Waste & Recycling FAQs

Why are we moving to a multi-bin system?
Major changes in the recycling industry have impacted the way waste and recyclables are collected and processed in Australia. Starting in 2021, the Victorian State Government has mandated that councils need to move to a multi-bin system for waste and recycling. The goal of the Government is that by 2030 most households will have a multi-bin, colour-coded waste and recycling system.

Pyrenees Shire is implementing a more sustainable and responsible collection service. In partnership with the State Government, Council will roll out this new multi-bin system from July 2021 with the start of a new waste contract.

The transition to a universal waste and recycling street collection service is also based on feedback from the community. Council conducted a waste survey in 2020 to find out what residents wanted from their waste collection service. When we asked residents if they wanted a street collection service, 88% of those who responded said yes; in a similar question we asked if Council should extend street collection services to all residents – 68% of respondents said yes. When we asked those residents who already have street collection services what we could do to improve their service, nearly half of respondents mentioned glass bin collection. When we asked all residents what street collection services they wanted, they were evenly split between glass bins, recycling and household waste.

As part of the unified State system, bin lids need to be the same. Council has green and burgundy coloured bin lids and these will be replaced with red. No other bin lids need to change. 

Why is everyone getting glass-recycling bins?
All residents are receiving glass bins because glass can be a major contaminant if placed in a regular (co-mingled) recycling bin, as it often it breaks and the glass fragments stick to other materials, particularly paper and cardboard. It is very difficult to separate glass from other materials and means neither the glass or other materials can be recycled properly. By collecting glass separately, we can make sure more of it is effectively recycled – with jars and bottles transformed into multiple different products, including new roads and footpaths.

What will happen to the community glass skips that are currently being used by everyone in the Shire?
Once every household has received its purple-topped glass bin, then the community glass bins will be removed following a transition period. Access to glass skips will remain at Transfer Stations.

How do I use my different bins?

What CAN be put in your red-topped landfill bin?
Plastics (codes 3-4 & 6-7), polystyrene containers and trays, foam packaging, broken kitchen and oven ware, storage and baking ware, pet droppings and litter, broken glass (wrapped in newspaper), nappies and wipes, all lids, garden hoses, coffee pods, UHT and long-life cartons, takeaway coffee cups, textiles, vacuum cleaner bags, plant pots.

What CAN’T be put in your red-topped landfill bin?
E-waste (anything with a plug or batteries), asbestos, tyres, mattresses, garden waste, hazardous liquids, paint tins, motor oil, chemical waste, batteries, light globes, recyclables.

What CAN go in your yellow-topped recycling bin?
Plastics codes 1, 2 & 5 including drink bottles (codes 1 and 2), shampoo bottles (codes 1 and 2), laundry detergent bottles (codes 1 and 2), milk bottles (code 2), food containers (eg. margarine, yoghurt or ice cream containers – code 5); paper (newspapers, stationary, magazines, etc) and unwaxed cardboard products; aluminium and metal cans, aluminium foil. 

What CAN'T go in your yellow-topped recycling bin?
Plastics codes 3, 4 ,6, 7, 8, 9, including polystyrene containers and trays, foam packaging, bread bags, cling wrap, squeeze bottles, magazine wrapping, CD & DVD cases; plastic bags; nappies and wipes; broken crockery, aerosol cans (can explode during the sorting process); light globes; coated cardboard (long-life containers, takeaway coffee cups and some chemical boxes (dishwasher powder, for example) and waxed cardboard; milk/juice cartons and UHT/Tetra packs; metal pots and pans.

What CAN be put in your glass bin?
Glass bottles and jars (rinse and remove lids; lids go in the red-topped landfill bin).

What CAN’T be put in your glass bin?
Broken windows and glassware, broken crockery, storage and baking ware, perfume bottles and lids (corks, plastic or metal lids) – all these items need to be wrapped in newspaper and placed in the red-topped landfill bin.

What CAN be put in your green waste bin?
Grass clippings, weeds, garden prunings, small branches and twigs (maximum 100mm diameter x 400mm long).

What CAN’T be put in your green waste bin?
Plastic bags, garden pots, garbage, rocks/concrete, soil, garden hoses.

