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Waste and recycling on the Gold Coast

Information about waste and recycling services on the Gold Coast is available in one central location.

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Green and organic waste

Green organics come from our gardens and include things such as grass clippings, tree prunings and dry leaves.

In the natural world, green organics are constantly recycled by bacteria, worms, beetles, termites, plants and fungi.

When these organics are recycled (or decomposed) nutrients are released and used by growing plants; when a plant (or an animal that eats plants) dies, the cycle starts again – this is known as the nutrient cycle.

Research shows that more than half of the waste produced in our homes is organic – mainly food and garden waste. Some people recreate the nutrient cycle using a compost bin or worm farm, however any organics  placed in a domestic wheelie bin goes to landfill. Although this material will eventually decompose, it will not provide nutrients for plants but will produce greenhouse gases such as methane.

Greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere act like a blanket, forming a layer that prevents some heat from the sun escaping into space. Many scientists think that the increasing production of greenhouse gases is making the earth hotter – this is known as global warming.

Managing organic material on the Gold Coast

City of Gold Coast has implemented a number of innovative strategies to reduce the volume of green organics going to landfill.

Green organics to compost

Green organics – palm fronds, tree stumps and prunings – dropped off at City waste and recycling centres or collected via the optional green organics kerbside service are sometimes taken to Phoenix Power Recyclers for transformation into compost.

Phoenix Power Recyclers shreds the material and mixes it with biosolids, poultry manure, paper waste and grease trap waste. Once mixed it is formed into large composting piles called windrows. The windrows are turned to maintain oxygen levels and correct temperatures. Over time, through the action of bacteria and other organisms, the waste turns into a rich, dark brown compost material called humus. The City uses the humus on parks and gardens; it is also sold to nurseries and landscape gardeners.

Dumping of garden waste

Illegal dumping of garden waste is an offence under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011.

Learn about the impacts of illegal dumping, how you can reduce and legally dispose of your green waste, and how you can report illegal dumping.


You might think that there is nothing wrong with dumping green organic waste into bushland or waterways because the material is natural. Think again – dumping your garden waste harms the environment and impacts our community in a number of different ways, for example:

  • contribute to increased fuel loads in bushland areas, making control of a bushfire more difficult for emergency services
  • bring disease, pests and weeds into areas of native bush
  • increase nutrient loads in our waterways, which can cause toxic algae blooms and fish deaths
  • contribute to localised flooding by washing into stormwater drains and blocking pipes
  • spread invasive weed species
  • destroy the natural beauty of bushland and decrease its appeal
  • attract more illegal dumping
  • cost ratepayers and the City money to clean up and dispose of the dumped material appropriately
  • serve as a breeding ground for rats and mice, creating vermin issues for neighbouring properties.

How you can help

Apart from the obvious, i.e. not dumping garden waste over the back fence into bushland or near/in waterways, you can take a few simple steps to improve the health of our bushland and waterways by:

Green organics bin collection

Visit our Green organics bin collection page to find out how to order this service.

Report illegal dumping

Visit Report a problem – Graffiti, rubbish and illegal dumping to report illegal dumping online.

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