Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

Navigating Sydney Council Clean-Ups

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Regarded as one of the world’s most desirable cities to live in, Sydney has so much to offer its residents. It is also the second most populous city in Australia, and comprises 29 local council areas, and 658 suburbs

If you live here, you will know that the city takes care of its own in more ways than one, and that includes assistance and services by the local councils that govern them. Generally, these services can include things that benefit whole communities like roadworks, parks and recreation, health and safety services, and more. Among these services, Sydney’s council waste disposal assistance is one that local residents and business owners can greatly benefit from.

While what each council does for their specific locality varies, they are all trying to ensure that their residents' needs are looked after. This is evident through services like council rubbish collection since not all of them collect the same types or volume of waste. For example, your local council may have accommodations for large varieties of waste while the neighbouring council is more limited in their capacity.

That said, all councils will assist residents with some kind of rubbish collection, most of which typically offer at least two free pick-ups annually. A Sydney council clean-up can be handled by either council workers, or rubbish removal companies that are hired by the local council to do the needful. 

How to Book a Sydney Council Clean-Up in Your Area

The easiest way to learn more about how your local council pick-up service works, and how to book a rubbish collection from your residence, is by simply checking their website. A quick online search will help you find your specific council’s website where you can register or complete a booking for your local council clean-up.

How to Be Prepared for Council Pick-Up

Dates and timings for council pick-ups are typically provided on the respective council websites, therefore, it is best to check the site in question and register or book a collection in advance. 

Keep in mind that following the standard rules for council rubbish collection ensures your local council can work efficiently. The basic guidelines that one should adhere to for most councils are mentioned below; anything beyond this can be verified with the local council to ensure your needs are properly met. 

  • Rubbish must be placed outside on the right date, and at the right time. Too early or too late may leave your rubbish sitting outside without a pick-up which could be considered illegal dumping.
  • Place your rubbish kerbside, and ensure it is packed well and not obstructing any vehicles or paths. 
  • Depending on the size, attempt to wrap, box, or at the very least, tie items up to make it easier to handle and transport.
  • White goods and furniture must have their doors removed prior to collection.
  • A single pick-up can only collect a fixed volume of items as per the council’s guidelines; additional rubbish that is left out will not be collected. 
  • As much as possible, separate types of rubbish, as this helps local councils segregate waste into their appropriate groups such as e-waste and its recyclables like metal or glass, or perishables like wood or paper.

Sticking to the rules provided by the local council will help you get your waste handled without a hitch. 

What Councils Generally Collect

  • White goods (freezers and refrigerators must have their doors removed)
  • Small pieces of furniture
  • Small home appliances
  • Beds (disassembled/broken)
  • Mattresses
  • Common household items

What Councils Generally Don’t Collect

  • Hazardous substances including batteries, chemicals, and oil
  • Construction/renovation material such as wood, tiles, concrete, and bricks
  • Stones/rocks and soil
  • Wood shavings
  • Vehicle parts
  • Recyclable household material like paper, and cardboard (gathered in your recycling waste bin)
  • Organic material like leaves, plants, and hedge trimmings (they must be disposed of in a separate bin or box to be collected)
  • Items larger than the volume limit

If you’re trying to get rid of waste that isn’t covered by your local council, it’s best to hire a private professional rubbish removal service. There are many within the Sydney area that can assist residents with the collection of most types of waste.

With that said, let’s look into how a few of these councils handle their bookings for clean-up.

How to Book an Inner West Council Clean-Up

Bookings for a pick-up can be made via the Inner West Council website, and must be scheduled a minimum of two days before the collection. Take note that they do not have fixed dates for council clean-ups, so you must place a booking on the site itself.

How to Prepare for Inner West Council Pick-Up

Following the steps provided below is a must for your council pick-up. These rules help your council clean-up workers, as well as you, for ensuring efficient disposal of waste. 

