What happens to the hard rubbish we throw out?

What is hard rubbish?

Hard rubbish (bulky waste) are items that cannot fit in a regular bin and are usually quite large such as fridges, washing machines, couches, cupboards, wardrobes, televisions, furniture, computers, mattresses, and similar items. Some hard rubbish collections also include bundled branches.

Do you ever wonder what happens to our hard rubbish?

The way your hard rubbish is processed will vary from council to council. Some councils will donate any items that can be reused or resold to charity. Items that cannot be reused are then broken down into their recyclable materials such as glass, plastic, metal, and paper and recycled accordingly. From these materials, they go on to being used for building parks, public facilities, upgrading the community, and other various upgrades benefiting the public.  

There is also hard rubbish waste disposal and recycling service for items that are too large to dispose of through regular household waste disposal. Most metropolitan councils provide hard rubbish and waste collection to their households free of charge once a year. Some councils collect hard rubbish at a specific time each year, but many councils are choosing to use a booking system to make the process more convenient for residents.

​​​​​​​​​​​If you live in a high-rise building with an on-site building manager, they will organise a hard waste collection on your behalf.​​

The council will collect up to one cubic metre. You can put it out on the kerbside the day before collection. To go into detail of the types of hard waste that they collect include:

  • household appliances (such as televisions, videos, refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, air conditioners, mowers, etc.)
  • timber less than 1 m in length, maximum of 10 pieces per premises old tins, scrap iron, steel, and other waste metal products
  • pottery, ceramics, and chinaware
  • sheet glass which is securely wrapped and clearly marked as 'glass'
  • e-waste of all sizes and types
  • household furniture
  • tools & equipment
  • toys, bicycles, and sporting equipment
  • refrigerators
  • stoves
  • washing machines
  • air conditioners
  • hot water units; and
  • similar materials generally of a household nature.

What the council won't collect in a hard rubbish collection:

  • tree roots, branches and materials weighing in excess of 30kgs each
  • trade waste from industrial or commercial premises
  • waste resulting from erection, renovation or demolition of buildings
  • fences and scrap fencing materials
  • all liquid wastes (including paint, oil or chemicals)
  • garbage and recyclables
  • bricks, concrete, rubble, excavation material, dirt or stones
  • hazardous/offensive wastes, including asbestos
  • car bodies either whole or dismantled
  • car, truck and tractor tyres
  • unwrapped panes of broken glass
  • garden waste.


Below are some interesting facts about your hard rubbish:

  • In 2018/19, 105k tonnes of hard rubbish had been collected in Victoria, of which 25,079 tonnes were recycled. 
  • On average, each household had 51kg of hard rubbish that was collected, and out of 70 municipalities in Victoria, 44 provide hard waste collection. 
  •  Out of all the plastics that get generated in Australia, 12% gets incinerated, 9% gets recycled, while the rest fills the ocean, landfills, and waterways.
  •  Each year, the average Australian family brings forth waste that can fill a three bedroom house. That’s a production of about 2.25 kg of rubbish each day by every family.
  •  On average, humans bin over 50 million tonnes of electrical waste globally, every single year. If you decide to put all this waste in double decker-buses, it will amount to over 4 million vehicles filled with stereos, old computers, kitchen appliances, TVs, old phones etc.
  • Australia ranks among the topmost wasteful nations in the World. Every year, this nation produces waste twice the rate of its population. The average Aussie generates over 1.5 tonnes of waste yearly. In 1999, Australia ranked second in the world most waste producing nations list.



So to help improve our environment and do our part in taking care of the planet we live on, why not Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – these three 'R' words are an important part of sustainable living, as they help to cut down on the amount of waste we have to throw away.

In three easy steps:

  • Reduce the amount of waste you produce.
  • Reuse items as much as you can before replacing them.
  • Recycle items wherever possible.

You can also use charityBay an online platform where you can donate, buy & sell items. Download our app today. 


As always from charityBay, Welcome to a new era of giving back! 




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