please contact us here and we endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible. 

Q. What are garden organics?

Organic materials are anything that is living or derived from living material. Garden organics include anything that grows in the garden.

Q. What is the garden organics service?

As part of your Domestic Waste Service, a third bin with a lime green lid is being introduced specifically for the collection of garden organics. The garden organics service is simply the next step we need to take to reduce our waste to landfill. There will be no change to the size of your garbage or recycling bins.

Q. Who will receive the new garden organics service?

If you live in the Cessnock City, Maitland City, or Singleton Local Government area and receive a weekly domestic garbage collection service you will receive the new garden organics service. All bins are registered to an address and come with an address sticker near the serial number on the side of the bin.

Q. I live on a rural property in the Singleton Local Government Area – will I receive the new garden organics service?

If you live on a rural property in the Singleton area and currently receive a fortnightly garbage (i.e. red-lid bin) collection service, you will need to apply to Singleton Council in order to receive the new service.

Q. What can go in my garden organics bin?

You can put the following organic materials from your garden into your new bin:

  • Grass Clippings
  • Prunings
  • Weeds
  • Leaves
  • Flowers
  • Plants
  • Palm Fronds
  • Bark
  • Sticks & Small Branches (max. length 30 cm, diameter 30 cm)
  • Roots
  • Untreated Timber
Q. Can food go in the bin?

 

No, at this time only organic material from the garden is accepted. If you have a veggie patch in your garden and have cleared it out for replanting, this organic material will be accepted.

Q. Can I put weeds in the garden organics bin?

Yes – you can put weeds in your new bin. They will no longer be viable after the 6 month pasteurising process.

Q. Will my garbage bin change?

No. Your garbage bin will remain the same. Your local Council is working to replace all the lids on garbage bins to the standard red-lid in order to reduce any confusion caused by having two bins with green lids.

Q. I have more garden waste than will fit in one bin. Can I pay for an additional bin?

You can order an additional garden organics bin by simply applying online here, or by contacting the Customer Service department at your local Council. Fees apply.

Q. What happens if I put incorrect items in my bin?

If unacceptable materials are found in your Garden Organics bin, it may not be emptied until these items are removed.

Q. What if my bin is missed or damaged?

If your bin is missed or damaged, you can report it here or call the Customer Service department at your local Council.

Q. What if my bin is stolen?

If your bin is stolen, you will need to report it to the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 and then either report it here or call the Customer Service department at your local Council and quote your Police Event Number to organise a replacement bin.

Q. What happens to my garden organics after they are collected?

All material collected from your garden organics bin will be delivered by the collection vehicle to a purpose built transfer facility. Here it will be loaded onto a large truck for transport to ANLs composting facility in Tea Gardens where it will be processed into mulch and compost that can be used on parks, gardens, sporting fields, and on agricultural crops.

Q. Where can I get some of the compost produced?

You can purchase compost and mulch products from ANL online or find your nearest stockist here.

Q. I compost at home. Should I keep doing this?

If you are already composting at home, keep up the good work! Consider the new garden organics bin an extra tool for any excess material that you have like garden organic materials that are notoriously difficult to compost such as palm fronds, weeds and larger sticks/branches.

Q. Why do we need three bins?

Quite simply, we need to reduce the amount of waste we are sending to landfill. Our landfills are important assets that need conserving to ensure its viability for future generations.

On average, household garbage bins in our region are comprised of around 24% garden organics, which in 2015-16 equated to an estimated 13,000 tonnes of garden organics disposed to our landfills.

The more organic material that we put into landfill, the more methane gas we produce. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas: the impact of methane on climate change is more than 25 times greater than the impact of carbon dioxide. The more we separate our waste at home, the more resources can be recovered for recycling, leading to economic as well as environmental benefits.

Q. Will I have to pay extra for the new garden organics service?

The cost of the new service will be included as part of your annual Domestic Waste Management Charge that is paid with your rates. There will be a small increase in this charge in order to cover the cost of providing the new garden organics service. The Councils working together to provide the new service have received grant funding from the NSW EPA to purchase all the new bins and assist with the system set up costs so costs to ratepayers have been minimised.

Q. I don’t need/want the service; do I have to get the bin?

All residential properties that receive a weekly domestic garbage (i.e. red-lid bin) collection service will receive a garden organics bin, but it is your decision as to whether you use the service or not. You do not have to put the bin out every fortnight. However, if you choose not to use the service there will be no reduction to your Domestic Waste Management Charge, as the cost of all waste services is minimised by spreading it across all residential properties.

As for the bins themselves, the Councils working together to provide this service received grant funding from the NSW EPA to purchase the new bins and set up the new service. In a few years’ time, food waste will also be included in the new green-lid bins and then everyone will need a bin so it makes sense to roll out the infrastructure to all households while we can.

Q. What about pensioners and low income families? Why should they have to pay for an extra service? How is it fair that we all pay the same charges?

Because we are part of a community, every resident shares the cost of services, even if they use some services more than others, or don’t use some services at all.

With this new service:

  • The Councils working together have received grant funding from the NSW EPA to purchase all the new bins (so there is no charge to residents).
  • Any increased costs for the provision of this service are also minimised by the savings achieved by diverting the garden organics material from landfill and therefore avoiding NSW Government waste levy charges (applied to waste to landfill).
Q. What are the benefits of the garden organics service?
  • It is the most cost-effective way to reduce waste to landfill.
  • It increases the lifespan of our local landfills.
  • It is a convenient way for you to deal with your grass clippings and other garden organics.
  • The mulch and compost produced from the collected garden organics can be used on parks, home gardens, sporting grounds, and in agriculture.
  • It allows for the opportunity for the service to be expanded (such as to include food) and make even greater savings.
  • It makes our community more environmentally sustainable.
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WORKING TOGETHER

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This project was supported by the Environmental Trust as part of the NSW EPA’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative, funded from the waste levy.