Waste Initiatives

Soft plastics recycling

Any plastic that can be scrunched into a ball such as bin liners, shopping bags, bread bags packaging material etc. are classified as soft plastics. Soft plastics can be recycled however not through your kerbside recycling service, but through the REDcycle program. This program makes it easy for consumers to keep such soft plastics out of landfill. All you have to do is collect all such soft plastics and deposit them to the soft plastics recycling point located at Woolworths in Forbes. Please make sure your plastic is dry and empty. The soft plastic collected through the REDcycle program is then delivered to Replas (Australia’s leading mixed recycled plastic manufacturer) where it undergoes an incredible transformation. Replas uses this material as a resource to produce a huge range of recycled-plastic products, from fitness circuits to sturdy outdoor furniture, bollards, signage and more. 

Household Chemical Clean Out 

The Household Chemical Cleanout is the perfect opportunity to dispose of the unwanted hazardous items that cannot be sent to landfill. It is not limited only to hazardous chemicals, but also includes hazardous items such as gas cylinders, fire extinguishers etc.

When does this happen?

The Household Chemical Cleanout drive is conducted on annual basis and the next cleanout drive will be conducted on Thursday 6 May 2021.

What is accepted?

As part of this collection drive, the residents are encouraged to dispose any of the following items.

  • Acids
  • Aerosols
  • Alkalis Based Products 
  • Automotive Products
  • Arsenic Based Chemicals
  • Batteries- NiCad
  • Batteries - Nickel Metal Hydride
  • Batteries - Lead Acid
  • Other Household batteries
  • Cyanide
  • Flares
  • Fire Extinguishers - halon
  • Fire extinguishers - other
  • Fluorescent Tubes
  • Gas Cylinders - propane
  • Gas cylinders - other
  • General Household Chemicals
  • Halogenated Solvents
  • Heavy Metals
  • Hydrocarbons and Fuels
  • Inert Liquids
  • Inert Solids
  • Oil (flashpoint >61degrees)
  • Oxidising agents
  • Organoperoxides
  • Paint - metal, oil, other
  • PCB
  • Pesticides - General liquid and solid, Organochlorine liquid and solid
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Photographic Chemicals
  • Reactives
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Toxics
  • Unknown Chemicals - Liquid and solid

Only household quantities will be accepted (maximum 20 L or 20 kg container size). This cleanout is not for commercial quantities.

What is not accepted?

Following is the list of specific items which are not eligible for collection as part of the drive.

  • Asbestos
  • Empty containers
  • Explosives (as defined In the Dangerous Goods Code), including ammunition, excluding flares 
  • General refuse or garbage
  • Grease interceptor trap effluent and residues
  • Infectious and clinical wastes
  • Sewage tanks sludges and residues
  • Tyres

Bulky Waste

All larger items which have reached its end of life can be disposed through the yearly bulky waste collection drive. It is a perfect opportunity for those who cannot take their bulky waste to the Daroobalgie waste management facility and cannot fit them in the 240 litre mobile garbage bin. This drive is part of the kerbside waste collection contract signed with J R Richards.

The Contractor and Council have the right to reject any items that they consider unacceptable.

Who is this service for?

This collection service is only offered to the residents currently receiving a domestic kerbside waste collection service.

When does it happen? 

The next Bulky waste collection drive will be conducted in August. We will inform you closer to the date. You can put your bulky waste out the weekend before for collection. 

How much can i put out?

How much can I put out? The total volume of waste presented for collection must not exceed two (2) cubic metres. Items must be able to be reasonably removed by two people.

Where do i put it? 

Please place your waste neatly next to the edge of the kerb, not blocking the footpath, at your normal weekly bin collection point. It is also important to separate your waste into 3 separate piles: 

  • Scrap metal, white goods & e-waste;
  • General bulky waste;
  • Bundled organics. 

Please secure items to avoid windblown littering. Loose items must be tied securely with rope or string, into bundles or contained in sturdy boxes.

What is acceptable?

Acceptable metal & e-waste items include:

  • Fridges, washing machines, stoves, microwaves. DOORS MUST BE REMOVED from all appliances and white goods.
  • Metal lawn mowers, wheel barrows, empty paint tins, barbeques, pushbikes, hot water systems and metal furniture.
  •  Televisions, monitors, towers, printers, keyboards and laptops.

Acceptable organic items include:

  • Garden prunings that cannot be placed in your green lidded bin.
  • Tree limbs no longer than 1.8 metres & 250mm in diameter.
  • Untreated timber

Acceptable general bulky items include:

  • Mattresses, floor coverings, furniture, lounges, vacuum cleaners, small appliances, batteries and bric-a-brac.

