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From ‘A’ - for air conditioners - to ‘Z’ - for zip lock bags - use our A to Z guide to work out where you can recycle or how you can reuse a whole heap of different things.

The items listed below can be recycled but not in your kerbside recycling bins. Find out how you can recycle or reuse these items in the guide below.

Check our bin guide for items that can be recycled in your kerbside bins. However, remember it is always a better option for your items to be used by someone else. Recycling still uses precious resources.

Recycling A to Z FAQs

Air conditioners

These can be dropped off at Kimbriki free of charge. The unit must be de-gassed first.

Balls

If you have used tennis and other sports balls that are worn or dirty but still intact and functional, Monika’s Doggie Rescue at Ingleside will happily accept them. Contact first 9486 3133.

Baths, bathroom sinks, vanities

You can drop off baths, sinks and vanities for recycling at Kimbriki. Alternatively, donate to a second-hand building materials supplier or give away online.

Batteries

Batteries contain toxic metals including cadmium, mercury and lead and can be dangerous for the environment. Take used batteries for recycling at Battery World, Council Customer Service at Avalon, Dee Why, Manly and Mona Vale. Drop off used household batteries (AAA, A, C, D and 9V only) at your nearest Aldi store. Alternatively take household batteries Household Chemical CleanOut Collection

Blankets

Most animal shelters and vets often need old blankets, bath towels, sheets, bathroom rugs and t-shirts. Try also local charities if blankets are in good condition.

Books

Lifeline Northern Beaches accepts good quality book donations. Small donations can be dropped at a lifeline retail store. A number of other charities also accept book donations. Givenow keeps a list of some of these organisations. Alternatively you could swap your books with others using book swap sites such as Book Mooch. You could also set up a second-hand book exchange between friends, at your child's school or another community group. As a last resort you can recycle unusable books in the blue lidded paper recycling bin.

Building materials

Do you have unwanted leftover or second hand building materials from a renovation? You could sell or give them away through a number of avenues. Alternatively the Bower in Marrickville may accept small amounts of building materials that you no longer want, call 9568 6280 to see if they can take your donation.

Business waste

The National Business Recycling Directory contains information about recycling and waste disposal services for Australian small to medium-sized businesses.

Cameras

Cameras can be recycled for free at Spectrum Camera House at Brookvale, 9907 1955.

Cardboard

Large sheets of cardboard and packaging (eg fridge boxes) can be cut up and placed in your blue bin. Alternatively they may be taken to Kimbriki

Businesses may prefer to use local services such as Cleanaway or Cozens 

Chemicals

NSW Environment Protection Authority runs free chemical collection days at various sites throughout the year. The collection accepts all household chemicals. For more information call Environment Line on 131 555 or visit Household Chemical CleanOut.

Clothing

Do you have clothing in good condition? Keep it out of landfill by donating your unwanted clothes to a local charity. The National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations (NACRO) has a list of charities who may accept your donation. 

There are also specialist charities seeking particular items. Dress for Success and Fitted for Work accept high quality work wear to provide disadvantaged women with outfits for job interviews. The Uplift Project accepts new or second hand bras in good condition which are provided to disadvantaged women. H&M has garment collection boxes in all stores for reuse or recycle. Depending on the item, you could also give away or sell clothing on online sites, garage sale or organise a clothes swap.

Clothing in poor condition can sometimes be turned into industrial rags. T-shirts, towels, flannelette, sheets are preferred. It is important to contact your local charity to see if they can accept your donation.

Computers

Computer equipment will NOT be accepted as part of your bulky goods clean up. Find out more about eWaste.

Upgrading to a new computer? If your computer is still in good working order, consider donating or selling it. The Reuseful Project operates out of Brookvale and refurbishes computers to donate to those in need. You can delete files but they will wipe data as part of the service. Laptops less than four years old and desktop computers less than six years old are preferred. If your computer is a few years older but is in good condition contact them to check 9037 1594 help@reusefulproject.org. The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme provides Australian households and small businesses with access to free recycling services for TVs, computers and computer equipment. The scheme does not accept other types of electronic waste such as DVD and VCR players.

