Whether you’re taking on an overgrown tree or finally clearing the clutter from your garage, there are some jobs that can only be completed with a trip to the tip.

Australia’s landfills see around 20 million tonnes of waste each year. There are now over 1,000 landfills scattered throughout the country, so chances are, you’re probably familiar with your local rubbish tip.

But if you aren’t a rubbish tip regular, learning the ins and outs of using your local landfill is probably a good idea to ensure you’re managing your waste as effectively as possible.

If only there was some way of knowing what you can and can’t dump, or where to find your nearest rubbish tip… (Spoiler alert: There is. It’s this article.)

If you’ve always wanted to be an expert on all things waste, now’s your chance. The following tips definitely aren’t rubbish.

 

Where To Find Your Local Rubbish Tip

Landfill

First things first, you’ll probably want to track down your local waste and recycling facility. You can study up on all the relevant rules and guidelines on the following council websites from around the country:

 

How Rubbish Tips Work

Bulldozer compressing rubbish at rubbish dump

The short answer:

  1. You take your waste or recyclables to the dump, where you will likely be required to pay a small fee.
  2. Some centres have separate sections to place different materials for recycling purposes. The gatehouse attendant will be able to tell you where to take your stuff.
  3. If you’re dumping general waste, it will be deposited into a massive hole in the ground; a bit like the Grand Canyon, but less photogenic.
  4. You complain about the smell (though, modern landfill sites are designed to smell better than the old-school ones you went to as a kid).
  5. The rubbish is compacted by heavy vehicles to fit more in.
  6. Once the hole is full, it’s covered over by a combination of clay and plastic to stop any liquids from the waste from seeping into the soil or water.
  7. The rubbish slowly breaks down.
  8. It’s the circle of life.

It’s a pretty simple process.

 

What You Can Throw Away At Rubbish Tips

Man holding box of recyclables

These items are accepted at rubbish dumps in Australia.

General Waste

  • Household rubbish

Recyclables

  • Aluminium cans
  • Batteries (domestic quantities only of household batteries including AAA and D batteries, and car batteries)
  • Cardboard and paper
  • Clean polystyrene
  • Electronic waste
  • Empty gas bottles (max. up to six 9kg gas bottles)
  • Fluorescent lighting tubes and bulbs
  • Furniture and household items in good working order
  • Quality textiles and wearable clothing
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Metals (both ferrous and non-ferrous)
  • Mobile phones
  • Oil, used mineral engine oil*
  • Paint, water or oil-based paint*
  • Whitegoods and appliances

*20L limit for each product applies to residents and commercial operators.

Green Waste

  • Branches
  • Palm fronds
  • Trimmings from shrubs and trees
  • Weeds
  • Bark
  • Grass

 

What You Can’t Throw Away At Rubbish Tips

Drums of toxic waste

And here’s the stuff you can’t go dropping off willy-nilly at your local tip:

  • Asbestos
  • Hazardous/toxic waste
  • Tyres.

Some centres have advertised event days for the disposal of hazardous waste and tyres, so keep an eye out at your local tip.

 

How To Get Your Stuff To The Rubbish Tip

Green waste on trailer

No, it’s not just a matter of piling up the ute or trailer and zipping off. Follow these handy hints to ensure a safe and efficient trip to the tip.

  • If you’re taking recyclables or green waste, sort your items by materials so you know what pile belongs to which section at the tip.
  • Use hockey straps or similar heavy-duty ties along with a tarp or cover to secure your items and prevent stuff flying off. Australia has laws surrounding restraining loads for road safety, so make sure you’re transporting your waste legally. It’s also just a pain in the butt to have to pull over and pick up that rogue branch.
  • Don’t try and squash all your waste into one load if it’s not practical. A couple of sensible trips beats one oversized load that spills onto the road.

Be sure to wear comfortable clothes, closed-in shoes, sunscreen and a hat when you visit the tip.

 

And if you can’t be bothered to make the trip? For some tips you can’t refuse, check out what you can and can’t leave for kerbside collection here, along with your next kerbside collection date.