Unacceptable Items!

These materials will NOT be collected:

  • Materials that exceed the maximum dimensions of 2 cubic metres
  • Lengths of material longer than 1.8 metres (excluding mattresses)
  • Items which cannot be reasonably removed by two people
  • Trade, industrial & shop waste
  • Items in plastic bags, cement bags
  • Motor vehicles, engines, car parts and tyres
  • Building & demolition material, concrete, bricks, tiles, fencing, plumbing fixtures, panes of grass and large carpet rolls
  • Hazardous waste, asbestos, fibro, insulation batts, gas bottles, fire extinguishers, paint, solvents, chemicals, cleaners and unwanted medicines
  • Liquids of any sort, fuels and oils
  • Small machinery containing fuel or oil and oil heaters
  • Material suitable for placement in your mobile garbage bins, including recyclables, organics, food scraps and household garbage
  • Thorny bushes, soil, stones and sawdust

Drink containers recycling

Most drink containers (bottles, cans and cartons) between 150 ml and 3 litres can be recycled through the NSW Governments Return and Earn Scheme. They need to be in good condition (not broken or crushed), be empty and have the label attached. Every eligible drink container can earn you 10 cents. Reverse vending machines offer you cash (shopping) vouchers, electronic payment to your nominated bank account or an option to donate to a charity. They collect eligible containers from all across NSW and send them for recycling. All that you have to do is identify and collect all eligible containers from your daily use and deposit them to the reverse vending machine located at 46 Sam Street, Forbes. Most containers collected through the Return and Earn program in the greater Sydney region are returned to a Sydney recycling facility and containers collected from regional areas are sent to regional recycling facilities for processing and on-sale to other businesses to be re-used. Even if your container isn’t eligible for a return and earn refund or if you don't want to go to the reverse vending machine, it can still be recycled through your household recycling collection.  

Donate/Sell Unwanted Items 

What can be donated?

Many household items such as clothes, toys, electric and electronic items which still has life left in them but you personally don't want to use them anymore, can be donated to a local charity shop in Forbes or you may give it away to a friend/relative/workmate/classmate.  

Where can it be donated to?

Charity Address Contact
Vinnies 113-129 Rankin St, Forbes
02 6852 1865
The Salvation Army
128 Rankin St, Forbes
02 6852 2133
Royal Far West Op Shop
11/13 Templar St, Forbes
02 6851 4028


What else can I do?

Other options include selling through the local notice board or modern online platforms such as Facebook Market Place/Gumtree. 


Mobile phones and accessories recycling

Any unwanted handheld device such as a smart phone, key pad phone, tablets, hands free, bluetooth, batteries and all related accessories can be recycled however not through your kerbside recycling service, but through the MobileMuster program. This program is a voluntarily funded product stewardship program of the mobile phone industry and is accredited by the federal government to provide a free mobile phone recycling program in Australia to the highest environmental standards. All you have to do is take any unwanted mobile phones and related accessories to the customer service desk at council's administration office, 2 Court Street, Forbes, or to the collection point at the Forbes Library, 2 Victoria Lane, Forbes.  MobileMuster transforms the components from mobile phone waste into valuable materials for reuse. It means that fewer raw materials need to be extracted and processed to make new products.  What else can I do? We encourage residents to explore the opportunity to donate / sell unwanted mobiles and accessories which can still be useful to someone else.

Printer cartridge recycling

Any unwanted printer cartridges can be recycled however not through your kerbside recycling service, but through the Cartridges for Planet Ark program. As cartridges are made up of a complex mix of plastics, metal, inks and toners they represent a significant investment in resources. When they are disposed of into landfill these resources are lost. This program is an innovative recycling program of Planet Ark Environmental Foundation that provides Australians with a free, easy and environmentally-accredited way to recycle their used printer cartridges. All you have to do is take your used printer cartridges to the customer service desk at council's administration office, 2 Court Street, Forbes, or to the Australia Post collection point located at the Forbes Post Office, 118 Lachlan Street, Forbes.  Close the Loop has provided the collection, recycling and resource recovery operations for the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark program - therefore keeping them out of landfill.