Electrical goods

Small electrical appliances made of metal are accepted free of charge at Kimbriki when delivered to their metal recycling area.

To recycle electronic goods such as landline phones, fax machines, VCR and DVD players, electronic toys and games, purchase an e-waste collection box for $3.50 at your nearest Storage King. Fill it with unwanted consumer electronic goods and bring it back to Storage King. Aside from purchasing the box, there are no other charges to get your items recycled. Please note that only products that fit within the box will be accepted for recycling. The box dimensions are as follows: 44cm (height), 41cm (length), 30cm (width). This scheme also accepts mobile phones, their batteries and accessories as well as computers and their accessories. Check at ecoactive for what will be accepted.

Fencing timber

You can include a few pieces of timber in your bulky goods clean up.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire Extinguishers are accepted at Household Chemical Cleanouts (held a couple of times a year on the Northern Beaches)

Flares - distress signals from boats

Most flares have a use-by date of three years and must be replaced before they expire. The safe disposal of out-of-date flares is essential to avoid any injury from unintended or deliberate ignition in a non-emergency situation. For information about expired flare collection locations, visit rms.nsw.gov.au/maritime.

Foil

Foil can’t be recycled. It goes in the red-lidded bin.

Food

Compost bins, worm farms and chickens are great ways to reduce your food waste. Kimbriki conducts workshops on setting up worm farm and compost bins, call 9486 3512. Northern Beaches residents who attend receive a voucher towards the purchase of a compost bin or worm farm (terms and conditions apply). Composting and worm farming is a great alternative to disposing of your food waste in the rubbish bin while creating quality fertiliser for your pot plants and garden. Food waste once in landfill produces greenhouse gases. Visit Love Food Hate Waste.

No room for a compost bin or worm farm? Check with your local community gardens to see if they will take your food waste and turn it into quality compost.

Fridges and freezers

Whitegoods can be taken to Kimbriki free of charge. Items must be degassed first. Alternatively leave your whitegoods in a separate pile with other metal goods at your next bulky goods general clean up service for metal recycling. Please make sure fridge and freezer doors are unhinged for safety. Harvey Norman at Balgowlah will take white goods such as fridges, washing machines for recycling, only upon purchase and delivery of new goods.

Furniture

Do you have unwanted furniture that is in good condition? Consider donating unwanted furniture to a local charity. The National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations (NACRO) has a list of charities who may accept your donation. Don't forget you can also sell or give away unwanted furniture. List item on an online sales website or pass on furniture via a car boot sale, garage sale, telling friends and neighbours, placing an ad in the paper, putting up posters on a community noticeboard or at work.

IKEA Tempe is piloting a furniture take back program. If you don’t want your IKEA products anymore and they are still in good condition take them back to IKEA Tempe. Contact the store first.

Gas cylinders

Pressurised gas cylinders cannot be disposed of in garbage trucks or at landfills as they are dangerous when compacted. Cylinders can be refilled many times. Check your local petrol station as many of them have a swap service where you take your empty cylinder for a filled one. You can also take cylinders to SUEZ Australia contact first for terms and conditions on 1300 651 116. Domestic gas bottles and fire extinguishers are accepted by Household Chemical CleanOut.

Diving tanks should be returned to the manufacturer via dive centre.

Guttering

Drop off for recycling at Kimbriki. If guttering is in good condition, donate to a second-hand building materials supplier.

Ink cartridges

Ask your current cartridge provider whether they have a recycling program. Alternatively, Cartridges 4 Planet Ark has printer cartridge recycling bins at Australia Post, Officeworks, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, JB Hi-Fi and Office National stores. For more information, or for Northern Beaches businesses wanting free cartridges pick up, call Cartridges 4 Planet Ark hotline on 1800 24 24 73.

Junk Mail

Junk mail make up 6% of Australia’s total paper usage and only 20% of catalogues are ever read. Even though you can recycle junk mail in your blue lidded recycling bin it is better to avoid this waste.