How can I reduce the amount of waste and recycling I produce?
Sustainability Victoria has some great resources on its website for reducing your household waste.

What was I previously paying for my waste charges?
You can find information about current (2020-21) waste charges here. Information about past waste charges can also be found on your annual rates invoice.

What will the new service cost?
The provision of waste and recycling services are a full cost recovery service. Council recently awarded contracts for elements of the service and will look to confirm the cost of the service to be $498 when it adopts its draft 2021/22 Budget. The waste and recycling service charge covers the cost of the street collection, operation of Transfer Stations and the EPA Levy for landfill. 

How much more will the new waste service cost me?
That depends on what kind of waste service you currently have. At present we have three wastes charges, with the cost varying according to which service you access. Starting from 1 July this year, with the roll-out of the universal street collection service, all residents will move to the same charge (excepting unimproved properties with no dwelling on them).

The three current waste charges are:

Waste Facilities Levy $61 in 2020/21 (this is charged for vacant properties or for certain properties in the Skipton area that use another Council’s waste services as it’s more convenient) – this charge for vacant properties will still attract a Waste Facilities Levy, with the price expected to increase by $7 to $68 in 2021/22. Properties with dwellings currently paying $61 will receive additional waste services from Council in 2021/22 in the form of three bins (landfill, recycling and glass bins) and their charge will increase by $437 to $498 per year.

Waste Services – Transfer Station Access (no street/road collection) $276 per year in 2020/21 this is what we charge residents who use Transfer Stations for their waste disposal. In 2021/22 these properties will receive additional waste services from Council in the form of three bins (landfill, recycling and glass bins) and their charge will increase by $222 to $498 per year.

Waste Management Service Charge $436 per year in 2020/21 – this is what we currently charge residents in Avoca and Beaufort who already have street collection services. With the addition of a glass bin the cost of this service will rise by $62 to $498 per a year in 2021/22.

You can find existing waste charges here.

Why is the new service compulsory?
Council made the decision to have a compulsory universal service due to the fact that to tender on an opt-in service would most likely increase the waste costs as the tenderer would not know how many or where to pick bins up from. This would mean that an individual additional service would probably cost in the order of five times what the township pick-up rate would be. This would be difficult to provide an equitable service to all. Council chose to support a compulsory service as it provides the most cost effective and equitable service to all.

Why is there a Waste Facilities Levy for properties that don’t have dwellings, and what does the levy cover?
The Waste Facilities Levy covers the ability of unimproved properties (ie no dwellings) to have access to Transfer Stations and contribute to general township amenity, including public street bins and street cleaning, as well as the environmental rejuvenation of old tip sites and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fees.

What if I have a very long or steep driveway, will trucks be able to collect the bins from my house?
No, you will need to have your bins at the end of your driveway on your road. It may mean leaving your bins just inside your property boundary and taking your waste and recycling down to the bins.

If you have serious concerns about the waste and recycling truck accessing your bins, please lodge a Customer Action Request outlining your concerns and that will help us assess any access issues as we roll out this new service.

What if the waste and recycling truck can’t access my road?
At present the logistics of whether trucks can access all properties won’t be known until the service is rolled out in July, but we are hoping that trucks can access all roads within the Shire.

The waste and recycling contractor will be assessing access to all properties, and will give us feedback about possible improvements or changes needed to allow access to properties. Again, if you have serious concerns about the waste and recycling truck accessing your bins, please lodge a Customer Action Request outlining your concerns and that will help us assess any access issues. 

What do I do with waste that can’t be put in any of the bins?
Depending on what the waste is, most waste that can’t go in bins can be taken to a transfer station. You can find information here about what waste transfer stations can and can’t accept (including costs), as well as information about other waste disposal services. You can find information about chemical waste disposal here. Have a look at Sustainability Victoria’s website for information on other waste services.

Will my bin collection days change?
At present we hope to retain existing street collection schedules, however, as we are starting a new waste contract, it’s possible that the schedule will change. If there are changes, we will provide this information to all residents.

Will my bin sizes change?
If you already have existing bins they will not change. You will get an addition 120-litre purple-lidded glass bin.

What do I pay for the street collection waste and recycling service?
You can find information about waste charges here.

