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Prohibited Items in Curbside Rubbish Collection

When you decide on a home renovation project or a major clean-up after a couple of seasons, the amount of rubbish you accumulate around the house can be shocking. You can try to muck around and haul the heaps of garbage in council-provided bins, but you can only dump so much in curbside rubbish bins.

In situations like this, the nearest council provided bins can be lifesavers. It might be tempting to think that “everything goes” when you look at an empty curbside bin. However, you should be aware of the different prohibited items in curbside rubbish collection.

What You Shouldn’t Put in Curbside Bins

Here are several materials that should not go into council-provided bins and are prohibited in curbside rubbish collection:

Green waste 

These are your yard trimmings such as grass, leaves, and branches, including soil, dirt, and rubble. Large branches and heaps of foliage just could not fit into curbside bins. Additionally, council-provided green bins could only collect specific amounts of yard waste, so many households resort to home composting pits.

Recyclable waste 

Look around you, and you might notice that most of your household rubbish are recyclable waste. Items like cardboard, glass, newspaper, plastic, and metal can actually be recycled. Instead of dumping them on curbside bins, you should send them to local drop-off points or let a reputable rubbish removalist pick it up to recycling facilities.

Furthermore, your ingenuity can help you manage recyclable waste by doing DIY projects that reuse or recycle your everyday rubbish.

Electronic waste

Almost every household in Sydney has access to computers, televisions, media players, and other electronic devices. Over time, these gadgets get damaged beyond repair and are considered to be electronic waste.

Circuit boards and electronic components within these devices have toxic substances and harmful compounds that could contaminate and pollute our resources. Dumping them on curbside bins can expose residents and collectors to physical hazards posed by these elements. That’s why it is safer to send them to recycling facilities or let Paul’s Rubbish Removal do all of it for you.


Similar to electronic waste, you should not send microwaves, fridges, ovens, air-conditioners, and other old/broken appliances to curbside bins. Refrigerators and air-conditioning units have refrigerants that could leak out into the environment and pollute our resources. The bulk sizes of most appliances also make them difficult to fit inside standard bins.

Moreover, you can check out your local appliance store and see if they offer buyback programs. They might give you discounts for replacing your broken appliance with a new one. If you just want them gone, expert removalists like Paul’s can quickly take them out for a meagre price.

Light bulbs

Busted or burnt fluorescent bulbs and incandescent bulbs are also prohibited in curbside rubbish collection. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) contain toxic mercury, which complicates their disposal. While incandescent bulbs are relatively safer, it is still best to dispose of it away from neighbourhoods.

Chemicals and oils

Curbside rubbish collection strictly prohibits toxic and harmful chemicals and liquids. This includes pesticides, fertilisers, sprays, motor oil, lubricants, gasoline, and other fluids that harm the environment when dumped inappropriately.

Municipalities have drop-off points for chemical waste, but most of them will require you to store the liquids in approved and sealed containers. Furthermore, if you are a company that generates large amounts of waste chemicals, gas, and oil, reputable removalists like Paul’s Rubbish Removal can help. We have the tools and knowledge to properly collect harmful substances and send them to NSW EPA compliant disposal facilities.

Paints and solvents

Paints and solvents are also considered to be toxic chemicals and are prohibited in curbside bins. Thus, lacquer, oil-based paint, lead-based paint, paint thinner, and other solvents should be discarded the same way as other harmful liquids. 

These have high risks of leakage, particularly in damaged bins, contaminating sewer lines, and eventually reaching bodies of water. That’s why it is best to store them in securely sealed containers before sending them to drop-off points. 

However, if you only have a small amount of excess paint, simply get a scrap wood and colour it with the remaining paint to let dry. Who knows, you might want to reuse that excess wood for smart DIY projects?


While discharged and damaged batteries cannot store electricity any longer, the electrolytic solution inside is still considered to be severely toxic, particularly for wet cells. These batteries include:

  • Car batteries
  • Alkaline batteries
  • Lithium batteries
  • Rechargeable batteries

All of them are strictly prohibited because most of them contain different harmful solutions such as lead, sulphuric acid, and cadmium. These chemicals can cause severe health problems when ingested or exposed in prolonged periods. 

Batteries could also explode when punctured or improperly disposed of since the electrodes (such as in lithium batteries) are only separated by a thin layer of polypropylene. If that layer is breached, the electrodes touch, igniting the flammable electrolyte, and with oxygen in the air ‒ you know what happens next.

The Eco-Friendly Approach

Dumping on council-provided rubbish bins and relying on curbside rubbish collection isn’t your only choice, particularly for harmful and prohibited substances. Furthermore, storing toxic chemicals and broken rubbish at home only exposes your family to severe health risks. 

To properly eliminate harmful waste at home while having the peace of mind, let Paul’s Rubbish Removal get rid of them for you. We have been serving the entire Sydney for over 20 years, taking pride as the most reliable and efficient rubbish removal company.

We play a huge role in conserving and preserving our only home. That’s why we tailor our methods for efficient and safe rubbish disposal. We want to divert as much waste from landfills as possible. Our vast connection of recycling and disposal facilities make sure that all of the rubbish we collect are recycled or disposed of in the most eco-friendly method.

Set a booking with our friendly staff at 0407 125 125 or email us for inquiries and a free quote.

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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