Call the Distribution Standards Board (DSB) on 1800 676 136 for a No Advertising Material sticker to place on your letterbox or to report any junk mail which is littered, delivered in duplicate or delivered to a letterbox with a No Advertising material sticker on it.

To stop unsolicited mail that is addressed to a household resident, register with the Australian Direct Marketing Organisation.

Light globes and fluorescent tubes

Disposal depends on the type of light globe. Fluorescent tubes, compact fluoros, HIDs and metal halides all contain mercury and can be recycled through Household Chemical CleanOut collections. Incandescent globes and halogens do not have toxic materials and can be wrapped in paper and disposed of in the garbage bin.

Mattresses

Residents are encouraged to recycle mattresses instead of sending them to landfill. Mattresses are bulky and take up valuable landfill space. They are also full of various components that can be recycled including metal springs, foam and timber. If you are purchasing a new mattress ask whether mattress collection and recycling is part of their service. There are a number of retailers that offer this service either free or for a fee. A number of mattress recyclers offer a collection service. Services vary and fees apply. Alternatively, you could wait for your bulky goods clean up or take it directly to Kimbriki where it will be recycled, fees apply.

Medicine

The RUM is a national, not-for-profit program which provides a convenient and environmentally responsible solution for the collection and disposal of unwanted medicines. Many pharmacies in northern Sydney act as collection points for unwanted and out-of-date medicines. Call RUM on 1300 650 835 or visit returnmed.com.au.

Mobile phones and batteries

Upgrading your phone? If your old one is still in good working condition donate it to charity, sell or trade it in. A number of charities are requesting used mobile phones. Give now lists some of these charities. Some phone companies offer credit on your new phone if you trade an old one in. If your old phone cannot be reused, recycle it! Up to 90 per cent of the metal, minerals, plastic and glass in mobile phones can be recycled. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions and allows us to re-use scarce resources. Mobile phones and accessories can be recycled through the official mobile phone industry recycling program MobileMuster - find a local drop off point, pick up a free reply paid postage satchel at your local post office. Alternatively drop your mobile phone at Customer Service in Avalon, Dee Why, Manly or Mona Vale.

Office furniture

Sell your office furniture in local newspapers, trading post or online. The Bower Reuse and Repair Centre, may accept your donation. Call them first on 9658 6280 to check.

Oil - motor and cooking

Accepted at Household Chemical Cleanout Accepted at Belrose Suez, check their terms and conditions. Motor oil accepted at Kimbriki, check their terms and conditions.

Paint

Small, dry and essentially empty paint tins can be placed in the yellow recycling bin. NSW EPA runs free chemical collection days at various sites throughout the year. The collection accepts all household chemicals including paint. For more information call the Environment Line on 131 555 or visit Household Chemical CleanOut.

Paint can also be taken daily to Belrose Resource Recovery Centre. Combine your oil based paint and in another container combine your water based paint. There is no maximum limit for domestic paint, fees apply. Empty dry paint cans are accepted for recycling at Belrose for free.

Pallets

Direct Pallets specialise in the removal and recycling of waste pallets including all types and sizes at a reasonable cost. Alternatively sell your pallets via local papers, trading post or online. Refer to your local Yellow Pages for a list of pallet recyclers.

Paper

Clean paper, glossy magazines and shredded paper go in your blue recycling bin. Please flatten cardboard boxes and crumpled paper if you can.

Alternatively they may be taken to Kimbriki

No food, wax-coated cardboard or soiled paper. For these, please use your red or dark green garbage bin.

Perspex

Reverse Garbage in Marrickville may accept sheets of perspex. Call first to ensure that they are able to accept your donation on 9569 3132.

Pizza Boxes

Cardboard is quite valuable so please tear off clean parts like the lid (a little oil is fine), and recycle that part in your blue bin.

If the pizza has been placed on a paper liner, the base is usually fairly clean which means the whole box can be recycled in your blue bin.

Cardboard soiled with cheese and other foods cannot be recycled. Please place them in your red or dark green garbage bin.

