Reducing Waste in the ACT

The ACT’s waste management strategy 2011-25 outlines a series of ambitious plans to create the most efficient resource recovery targets in Australia.

In line with its leading role on renewable energy and environmental sustainability, the ACT Government is aiming to establish a carbon neutral waste sector and a circular economy where waste materials are reused or recycled instead of being thrown away. Organic material that is left to break down in landfill releases methane, a greenhouse gas twenty times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Reducing waste can vastly improve our goal of limiting greenhouse gas emissions while meeting Canberra’s target of being a carbon neutral city by 2050.

The ACT is aiming for 90% resource recovery by 2025, whilst doubling its energy generation from waste by 2020 through initiatives such as methane capture at landfill, recycling infrastructure expansion such as the Green Shed and public recycling bins, as well as community waste education campaigns.


How you can help to reduce our carbon footprint

  • Download MyWaste, an app that helps keep track of garbage collection dates and provides helpful tips on recycling and waste disposal in your city or town.

  • Donate usable, unwanted goods to op-shops, clothes bins, or to the Green Shed. Check out drop off points or arrange pickups at Give Now and Planet Ark.

  • Bicycles can be donated to the Recyclery at the Canberra Environment Centre.

  • Re-home your unwanted household good with GIVIT. GIVIT works to alleviate poverty and re-direct household items from landfill by providing pre-loved, quality items to Australians in need. Through its website, Australian charities may request essential, quality items on behalf of their clients. GIVIT then matches these requests with items donated by members of the public.



Sorting recyclable materials also goes a long way in extending the use of a single product and reducing unnecessary goods to landfill. The ACT has the highest recycling rates in Australia, recovering 70-75 per cent according to the 2015 State of the Environment Report. Do your part to keep our recycling record!  

Not sure what can be recycled or how? See the comprehensive list of recyclable household items here or visit the Recycling Discovery Hub to see how recycling works first hand.


Hard rubbish recycling in the ACT

The ACT government has partnered with the Green Shed as a trial for bulky waste collection in the territory.  The service will provide one free collection for eligible households.

What can be collected?

  • Furniture, appliances, white goods, blankets, garden tools, lighting, automotive parts, a single mattress and a maximum of three televisions or computers.

  • What can’t be collected?

  • Garden or household waste, chemicals, glass or mirrors, asbestos products, gas bottles, dirt or mixed fill material (tyres not included in the free service).


  • Residents who holds a current Centrelink Pensioner Concession card, an ACTION Gold Concession card, a MyWay Seniors Card, a Department of Veterans Gold Card.

  • You are still able to participate in the trial if you are not eligible for a free service but additional fees may apply. Contact 6249 7974 or for more information.


Recycling E-waste is free in the ACT. Unwanted television, computer products and handheld electronic devices can be disposed of for free at the following collection points:

Mitchell Resource Management Centre, Flemington Road, Mitchell

Mugga Lane Resource Management Centre, Mugga Lane, Symonston

Both the above centres also have a re-use facility that operates under the Green Shed. Here you are able to drop off reusable items, or buy reused items for a very cheap price. Many unwanted items including e-waste can be resold to these two management centres, subject to quality and demand of the produce, and you can even be eligible for a free pick up service.

Old mobile phones, batteries, headphones and small electronic goods can be dropped off in our Mobile Muster bin at the Centre.

Garden Waste

Shrub, tree and grass clippings, leaves and general garden waste can be dropped off at three main facilities in the ACT: Corkhill Bros at the Mugga Land Resource Management Centre, Canberra Sand and Gravel at the West Belconnen Resource Management Centre and Vicars Street, Mitchell.

Organic waste can also be dropped off at the Environment Centre's composting station - more details here.

For kitchen waste and food waste, learn more about composting in our local food resource