  • Gather the items for collection
  • Ensure that the volume of rubbish does not exceed 2 cubic metres and the length is shorter than 2 metres
  • Complete a booking for kerbside pick-up on the Inner West Council website
  • Choose a clean-up category from the 4 available
  • On the night before the pick-up date, keep the rubbish organised by the kerb

What Items Are Accepted

  • Common household items and pieces of furniture (shorter than 2 metres)
  • Tree branches and twigs (up to 1 metre in height and a thickness of 15 cm diameter)
  • Home appliances (with the doors removed)
  • Mattresses (up to 3 pieces)

What Items Are Not Accepted

  • Construction debris and materials (brick, concrete, wood, etc)
  • Car parts (engines, tyres, etc)
  • Hazardous or toxic waste (gas cylinders/bottles, chemicals, paint, etc)
  • Common wet and dry waste in the home (food bits, expired food products, wheelie bin rubbish, etc)
  • Waste from the garden (dry leaves, mulch, stones, tree stumps and logs, etc)
  • Beds and related items (dismantled or broken bed frames, pillows, air mattresses, etc)

How to Book a Northern Beaches Council Clean-Up

While there are scheduled dates for the Northern Beaches council clean-up, two bookings within a 12-month period can be made via the council website as well. Here, you must select the ‘bulky good collection’ and proceed with the booking. These bookings are generally for individual pick-ups so it’s best to check with the council to confirm further details on rubbish collection. Bear in mind that the date of your first booking will be marked as the start of the 12-month period. 

NOTE: If your mainland household is not charged for domestic waste management, a Northern Beaches council clean-up will not be available to you.

How to Prepare for Northern Beaches Council Clean-Up

  • Measure the items to ensure that it is no more than 3 cubic metres of volume
  • Once a booking has been placed, or you’ve been notified of the scheduled pick-up date, place the rubbish outside the night before it is scheduled for pick-up.
  • Organise smaller items in crates or bins (note that these will not be returned) 
  • Do not put your collection pile outside if you don’t have a booking for Bulky Goods Collection, or any time earlier than mentioned above as you could be fined for illegal dumping.

What Items Are Accepted

  • Small household items (not smaller than an average toaster)
  • Furniture
  • Bed frames and mattresses
  • Common home items that cannot be reused or recycled
  • Carpets with a length of no more than 1.8m (up to 3 carpets, and must be rolled and tied)
  • All white goods (take off the doors)
  • Beanbags (empty)
  • Fence palings (up to 12 pieces) and unbranded pallets (up to 2 pieces)
  • Water heating systems (empty and dry)
  • Carpets with a length of no more than 1.8m (up to 3 carpets, and must be rolled and tied)
  • Metal items including metal roof sheets up to 1m x 1.5m (maximum of 3 sheets)

What Items Are Not Accepted

  • Anything that exceeds 1.8m in length
  • Heavy items that require more than two people to move
  • Liquid/business waste
  • E-waste including computers and TVs
  • Vehicle parts
  • Sheet glass like windows or mirrors
  • Construction material like rubble, brick, asbestos, etc.
  • Kitchen and bathroom fixtures and fittings including cabinetry, bathtubs, toilets, etc
  • Hazardous waste including batteries, fire extinguishers, paint, chemicals, etc
  • House garbage, foliage and vegetation 
  • Recyclable material
  • Small items including cutlery

How to Book a Ryde Council Clean-Up

With up to 5 free collections annually, the Ryde Council can provide you with scheduled dates for pick-up via a phone call, or as seen on their website. You can find all the information you need on booking a Ryde council clean-up, as well as the different categories of waste disposal they handle.

Beyond this, if you do make a booking for Ryde rubbish collection, it must be made 10 days in advance as per the council.

How to Prepare for Ryde Council Clean-Up

  • Confirm that your waste is accepted by the Council
  • Keep the volume to a limit of 1.5 cubic metres
  • Complete the booking 10 days in advance
  • Organise the items outside one day before pick-up
  • Ensure to use a cleanup sticker on the rubbish to prevent complaints about illegal dumping
  • Do not obstruct sidewalks or paths with your rubbish

What Items Are Accepted

  • Beds and mattresses
  • Old or broken furniture 
  • Home appliances
  • White goods and water heating systems 
  • Garden tools and waste
  • Carpeting
  • Containers (empty)
  • Metal items
  • Wooden fences

What Items Are Not Accepted

  • Hazardous waste (chemicals, batteries, paint, etc)
  • E-waste (laptops, TVs, monitors, etc)
  • Branches and tree trunks exceeding 8 cm (in diameter)
  • Construction waste (rubble, stone, concrete, plasterboard, etc)
  • Vehicle parts (engines, bumpers, tyres, etc)
  • Glass (including mirrors)

How to Book a Randwick Council Clean-Up

Randwick Council provides 2 scheduled pick-ups, and 2 booked pick-ups for residents. To view the calendar for collection dates, as well as to book a Randwick council clean-up, visit the local council website. 