Plastic bags and packaging

Place your bread, frozen food, rice and pasta bags, biscuit and confectionery packets, cereal box liners, plastic shopping bags and old green bags in the REDcycle bin at your local Coles or Woolworths supermarket. REDcycle will recycle them into outdoor furniture for primary schools and pre-schools. Boutique plastic bags can be given to charity shops.

Polystyrene

Polystyrene cannot be recycled. Place in the red lidded bin. If it is bean bag beads, put them in a strong plastic bag, expel the air, seal and place in the red lidded bin.

Pots and pans

Donate to charity. Alternatively, if the pots and pans are essentially metal put in a separate pile with other metals for your bulky goods general clean up so they can go to metal recycling.

Spectacles

Drop off your old glasses to Specsavers stores, where they will be passed onto Lions Club for their 'Recycle for Sight' program.

Sports shoes

Shoes For Planet Earth is a not-for-profit organisation that provides reused running shoes to those in need around the world. Local drop off point is Pace Athletics at 23 Sydney Road, Manly.

Syringes / sharps disposal

There are a number of options for sharps disposal:

  • Consult your local doctor or pharmacy to negotiate sharps disposal

  • Contact Diabetes Australia NSW on 1300 342 238. It lists current sharps disposal sites in Sydney and sells sharps disposal containers. It also has a disposal facility at 26 Arundel St, Glebe.

  • Malouf’s Pharmacy Manly, 52 The Corso on 9977 1029

  • Manly RUSH Needle and Syringe Program - Open midday to 5pm at 14 Pittwater Rd, Manly

Televisions

Televisions can be recycled for free at Kimbriki, Belrose Waste Recovery Centre and Harvey Norman Balgowlah.They accept up to 15 items (including computer and computer equipment) for free.

Timber

Donate timber (untreated) to a second-hand building materials supplier.

Toner cartridges

Empty laser, toner, inkjet cartridges and toner bottles can be dropped off at all Office Works and participating Australia Post, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, JB Hi-Fi, Office National and Office Products Depot outlets. 

Toys

Peninsula Senior Citizens Toy Recyclers fix used and unused toys and donates them to charities and organisations who help families doing it tough, both locally and overseas.

They take all kinds of soft and educational toys, books, dolls, games and bikes (up to 20" wheel size). Please NO battery operated toys. Toys must be repairable.

Drop-off locations:

Tyres

Car tyres only are accepted at Kimbriki, fees apply.  If rims are separated from the tyre the rims can be disposed of as metal free of charge.

Vegetation Excess

Residents can drop off excess vegetation generated at home at Kimbriki. 

Northern Beaches Council will pay Kimbriki the advertised fee for this service under the following restrictions:

  • Vehicles are limited to cars, station wagons, utes, family vans or trailers with up to 300kg of vegetation.
  • Proof of residency, ie Northern Beaches Council sticker, driver's licence or rates notice is required.
  • No trucks or other vehicles are allowed. However arrangements can be put in place to register a trade vehicle for a resident's own occasional use. Please see Kimbriki reception for details.
  • Vehicles are entitled to one vegetation drop-off on any given day. If your load is over 300kg you must pay the full amount not just the portion you are over. We understand you don't weigh your vegetation when loading so some leeway will be given for loads close to 300kg. The NSW EPA requires that all waste entering Kimbriki must be accurately accounted for. Dividing weighbridge transactions once completed adds complexity, time and cost and consequently is prohibitive and cannot be accommodated.

Windows

Donate to a second-hand building materials supplier. Sell in local papers, trading post or online.

X-rays

X-ray films contain silver in the form of halides, which can be extracted and converted into pure silver. Contact EMA Ecocycle Australia on 1300 326 292 - no fees apply or Siltech on 03 9357 9540 (national service) - fees apply.

Zip lock bags

Consider reducing use of zip lock bags and reuse where possible. All soft plastics (that can be scrunched up into a ball) can be recycled through specialised REDcycle collection containers at Woolworths and Coles supermarkets.