E - Waste recycling

Any type of television or computer including computer peripherals (or any item that plugs into a computer system) can be disposed of through the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS).  This scheme provides Australian households and small businesses with access to free industry-funded collection and recycling services for televisions and computers, including computer and peripherals. However, as part of e-waste recycling at the council, we recommend to recycle any electric or electronic item with a plug, battery or power cord that is no longer working or wanted including refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, fry pans, coffee machines etc. All you have to do is to take all your e-waste products to the Daroobalgie Waste Management Facility for a free disposal. Forbes Shire Council has partnered with Forbes Scrap Metals for safe disposal of e-waste. At Forbes Scrap Metal, any electronic equipment is first dismantled to remove valuable and recyclable components and the remaining components are recycled through scrap metals recycling process. We encourage residents to explore the opportunity to donate / sell unwanted electronic gadgets and accessories which can still be useful to someone else.

Sharps and needles disposal

Needles, lancets, blades or any other sharps should never be disposed of in any of your household bins. If you have a medical condition that requires the use of syringes and medical sharps ensure you, personally must dispose of the sharps into the sharps disposal bin on Berkley Street. The Safe Sharps project is an initiative of the Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation of Councils (REROC), supported by Diabetes NSW and the NSW Ministry of Health which aims to assist sharps users to find the most convenient location to dispose of their sharps safely at no cost. All you have to do is collect all sharps and needles, place them in a rigid container and dispose them only at the dedicated collection centre at Forbes District Hospital on Berkley Street in Forbes. The sharps are disposed of in a safe, environmentally friendly and legally compliant manner. This service is for private citizens only. Businesses should make their own arrangements for sharps disposal.

Unwanted/expired medicines disposal

Return Unwanted Medicines or the RUM Project is a national, not-for- profit program funded by the Commonwealth Government which provides a free and safe method for the disposal of unwanted and expired medicines. Any expired or unwanted medicines including prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, herbal or complementary supplements, gels, liquids, creams can be returned to an authorised pharmacist. Flannery's Pharmacy in Rankin Street, Forbes are the authorised pharmacist in our area. Returned medicines are disposed of by high temperature incineration in a legally compliant manner. None of the returned medicines are recycled or reused.

Asbestos disposal

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring fibrous silicate mineral and because of its versatile features, it was one of the most widely used building materials. However, it becomes a health risk when asbestos fibres are released into the air and breathed in. The use of Asbestos and its products is completely banned in Australia.  The Asbestos Awareness Campaign is a national initiative which works closely with community stakeholders including local and state governments as well as businesses to increase awareness of the dangers of asbestos and how to manage it safely.
Loose or friable asbestos must be removed by a qualified asbestos removalist and disposed to the Daroobalgie Waste Management facility. There is a cost for disposal and prior notice needs to be given to the waste depot manager. Asbestos waste cannot be disposed through any of the kerbside collection service. Asbestos disposed of at the Daroobalgie Waste Management Facility is buried in a pre-constructed trench and then covered by inert material.

What can I do at home ?

While there are many initiatives to reduce, reuse and recycle waste, it is an unconditional need of an individual to participate and play their role to make all initiatives successful. In addition to the recycling and sustainable disposal initiatives mentioned above, here are some programs which can be followed at home to make an impact.

  • Love Food Hate Waste is a campaign run by the NSW Environment Protection Authority. The aim of the campaign is to show households, communities and businesses how to stop wasting food, save money and start protecting the environment.
  • Compost Revolution About half of what the average Australian household throws out is compostable organic material, so using home composting systems significantly reduces the amount of waste we send to landfill. The Compost Revolution makes it easy for Australians to turn food scraps into rich soil and fertiliser at home, reducing landfill and greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • The Last Straw is a campaign to reduce the use of plastic straws in venues around Australia which aims to tackle the issue from both sides - encouraging consumers to use less plastic straws and encouraging businesses to give out less straws through staff training and information. 
  • Waste to Art is a community art exhibition and competition open to all local residents who reside in the NetWaste region. It engages the community and showcases creative works made from reused & recyclable waste materials.
  • Waste Less Recycle More is an initiative of the NSW Environment Protection Authority and provides funding for business recycling, organics collections, market development, managing problem wastes, new waste infrastructure, research and development, local councils and programs to tackle illegal dumping and litter. It is is the largest waste and recycling funding program in Australia.
  • Save our Recycling is a state wide approach supported by the NSW government for residents committed to recycling – it’s a practical way to do our bit for the environment! Until now, we’ve been sending lots of our recycling overseas and interstate, which is not a sustainable or smart solution. Save Our Recycling was introduced to collect, process and reuse recyclable material in NSW.
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization established in 1993 to promote responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC helps forests remain thriving environments for generations to come, by helping you make ethical and responsible choices at your local supermarket, bookstore, furniture retailer, and beyond.
  • Do you have innovative alternative for waste management within our shire? Share your idea with us! Because no idea is a bad idea.