On public exhibition

Read the draft Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy and give feedback ♻️

About the strategy

Our strategy addresses challenges and opportunities. As our community grows so does our responsibility to manage waste responsibly and sustainably. The strategy will guide us to increasing resource recovery and moving towards zero waste in Shellharbour.

By developing a clear strategy, we aim to:

  • Reduce waste: By implementing effective waste reduction measures, we can minimise the amount of waste sent to landfill, conserving resources and reducing environmental impact.
  • Promote recycling: Increasing recycling rates is key to diverting waste from landfill and conserving valuable resources such as metals, plastics, and paper.
  • Implement sustainable practices: Integrating sustainable practices into our daily operations and community activities will help us achieve long-term environmental and economic benefits.
  • Comply with regulations: Meeting regulatory requirements set by authorities like the NSW EPA ensures that our actions align with best environmental practices and legal standards.

Get involved

We encourage you to read over the draft strategy and share you feedback.

We recognise that achieving the strategy goals requires collective effort. Your involvement and support are invaluable. By participating in initiatives and adopting sustainable practices, you directly contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment. Together, we can contribute to a more sustainable future for all.


Australia's current circularity rate is only 5.4%, meaning 95% of materials are used once and then thrown away, harming the environment and wasting resources. To combat this, Federal and State governments are focusing on creating a circular economy with sustainable material management infrastructure. The NSW EPA requires all Councils to develop strategies for this, making local efforts key to national goals.


A circular economy is more than just reducing, reusing, recycling. It’s about designing out waste, so products can be used again and again.

The Federal and State governments are working on phasing out the manufacture of products that get used once and sent to landfill (like plastic straws). Unnecessary plastics will be phased out by 2025.

We can play our part in the circular economy by choosing to buy things that are made from recycled materials and are built to last.

We can also contribute by keeping reusable materials in the circle by sorting our rubbish properly. When a recyclable or compostable material ends up in landfill, we’ve lost the chance to reprocess it into something new – what a waste.

Resource recovery is capturing products that can be recycled, composted or reused, and 'recovering' them by turning them into new products, rather than sending them to landfill.

The goal of 'zero waste' is to avoid sending products to landfill. This might look like recycling or composting what you can, or repairing or donating old items rather than throwing them away.

More than that, moving towards zero waste means considering the lifespan of a product when you first buy it. It's about cutting out products that are only intended to be thrown out (such as single-use plastics) or choosing products that can be easily reprocessed into something new (like choosing aluminium cans over plastic bottled drinks, since aluminium is infinitely recyclable).

Council owns and operates Dunmore Recycling and Waste Disposal Depot (DRWDD). Once your FOGO bin is collected, your organics are then reprocessed into compost at Dunmore's own FOGO reprocessing facility. Once your red-lid bin is collected, it is transported to Dunmore landfill and nothing is recovered.

When your yellow lid recycling bin is collected, your recycling is taken to a big shed (transfer station) in Kembla Grange. The material is then transported to a giant factory in Sydney called the Materials Recycling Facility, where recycling is made back into paper, new containers and other various new products.

Based on the amount of rubbish that Shellharbour currently sends to landfill, Dunmore will reach capacity in 2058. Landfill takes up lots of space, is expensive to maintain and continually damages the environment as it breaks down over time. This is one of the reasons we want to send less products to landfill.

No - this strategy is a high-level document that sits above operational matters like bin collections.

Our upcoming tender review will investigate many options regarding domestic waste collection (the collection of red, yellow and green bins) including bulky waste collections. This process will allow Council to make informed decisions regarding kerbside collection.

Everything in your red-lid bin heads straight to Dunmore landfill. We want to encourage Shellharbour residents and businesses to sort through rubbish properly, so more ends up in your FOGO and recycling bins, and less ends up in landfill.

If fortnightly collections don't work for you and your household, there are other options available - check out our additional services.

Why isn't this service included in my rates?

It's a common misconception that our neighbouring Councils have bulk kerbside collections for 'free'. This is not the case - the cost of kerbside collections are absorbed in their rates.

At Shellharbour Council, our kerbside collections are on-call, meaning you need to book and pay for a collection - this cost is not absorbed in our rates.

We do this because it means you're only paying for the service when you need it.

Dunmore Recycling and Waste Disposal Depot is home to several facilities that are dedicated to recovering resources and diverting waste from landfill. These include:

The Shellharbour LGA diverted approximately 53.5% of waste from landfill in 2022/23. We want to see this percentage on the rise!

What happens to waste