3-Bin Waste Service

3-Bin Waste Service

Residents in Penrith's urban areas have a 3-bin waste service for organics, recycling and residual garbage.

The 3-bin service was introduced in 2009 to reduce the amount of reusable waste being buried in landfill, which is the most expensive way to dispose of waste. 

The three bin system; 

  • reduces the amount of reusable waste going into landfill
  • saves our residents money
  • offers a greater total bin capacity for each household than under the two bin system
  • allows us to meet targets set by the State Government for all local councils to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill

The system is designed so that organic waste is recycled into high-grade compost, recyclables are remade into new products and the small amount of waste leftover is buried in landfill.

How often is the green-lidded organics bin emptied?

The green bin is collected weekly as it is for food scraps, which are classified as putrescible waste and is required to be collected weekly.

If you have a large garden / lawn, you can request a second bin. Alternatively, if you have a small garden / lawn you can request a smaller bin.

What can I put in the organics bin?

The organics bin is for all food scraps and garden clippings. 
Due to the nature of food scraps, it is recommended to put your organics bin out for collection every week to prevent odour. 

Please do not use plastic bags in this bin as they do not break down in the composting process.

Animal droppingsFish & chip paperPalm fronds & nuts
BonesFlowersPaper bags
Branches (broken up)Food leftovers & scrapsPaper plates
Bread, cereals, grains, nuts & seedsFruit & vegetable scrapsPaper towels
Cereal slopsGarden trimmings & pruningsPizza boxes & pizza
Chewing gum / bubble gumGrass cuttingsPlant cuttings
Chicken bones, skins & scrapsHair & furShellfish waste
Cooking oils / fats (frozen)Kitty litter (clay or paper based)Shredded scrap paper
Coffee groundsLeavesTea bags & tea leaves
Dairy productsMeatTissues
Egg shellsNewspaperVegetable scraps
Fish & bonesPaper napkinsWeeds
Wood (untreated, unpainted, without nails or metal fittings and less than 30cm in length)

For more information on what can go into the green-lidded organics bin, please call Waste Services on 4732 7615
Download a 3-bin waste sorting guide

How often is the yellow-lidded recycling bin emptied?

The yellow bin is collected fornightly. Due to costs, a weekly collection is not available, however you can request a second recycling bin.

What can I put in the recycling bin?

The recycling bin is for all recyclable items. To reduce size and bulk, items can be squashed or crushed before placing in the bin. 

Please do not use plastic bags in this bin as they cannot be recycled at the facility. It is not necessary to wash containers and jars, however, please ensure all food scraps and other contents are removed. 

The following items can be placed in the yellow-lidded recycling bin:

BooksJunk mailPlastic bottles/ tubs & jars
Bottles & jars (plastic or glass)Laundry detergent bottlesPoppers
Cardboard boxes and rollsMagazinesShampoo & conditioner bottles
Cereal boxesMargarine tubsSteel & tin cans
Coffee cansMilk bottles/ cartonsTake-away containers
Computer paperMotor oil containers (empty & clean)Tetrapaks / poppers
Cosmetic jarsNewspapersToilet roll & cardboard tubes
Cream cheese tubsOffice paperWine / beer bottles
Drink cans / bottlesOil containers (empty & clean)Wrapping paper
EnvelopesPaint cans (empty & clean)Yoghurt containers
Food cansPet food cans 
Glass bottles & jarsPhone books 

For more information on what can go into the yellow-lidded recycling bin, please call Waste Services on 4732 7615
Download a 3-bin waste sorting guide 

How often is the red-lidded residual waste bin emptied?

The red bin is collected fortnightly as a standard option, however a weekly collection can be requested. 

If you are sorting your waste correctly but are still struggling with capacity, there are other options available, such as getting a larger bin.

What can I put in the residual waste bin?

The residual waste bin is for any items that are not able to be placed in the organics or reycling bins. Any items placed in this bin are buried at landfill and not reused or recycled. 

To get the most use out of your red-lidded bin, ensure the only items being placed in this bin are items that cannot be placed in the other bins, booked in as part of a clean-up, given away or sold. While it isn't "wrong" to place recyclable or compostable items in this bin, these items will often take up a large amount of available space in the bin. 

