What is Green Waste? And what do I need to know about Green Waste.

News > What is Green Waste? And what do I need to know about Green Waste.

Acceptable Greenery for a Green Waste Skip Bin

Green Waste Options will often save you money

First and foremost green waste should be about providing a lower cost service for a type of waste that can be recycled. When green waste can be recycled, that is when it is diverrted from going to landfil (the tip) and turned into a useful product that can be used to meet a need in the community.  The first saving acheived by recycling the green waste is that waste levies are avoided, saving the customer  a significant  amount on disposal charges for the material.

Acceptable green waste will contain clippings from shrubs, trees, bushes and lawns. Green waste bins can also be used for whole plants as long as the soil has been removed from the roots.  In many places it is OK for the bins to contain to weeds, altough there are locations where this isn't the case for certain types of weeds and it is important that you check for such exceptions in the description of services. 

For the green waste to be acceptable for recycling it is important that the waste only contains biodegradeable materials from gardens or the like. The colour of the waste is less important than the types of material it contains. For example green plastics are not biodegradeable and should not be placeds in ta green waste bin otherwise the contents of the bin are going to be treated as contaminated, rejected from the recycling centre and sent back to landfill for disposal.

Similarly, green waste although it comes predominantly from the garden isn't just materials from the garden. The green waste will not be acceptable if you put things in the bin like an old letter box, even it it were in the garden for the last 10-years and painted green (or any other colour for that matter). If the green waste has been placed in plastic bags of any sort, it is no longer considered green waste because of the plastic it is contained in. And no the recycling will not consider taking the green waste out of the plastic bags because it is too time comsuming and creates other problems, like disposing of dirty plastic bags.

Often the green waste is shredded or chipped as part of repurposing the materials. This means the conents of the bin need to be able to be put through a shredder without breaking it or effecting it operation. It is for this reason that green waste should not contain tree trunks of any significant size.  The green was can contain tree branches and trunks just not any larger than about 150 mm to 250 mm in diameter otherwise the log will jam the machine and/or damage it. Palm tree trunks of any size are a problem because they are very, very fibreous and again often cause the sredder/chipper to jam and also destroy the blades on the machinery.

Green waste should not contain any soil or dirt. The soil and dirt is extremely heavy compared to normal green waste and will effect disposal costs and are likely to result in  additional tipping charges.  This is also a secondary reson that tree trunsk and palm trunks are not welcomed. They contain a lot of moisture or waste and are effectively like drums of water which again is very heavy compared to normal green waste.

The last thing to note, is that the availibity of green waste bins are often dependent on the existence of green waste recycling facilities within a reasonable distance from the pick up suburb.  And this is where many of our State and Local authorities have failed their consituents, rates and tax payers. State government despite collecting $billions of dollars in waste levies or landfill taxes have not taken enough action to ensure that there are suffiecient green waste recycling facilities to service their local communities. These locations are easily spotted because the cost of green waste services are the same and general waste services because the waste is going to the same location as the general waste and costing the same to dispose of.

So if you find your green waste services cost the same as general waste services don't complain to your waste company, write to you local councillor or State member of Parliament and tell them you don't think that is good enough that they haven't taken action to ensure there are green waste recycling facilities in your area.


Clean-fill Skip bins are one way to save on tipping fees

  • Authored By:Stephen Shergold
  • Updated:01/02/2023