Whether you’ve booked a clean-up, or are just planning to join in the scheduled pick-up, there are a few things to know in order to be ready for the council rubbish collection. 

How to Prepare for Randwick Council Clean-Up

  • Ensure that the council will accept the rubbish
  • Keep the items out just one day before collection
  • Only 1 cubic metre of waste is accepted so it’s best to measure the rubbish before putting it out
  • Separate metals from non-metals
  • Bag or box small items
  • Dangerous materials must be properly sealed and marked/labelled (this includes broken glass, sharp objects, etc)
  • Keep the rubbish organised and out of the way of pedestrians and vehicles

What Items Are Accepted

  • White goods (with the doors removed)
  • Furniture pieces (tables, chairs, etc)
  • E-waste (mobile phones, wires, circuit boards, etc)
  • Bed frames and mattresses
  • Home appliances (speakers, TVs, laptops, etc)
  • Paint cans (empty)

What Items Are Not Accepted

  • Hazardous waste (chemicals, fuel, paint, etc)
  • Commercial waste
  • Building materials (sand, wood, carpeting, tiles, etc)
  • Vehicle parts (oil, car body, tyres, etc.
  • Organic waste (branches, tree stumps, etc)
  • Liquids

How to Book a Cumberland Council Clean-Up

Only available via pre-booking either on the phone, or via the council website, there are 4 kerbside pick-ups offered to Cumberland residents. Due to high demand, it is recommended by the local council to book your Cumberland council pick-up a minimum of 4 weeks in advance.

How to Prepare for Cumberland Council Pick-Up

  • Make sure that all the items for collection are accepted by the council
  • One day before the date of pick-up, carry the rubbish pile to the kerb and organise it neatly
  • Ensure that broken and/or small things are bagged and sealed
  • Measure the rubbish as it cannot exceed 2 cubic square metres; anything extra will not be picked up by the council workers
  • Keep the pile off the road and pathways

What Items Are Accepted

  • All white goods
  • Furniture
  • Large and small mattresses
  • Carpeting that is rolled and tied
  • Organic waste that is neatly bundled and tied

What Items Are Not Accepted

  • Industrial materials (soil, plasterboard, glass and mirrors, tiles, etc) 
  • Hazardous goods (asbestos, oil, gas cylinders and bottles, chemicals, etc)
  • Vehicle parts (motor oil, tyres, car body, etc)
  • Heavy household items that require machinery or manpower exceeding two people

How to Book a Sutherland Shire Council Clean-Up

Two free pick-ups are offered to the local residents through a booking made via phone call, or  by visiting the council website. These collections are available in select areas only, therefore, it is necessary to check if your residence is serviceable before attempting to book a Sutherland Shire council clean-up. Also keep in mind that the council advises bookings for rubbish pick-up to be completed at least 8 weeks in advance.

How to Prepare for Sutherland Shire Council Clean-Up

  • Rubbish must be placed by the kerb the evening before collection
  • All items need to be organised without obstructing any path or vehicle
  • White goods must have their doors removed
  • Check if your local council will accept the waste you are getting rid off
  • Ensure that heavier items can be moved by a two-person team

What Items Are Accepted

  • Furniture 
  • Home appliances
  • Organic/garden waste (bundled and tied)
  • Mattresses
  • White goods

What Items Are Not Accepted

  • Hazardous substances
  • E-waste
  • Industrial waste
  • Broken glass and sharp objects
  • Large organic waste
  • Motor vehicle parts
  • Common household waste that is generally disposed of in a wheelie bin


To sum up, the best way to book a Sydney council clean-up, and learn about your local council’s rubbish removal services, is by simply checking their respective websites. You can also contact your local council directly to ensure that you have all the information you need to safely and efficiently get your waste collected. 

Sydney councils make the best possible effort to assist their residents, so it’s definitely worth taking the time to understand how things work with your local council, and having your rubbish removal needs met by trained and reliable council workers. 

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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