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Hard Rubbish vs Soft Rubbish: Understanding the Differences

Pile of hard waste

Rubbish is rubbish right? No, not exactly… We produce all types of rubbish and depending on the size, material and source of that rubbish different actions need to be taken within collecting and disposing of it. To simplify it, we split rubbish into two main categories, “soft” and “hard” rubbish.

What is Hard Rubbish?

But what is hard rubbish? It’s the oversized, bulky waste – such as furniture, appliances, and lawnmowers – that won’t fit in your regular bin. Navigating the disposal of these items is vital to avoid fines and keep your community clean. Our guide will clarify what falls under the category of “hard rubbish“, the disposal process, and how we can help.

Hard Rubbish Examples

  • household furniture
  • carpet and underlay
  • baby seats
  • glass mirrors/windows
  • small car parts
  • lawnmowers
  • flattened cardboard
  • white goods such as fridges and washing machines
  • scrap metal
  • steel bed frames
  • logs and tree stumps\

What Isn't Hard Rubbish?

Now that we have a good grasp of what constitutes hard rubbish, it’s equally important to know what doesn’t fall into this category. Some items are often mistaken for hard rubbish but are not accepted in some local councils collections. This includes hazardous materials, such as paints and various chemicals, green waste, recyclable items, gas bottles, or even larger e-waste.

Improper disposal of these hazardous items can lead to penalties and require separate disposal methods such as our lead paint removal service. Remember, just because an item is large or hard doesn’t automatically make it hard rubbish. When in doubt, call us to ensure you’re not inadvertently contributing to illegal dumping

Still want to know more? Keep reading about hard rubbish here. The other categories of rubbish fall under “soft rubbish“.

What is Soft Rubbish?

Contrasting hard rubbish, soft rubbish can be defined as things that fit in your regular waste bin (red lid). This can be everything from soft plastics, to garden waste to non-recyclable old fabrics.

While these items can be placed in a usual council bin it is important to note that when dealing with large amounts of soft rubbish after a cleanout they can not be disposed of in the same way as hard rubbish.

Disposal of Hard Rubbish vs Soft Rubbish

Disposal of hard rubbish

Certain items, due to their nature or size, require special attention when it comes to hard rubbish disposal. These range from appliances and white goods to garden waste and food scraps. Each of these categories has specific guidelines to ensure they are disposed of safely and efficiently.

In general, these items should be separated from furniture and other bulky household items for proper collection and recycling. Additionally, there are some common mistakes to avoid. For one, ensure all items are easy to access and do not obstruct the path of collection crews. For ease of collection hard rubbish should be placed into distinct piles where possible, ensuring ease of hard waste collection within your scheduled collection period.

Large pieces of furniture should be dismantled if possible to ensure they are within the size limits for collection otherwise this could lead to a missed collection. Here are our limits:

  • 2 cubic metres of hard and metal waste (2 metres long x 1 metre wide x 1 metre high).
  • 4 cubic metres of green waste items (4 metres long x 1 metre wide x 1 metre high).
  • 2 mattresses or 2 bed bases or 1 mattress and 1 base.

Let’s explore these categories in more detail.

Appliances and white goods

Pile of white goods rubbish

Household appliances and white goods such as fridges, washing machines, and hot water systems need careful preparation due to environmental and safety risks. To ensure these appliances are collected safely, they must be properly prepared according to council requirements.

For example, white goods such as fridges should have their doors removed prior to kerbside pick-up to prevent entrapment and other safety hazards. Small waste from appliances should be bagged or boxed to make collection safe and manageable.

Garden waste and branches

Pile of cut down trees

Garden waste is another category that requires specific attention. Garden waste such as branches should not exceed 1 metre in length or 10 centimetres in thickness, and stumps and logs placed out for collection must not exceed 30 cm in diameter. It is imperative that these guidelines are followed in order to ensure that there are no complications on pickup.

Disposal of soft rubbish

Red and Yellow bins awaiting collection

As previously mentioned soft rubbish is rubbish that can fit in your usual rubbish bin, however, in contrast to hard rubbish it cannot be left for kerbside pickup and in some cases can be considered illegal dumping! If you simply have too much soft rubbish and not enough bin space, we’re here to help!

Soft vs Hard rubbish Collection: How Can We Help?

Disposing of rubbish in the correct way can sometimes get overwhelming, so let us take care of it! We collect and dispose of all hard and soft rubbish in a timely and environmentally friendly manner. For Hard rubbish collection we have services such as our hard rubbish collection which covers all of the hard rubbish categories mentioned above.

For soft rubbish we have our household rubbish removal, spring cleaning services and more. Additionally, we service items not categorised as either, such as e-waste or renovation materials. For any of your Sydney rubbish removal needs, give us a call now for a free quote and same day pickup!

Sarah Ann

Sarah Ann

Sarah Ann is a Digital Content Writer for Paul's Rubbish Removal. Sarah is a huge advocate for recycling, environmental sustainability, health and well-being and has a genuine love for all sea animals. Keep up with Sarah by following Paul's Rubbish Removal blog!

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