What can I take to the Transfer Station, and what does it cost?
You can find information about Transfer Stations here.

What is the correct way to place my bin for collection?
To help our collectors and ensure your bin is emptied every time, please put your bin/s near the kerb or roadside with the wheels facing your house or property.

If in doubt, check the lid and follow the arrows stating 'This Side To Road'.

Other guidelines to help our contractors:

  • Place bins at least one metre apart and are accessible from the road;
  • Make sure the bin lids can close easily;
  • Please don't jam waste into your bins – this can lead to waste remaining in the bin after collection.

When will my bins be collected?

Landfill bins are collected weekly in the towns of Beaufort and Avoca. Recycling is collected fortnightly, on the same day as landfill. Glass and Green Waste are collected once every four weeks. In other areas, (Rural) Landfill bins are collected fortnightly, Recycling fortnightly (alternate fortnights) and Glass will be collected once every four weeks. Start dates are yet to be confirmed for Glass collection and new services. We will send these out with a calendar as soon as information is confirmed. 

You can find information about bin collection dates here.

Why wasn’t my bin collected?
If your bin wasn’t collected today, there are a couple of things to check first:

  • Was it the right collection night for that bin in your area? Check the bin collection dates here.
  • Did you take your bin out in time for the trucks to collect it – i.e the night before your scheduled collection day? It’s your responsibility to put your bin out on time. We recommend you put your bin out the night before collection.
  • Bad weather, increased loads and traffic can cause delays to the truck, so please keep this in mind that individual pick up times can vary (ie, collection may not happen first thing in the morning, it may happen later in the day).
  • Is there a sticker on your bin? The sticker tells you the bin was checked today, and contained a high level of non-recyclable items. Information on the sticker and the accompanying letter tell you what to do next. See the information above for what can and can't go into your various bins. 
  • Collection will only vary on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, and Council will notify you each year of this change. This change usually delays the collection schedule.

If you've addressed the above possibilities and your bin was definitely missed, you can report a missed collection service by lodging a Customer Action Request, and it will be collected within a week.

The standard bin size being provided and fortnightly collection is not enough for me – I have more rubbish than that. How can I get a larger or additional bin or have it collected more often?
Council does offer additional bins, but it will be charged on a cost recovery basis. Contact Council for more information. Note: please have a look at Sustainability Victoria’s website for information on how to reduce your waste.

Do I need to bring the bins in? I don't have the space to store them.
Yes, residents will need to bring their bins inside as they cannot be left on the nature strip. This stops others from placing items in bins and also prevents them from being damaged.

If you live in a block of units you may be better serviced by shared bins.

What happens to bins that are damaged or destroyed?
All bins are owned by Council, any bins that are lost or damaged will be repaired or replaced.

Can compostable bags go in the green waste bin?
No, at present they cannot.

How do I report illegally dumped rubbish?
The easiest way to make a report is to fill out a Customer Action Request on our website. You can also lodge a report at the Council offices in person or by telephone and email.

How should I dispose of nappies?
Nappies can go in your red-topped landfill bin. If odour is a concern, you can double-bag them.

If you’re interested, you can find some good information about more environmentally-friendly alternatives to disposable nappies on Sustainability Victoria’s website.

How should I dispose of pet waste?
Pet waste can go in your red-topped landfill bin. If odour is a concern, you can double-bag pet waste. If you are producing large amounts of pet waste it may be worth purchasing a pet waste composting system at home.

What do I do with aerosol cans?
Aerosol cans and other pressurised vessels can be safely disposed of through Sustainability Victoria's "Detox Your Home" events, find more information here. They can also be taken to Transfer Stations.

Where do I dispose of clothes I no longer need?
Clothes need to be disposed of in your general rubbish bin. However, if clothes are in good condition, consider disposing of your unwanted items mindfully by donating them to a recycling or opportunity shop.

Salvation Army Thrift Shop
114A High St, Avoca

Beaufort & District Op Shop
35 Neill St, Beaufort

Beaufort Op Shop
17 Havelock St, Beaufort

You have more questions?
If you have any concerns or queries, please contact Council on 1300 797 363. You can also find more information about the Pyrenees’ waste and recycling collection services here.