Waste is any material or substance we don’t use anymore, and we've discarded. Waste can cause pollution when it's not disposed in the right way.

Local councils collect household (municipal) waste and recycling through kerbside collections. If you hire a skip bin to get rid of waste, it’s your responsibility to check that it goes to a licensed receiver or disposal site.

There are schemes to help prevent products like household chemicals and paint going to landfill.

There are special rules for some types of waste. You must manage this waste in the right way, especially if it's:

  • hazardous, like asbestos
  • bushfire waste
  • construction and demolition waste
  • prescribed industrial waste (PIW).

The Victorian Landfill Register lists all currently open and known closed landfills in Victoria. It includes the type and amount of waste accepted. 

You can report pollution and littering to EPA. This might include the dumping of waste on unlicensed properties, tyre stockpiles or rubbish thrown from a vehicle.

We provide waste and recycling guidance for business.

How to safely dispose of household waste that may have had contact with Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 is spread from person to person most likely through:

  • close contact with an infectious person
  • contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze; or
  • touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) contaminated by cough or sneeze droplets from a person with COVID-19 infection, and then touching your mouth or face.

Advice for householders

Make sure you regularly wash your hands.  

If you take your bin to the kerb, make sure you wash your hands before and after you bring it back in.

If you take a bin out on behalf of others make sure you wear gloves and dispose of them appropriately.  

For those with Coronavirus (COVID-19), put all of your usual items in your bin which goes out for kerbside collection. Wash your hands afterwards.

Put these disposable items into a sealed plastic or paper bag and place in your bin: 

  • tissues 
  • cleaning cloths 
  • masks 
  • gloves. 

Now put the bag in general waste (not recycle or green waste) for kerbside collection. 

Put paper, cardboard and other recyclables that have mixed with the above disposable items into general waste as well.  

Wash your hands straight after handling disposable items or items that have become mixed with them.  

To help waste collectors: 

  • Compact rubbish, if possible, before putting it in your kerbside general waste bin. 
  • Don’t compact waste that is already in the bin. It may become stuck and not empty properly. 
  • Don’t overfill waste or recycling kerbside bins or put them where they may easily tip over or spill.  

Find out more about waste

Reviewed 27 September 2021