The following items can be placed in the red-lidded residual waste bin:

Bandaids / dressingsFoil sachets & bagsPyrex
Batteries (household)Garden hoseShoes
Bread bags / tagsHygiene productsStockings / pantihose
CandlesKitty litterStraws
Carbon paperLightbulbsSupermarket 'green' bags
Cassette tapes / Videos / CDs / DVDsLolly / sweet / chocolate wrappersStyrofoam
CeramicsMeat trays and plastic wrapToothbrushes
Cereal box plastic insertsPet food satchetsToothpaste tubes
Clothes / textiles and shoesPens / pencils / crayon / textasToys
Crockery & cutleryPersonal hygiene productsTreated timber
Disposable nappiesPlastic bagsVacuum cleaner dust
Drinking glassesPlastic wrapWaxed paper / cardboard
Foam boxesPolystyrene cups & packagingWindow glass / mirrors
Foam underlayPotato chip & snack bags 

For more information on what can go into the red-lidded residual waste bin, please call Waste Services on 4732 7615
Download a 3-bin waste sorting guide 

Alternative Services

Most properties on the 3-bin service are on a ST140 service (standard service) which includes:

  • 1 X 240 Litre weekly organics collection (for food and garden waste) 
  • 1 X 240 Litre fortnightly recycling collection (for recycling bottles, cans, cartons, paper and cardboard) 
  • 1 X 140 Litre fortnightly residual garbage collection (for leftover household waste that is neither organic nor recyclable)

This service suits most households, however there are many other service options to suit families with different needs. 

The different service options attract different charges as the cost for processing each waste stream is different. The cost of sending waste to landfill is the most expensive and is increasing significantly each year. 

To change your service option, or to discuss suitable options for your household, please contact Waste Services on 4732 7615

Please note: Only the property owner can change the service being provided to a property. However, if you are are a tenant, you can still contact Waste Services for advise on the different options. 

Kitchen Tidies

Council sells a kitchen organics tidy bin to help collect food scraps from the kitchen. 

It has been specially designed to fit the Council-provided green compostable bags. Please do not use any other bags, even if they are labelled as compostable or biodegradable, as they do not break down quickly enough for composting. 

If you need a new kitchen tidy bin, they can be purchased from the Customer Service Counters at Penrith or St Marys Council Offices for $11.00 including GST. 

Offices

  • Penrith Office - 601 High Street PENRITH
  • St Marys Office - 207 Queen Street ST MARYS

Libraries

  • Penrith Library - 601 High Street PENRITH
  • St Marys Library - 207 Queen Street ST MARYS
  • ST Clair Library - St Clair Shopping Centre, Corner of Bennett Road & Endeavour Avenue ST CLAIR

Alternatively, you can use a container of your own to collect & transport food scraps. It is important that the container is only used to collect the scraps and is not to be disposed of in the organics bin. 

Green Compostable Bags

Green compostable bags are delivered free of charge to every household on the 3-Bin Waste Service four times a year to collect food waste. 

They are the only bags that can be put into the green lidded organics bin as they are specially designed and have been tested to break down during the 6 week composting process. 

While the bags do not have an expiry date, they should last at least 12 months if stored correctly. Please store the bags in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent bags from breaking down prematurely. 

If you find the bags are splitting, tearing or breaking apart they are most likely old. If you are having these issues with a packet of bags that you believe are new, please contact Waste Services on 4732 7615 so it can be investigated. 

If your household needs more bags, additional bags can be picked up for free from any of Council's Offices or Libraries. 

Offices

  • Penrith Office - 601 High Street PENRITH
  • St Marys Office - 207 Queen Street ST MARYS

Libraries

  • Penrith Library - 601 High Street PENRITH
  • St Marys Library - 207 Queen Street ST MARYS
  • ST Clair Library - St Clair Shopping Centre, Corner of Bennett Road & Endeavour Avenue ST CLAIR

Additional Benefits

4 free bulky waste clean-up collections per year

Every household on the 3-bin system has 4 free cleanups per calendar year. These clean-ups are not scheduled per suburb, but are a on-request service. 

You can dispose of items such as old furniture, mattresses, clothing & small items.  Book a cleanup by calling the Waste Hotline on 4732 7777.  For more information see Council Clean-Up Collections or call the Waste Hotline on 4732 7777.

Chemical drop-off days

Council hosts a free chemical drop off day at Jamison Park, Penrith. Pack your old household cleaners & chemicals, pool chemicals, batteries, gas bottles and oils in the boot of your car. The friendly staff will unload for you and the items collected will be disposed of safely and correctly. For more information, including the next drop-off day, see Chemical Drop-Off Days page.

E-Waste drop-off days

Council holds regular free e-waste drop off days at Jamison Park, Penrith.  Pack your old televisions, computers, microwaves, stereos and other electronic waste in your car or trailer. The friendly staff will unload for you and the items collected will be recycled. All items dropped off are disassembled, sorted and recovered for recycling into new products. For more information, including the next drop-off day, see Electronic Waste Drop-Off Days page.

Free bin repair

If your bin is broken, cracked or missing a lid, you can organise a free repair by calling the Waste Hotline on 4732 7777. For the green-lid organics bin or the red-lid residual waste bin, select option 1. For the yellow-lid recycling bin, select option 2.