Garden organics

Your garden organics bin has a lime green lid and is emptied fortnightly on the alternate week to your recycling bin.

The garden organics service is contracted to Solo Resource Recovery and Australian Native Landscapes. The material collected in your garden organics bin is processed at Tea Gardens, where it's made into a high quality compost for use by home gardeners and farmers.

Find my next organics collection date

You can purchase an additional 240-litre garden organics bin by filling out this form.

What to put in your organics bin

DO put these items in your garden organics bin

  • Grass clippings
  • Prunings
  • All weeds
  • Leaves
  • Flowers
  • Plants
  • Bark
  • Sticks and small branches (max. diameter 10cm)
  • Roots (max. diameter 10cm)
  • Palm fronds

DON'T put these items in your garden organics bin

  • Plastic bags or bin liners
  • Garbage
  • Pet (dog, cat, etc.) poo and poo bags
  • Food waste or vegetable peelings
  • Recyclables
  • Oils or chemicals
  • Pots
  • Soil and rocks
  • Bricks and building materials
  • Treated or painted timber
  • Composite wood products i.e. chipboard, melamine, MDF

How to ensure your organics bin is collected

  • Place materials loosely in your bin – don’t squash your garden organics down
  • Put sticks or dry leaves in the bottom of the bin before lawn clippings to prevent sticking
  • The maximum weight is 80kg
  • Place bins out regularly rather than wait for them to be full and possibly too heavy
  • Try to mow your lawn when it's dry or leave the lid ajar to reduce excess moisture
  • You can drop off large items that don’t fit into your garden organics bin at Cessnock Waste Management Centre for a small fee

What if my bin is missed or damaged? 

Please contact Solo Resource Recovery to report any issues with your bin or service:


Contamination in your bin can be a serious problem for the wellbeing of our staff, impact on the efficiency of the service, and the quality of the final organic compost produced. 

Solo collection vehicles are equipped with cameras which allow the driver to monitor the contents of bins as they are being emptied. A photographic record is kept of any contamination and the address details.

Households with severe or repeated contamination will be contacted by letter with information about how to use the service correctly to avoid future problems and bins will be inspected prior to collection.

Ongoing or severe incidents may result in the service being suspended until an agreement has been provided by the householder to use it correctly.

Compost giveaways

Complimentary bags of garden organics compost are available for residents of Cessnock at Council's Compost Giveaway events throughout the year. Upon supplying proof of residency, you can receive up to two free 25-litre bags of premium compost made from 100% locally produced and processed garden organics waste.

Compost giveaway events are advertised on Council's Facebook page and on the Your Organics Bin website.

Food and garden organics collection

The NSW Government has mandated the inclusion of food waste into the green bin collection services across all Councils in NSW by 2030. The EPA is currently investigating the regulatory and operational challenges associated with food waste processing.

Cessnock Council will be required to consider the findings of these investigations when it reviews its Waste and Resource Strategy in the first half of next year.

Council has no date for the introduction of any changes to general waste (red bin) services. Any changes would require significant community consultation.

The weekly red bin service will be continuing as normal with yellow bins collected on alternate weeks. Green bins are scheduled to commence weekly collection mid-next year, however this is dependent on the updated Waste and Resource Strategy and regional processing capacity.

Frequently asked questions

When does food and garden organics start?

Food and garden organics is likely to start halfway through 2025. The NSW EPA has mandated that all Councils transition to a food and garden organics collection by 2030.

What will go in my food and garden organics bin?

All food waste including raw and cooked food, bread, meat, bones, poultry and seafood (excluding oyster, scallop and crab shells) can be placed in the organics bin. Residents will be given a kitchen top bin (caddy) and compostable liners to help move food waste from the kitchen to the food and garden organics bin.

What can’t go in the food and garden organics bin

  • Pet poo and poo bags
  • Fibre- based materials such as bamboo, timber, cardboard packing and cutlery, paper towels and serviettes
  • Compostable or biodegradable plastic products or bags (other than kitchen caddy liners that comply with Australian Standard AS 4736-2006)
  • Vacuum cleaner dust, washing machine and dryer lint

Who else is doing food and garden organics?

Currently 34 NSW Councils have transitioned to a food and garden organics collection, including our neighbour Lake Macquarie. This enables us to access data and learn from programs implemented by other Councils.

Maitland and Singleton Council will be transitioning to food and garden organics at the same time as us.

Why is Council making these changes?

The NSW Government has mandated the inclusion of food waste into the green bin collection services across all Councils in NSW by 2030.

Can I get an additional organics bin?

You can arrange an extra 240-litre organics service by filling out the form found here.