Three Bin System

About the three bin system

The three-bin system includes a dedicated bin for organic garden waste that can be converted to compost. This bin is in addition to the standard bins for recycling and general household waste.

The City of Cockburn is in the process of rolling out the three-bin system to all residential properties over 400m2. Rural, multi-residential, commercial and industrial properties are excluded from the rollout.

The three-bin system includes:    

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Bin lid colour Bin size Bin purpose  
Lime green* 240L Organic garden waste  
Yellow 240L Recyclable waste  
Red 140L General household waste  

*Your existing 240L general waste bin will have its lid changed from dark green to lime green. It will then become your garden waste bin. 

The video below explains how the three-bin system works and why it is being introduced across the City. 

View or download the three bin video transcript and the Resource Recovery Calendar below.

The Resource Recovery Calendar has also been translated in Chinese, Croatian, Italian, Tagalog and Portuguese languages. View or download these translated documents below.

Three-bin system roll-out 

The three-bin system commenced in 2016 and is being rolled out over four years (2016-2019). The table below provides indicative dates for each suburb.

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Suburb Indicative Roll-Out Year
Atwell 2017 – 2019
Aubin Grove 2019 – 2019
Beeliar 2018 – 2019 
Bibra Lake Completed
Cockburn Central 2017 – 2018
Coogee 2018 – 2019
Coolbellup 2017 – 2018
Hamilton Hill Completed
Hammond Park 2019 – 2019
Jandakot      Completed
Leeming         Completed
Munster 2017 – 2019
North Coogee Completed
North Lake Completed
South Lake 2017 – 2018
Spearwood 2017 – 2018
Success 2017 – 2019
Treeby Completed
Yangebup 2018 – 2019

What can be put in each bin

For a full guide on what items can be placed in the bins, visit the three bin A to Z guide.
Garden waste bin (lime green lid)
All organic waste grown in your garden can be placed in this bin, including:
  • Grass clippings 
  • Weeds (including noxious)
  • Twigs and sticks
  • Prunings, cuttings and trimmings
  • Palm fronds
  • Tree nuts.
The contents of this bin are sent to Henderson Waste Recovery Park to be mulched.
General household waste bin (red lid)
The following items can be placed in the red-lidded bin:
  • Food scraps
  • Items contaminated with food, such as paper towels, serviettes, tissues, paper plates, pizza boxes and fish and chip paper
  • Pet excrement 
  • Pet hair & fur
  • Nappies
  • Band-Aids
  • Soiled items
  • Shredded paper
  • Sanitary items
  • Cotton wool and cotton wool buds
  • Clothing that cannot be sent to charity.
The contents of this bin are sent to the Waste Composting Facility at the Regional Resource Recovery Centre where it is converted to compost.
Recyclable waste bin (yellow lid)
The following items can be placed in the yellow-lidded bin:
  • All plastics including osft plastics such as cling wrap and plastic bags
  • All glass
  • Plastic bottles (empty with lids off)
  • Steel and aluminum cans
  • Aerosols (empty)
  • Cardboard, paper, newspapers, magazines
  • Pizza boxes with food scraps scraped off (if heavily contaminated with oil or food scraps, place in your general waste bin)
  • Chip, lolly and pie wrappers
  • Aluminum foil.
The contents of this bin are sent to a Materials Recovery Facility where they are separated, baled and sent to be recycled.

Please rinse and empty containers. Do not place items in bags, place them directly in the bin. Remove lids from all containers, bottles and jars before putting them in the bin.

Items that should not be placed in bins

Some items should not be placed into any of your bins, including:
  • Batteries, mobile phones, printer cartridges and light bulbs which must be dropped off at recycling points at our three libraries
  • Spray paint and chemicals need to be taken to the Henderson Waste Recovery Park
  • Good quality clothes that can be taken to charity shops, otherwise use the red topped bin.


Why are we moving to a three-bin system?
"Source separation" is the most effective waste management tool for reducing waste processing costs and increasing recycling rates. 

A third bin will allow garden waste to be separated from the general waste stream to be processed into high quality mulch. This will result in significant economic benefits for the City.
How will a third bin reduce contamination?
Green waste is currently put into the dark green-lidded general waste bin, along with other general household waste, and sent to the Regional Resource Recovery Centre where it is processed into low-quality compost. This has no commercial value; it cannot be sold as it is contaminated with plastic, glass, metal and other items.

By separating green waste into a different bin, contamination levels are reduced. The mulch produced from this green waste can be used to create high quality compost.
Why is it taking so long to complete the roll-out?
The City needs to undertake significant community engagement to ensure all residents know how to use the three-bin system correctly and that garden waste bins will not be contaminated.

An education program will be implemented in each suburb via letter drops, door knocking and bin tagging. Bin tagging involves inspecting bins and tagging the bin with a thank you note or advice on which products have contaminated the respective bins.
Will this initiative cost more?
Residents will incur no extra charges for the three-bin system.
When will my bins get emptied?
Your red-lidded general waste and yellow-lidded recycling bins will be emptied on a weekly basis on your normal bin collection day. 

Your new lime green-lidded garden waste bin will be emptied fortnightly on the same day as your other bins. 

Before the roll-out, you will receive a calendar advising you of the dates that your garden waste bin will be collected.
Will I still get a green waste verge collection?
Yes, green waste verge collections will continue for the foreseeable future. This will be reviewed as the new system rolls out.
Will I still get my trailer passes for Henderson Waste Recovery Park?
Yes. We have no plans to change the issuing of six annual trailer passes to Cockburn ratepayers.
Will residential properties less than 400m2 be allowed a garden waste bin?
Residents with properties less than 400m2 can request a garden waste bin if the City agrees there is a sufficient garden size to justify the service.
My red-topped general waste bin is too small. Can I get a bigger one?
Bin audits carried out before the trial program went ahead showed that 31 per cent of the dark green-lidded general waste bins were filled with garden waste. The smaller general waste bin should be adequate after the green waste has been removed.

If you struggle to reduce your general waste, contact the City's Waste Education Officer, who will be happy to visit you and provide some tips on how to increase recycling and decrease overall waste production. 

You could also consider getting a compost bin, Bokashi bin or worm farm to reduce the amount of food waste you need to put in your red-lidded bin. We provide subsidies on these items.
How will I know when I'm getting my new garden waste bin?
A letter will appear in the mail the year the three-bin program comes to your suburb. It will provide information about when your third bin will be delivered. You will also receive a calendar to let you know when your bins will be collected. 

Around this time, you will also receive a visit from two of the City's Waste Education Officers to explain a little more about the new bin system and to drop off a free recycling tub and magnets. 

If you compost at home, you will also be able to collect a compost caddy (complete with compostable bags) from the Administration Centre – this can be used to collect your food scraps in the kitchen, ready to be placed in your compost bin or worm farm.
How do I use the recycling tub that will be provided?
The recycling tub is used to collect cleaned recyclable items which will eventually be placed in your yellow lidded bin. The tub should help you to recycle more.
I don't need a garden waste bin. Can I opt out?
No, the garden waste bin will be rolled out to all residents with properties over 400m2.

More information and contact 

Please contact the City’s Waste Education Officer for more information on the three-bin system on 08 9411 3444 or at
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Spearwood 6163

Po Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965

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