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Waste and recycling

Waste and recycling

Cleaning and maintenance

The City of Sydney is working hard to clean and maintain our streets, buildings and public spaces.

More than 500 people are employed in cleansing and maintenance works. Our overall maintenance budget is $100 million per year.

The City employs 50 people in its waste management crews, which collect 40,000 tonnes of domestic waste each year. A dedicated team is responsible for cleaning roads and footpaths and removing illegally dumped and abandoned items from our streets.

City cleaning crews take care of:

  • 665 kilometres of footpaths
  • 330 kilometres of road
  • 515 kilometres of kerb and gutter
  • 65,000 road signs, including parking signs and street name plates.

The City also removes graffiti and bill posters. In a year the City removes more than 375,000 incidents of graffiti and bill posters that cover an area of more than 60,000 metres square.


In a year the City collects more than 15,000 tonnes of paper, glass, metal and plastic for recycling. This saves enough energy to power more than 1,100 households for a year and enough water to fill over 4,500 backyard swimming pools.

The City sends 40,000 tonnes of domestic waste per year to alternate waste treatment centres where it is sorted and partially recovered. The City is closing in on its Sustainable Sydney 2030 target to make sure that two thirds of domestic waste is not dumped in landfill sites by 2014.

In 2010 the City recycled around 650 tonnes of garden waste, which includes grass clippings, leaves and weeds. Instead of ending up in a landfill, this collected waste is turned into mulch and compost.

Since the City's e-waste collections began in 2008, it has collected 133 tonnes of electronic equipment. This includes TVs, computers, mobile phones, CDs and DVDs. More than 95 per cent of items are recycled.

The City holds an e-waste drop off 4 times a year.

Weekly clean up service

Every Wednesday, the City collects white goods and large household items such as fridges, washing machines and sofas. You must make a booking if you would like an item collected.

Hazardous waste

The City holds a household waste drop-off collection once a year. Since 2009, more than 43 tonnes of household waste have been dropped off. Products accepted at these drop-off points include:

  • paints
  • aerosols
  • pool chemicals
  • car batteries
  • gas bottles
  • fire extinguishers
  • smoke alarms.

Waste and Recycling Improvement Program

The City's Waste and Recycling Improvement Program delivers and repairs recycling bins, installs informative signs and educates the residents of apartment blocks across Sydney on effective waste management.

One man's waste
John King
Garbage Truck Driver and Acting Team Leader

Last updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2012