Three Bin System

About the three bin system

The three-bin system includes a dedicated bin for garden organics that can be converted to mulch. This bin is in addition to the standard bins for recycling and general 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:    

Bin lid colour Bin size Bin purpose
Lime green* 240L Garden organics
Yellow 240L Recycling
Red 140L General 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 lid will be recycled. 

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.

Suburb Roll-Out Year
Atwell 2017 – 2019
Aubin Grove Completed
Beeliar Completed
Bibra Lake Completed
Cockburn Central Completed
Coogee Completed
Coolbellup Completed
Hamilton Hill Completed
Hammond Park 2019 – 2019
Jandakot      Completed
Leeming         Completed
Munster Completed
North Coogee Completed
North Lake Completed
South Lake Completed
Spearwood Completed
Success 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 organics 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 waste bin (red lid)
The following items can be placed in the red-lidded bin:
  • Non-recyclable general waste
  • 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
  • Soft plastics (or take to REDcycle opens in a new window bins at shopping centres).
The contents of this bin are sent to landfill at the Henderson Waste Recovery Park. 
Recycling bin (yellow lid)
The contents of this bin are sent to the Suez opens in a new window Materials Recovery Facility in Bibra Lake where they are separated, baled and sent to be recycled. You can dispose of the following items in your yellow-lidded recycling bin:
  • All hard plastic tubs, bottles and containers 
  • All glass bottles and jars
  • Steel and aluminium cans and lids
  • Cardboard, paper, newspapers, magazines (not shredded)
  • Foil (scrunched into golf ball size)
Please rinse and empty containers. Remove lids.  Do not bag items - place them directly in the bin.

Items that should not be placed in bins

Some items should not be placed into either of your bins, including:
  • Batteries, mobile phones, printer cartridges and light bulbs can be dropped off at recycling hubs at any of the City's libraries
  • Spray paint, chemicals, gas bottles, aerosol cans and other hazardous household waste can be taken to Henderson Waste Recovery Park.


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?
Garden organics were previously placed in the general waste bin along with other general household waste, and sent to the Regional Resource Recovery Centre where they were 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 garden organics into a different bin, contamination levels are reduced. The mulch produced 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 organics bins will not be contaminated.

An education program is being 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 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 organics 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 bulk garden organics verge collection?
Yes, bulk garden organics 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 smaller than 400m2 can request a garden organics bin if the City agrees there is a sufficient garden size to justify the service.
My red-lidded 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 240L general waste bins were filled with garden organics. The smaller general waste bin should be adequate after the garden organics have been removed.

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

You could also consider getting a compost bin, Bokashi bin, worm farm or EnsoPet pet waste composter 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 organics 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 Community Waste Education Team 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 organics bin. Can I opt out?
No, the garden organics bin will be rolled out to all residents with properties over 400m2.

FOGO Update February 2019 

The State Government recently released their new ‘Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030 opens in a new window’ which includes a target for all local governments in the Perth and Peel region to implement a consistent three bin system by 2025. Under this consistent system, food and garden organics would both be collected via the lime green lid bin.

As resolved by Council as part of the City’s waste strategy two years ago, the City of Cockburn’s lime-green lid bin is for garden organics only and will continue to be rolled out across the City as part of the City’s initiative to reduce waste going to landfill. A number of other Councils in WA have implemented a third bin for garden organics as the fundamental goal is to separate waste at source to make recycling and waste disposal more efficient and effective.  

More information and contact 

Further information can be found in the Resource Recovery Calendar, available to download from the 'Related Documents' section below. 

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

Related Documents

Document name Downloadable files
Resource Recovery Calendar 2019-20 PDF document
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9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

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

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Cockburn Nyungar moort Beeliar boodja-k kaadadjiny. Koora, yeyi, benang baalap nidja boodja-k kaaradjiny.
Ngalak kaadatj dayin boodja, kep wer malayin. Ngalak kaadatj koora koora wer yeyi ngalang birdiya.

City of Cockburn acknowledges the Nyungar people of Beeliar boodja. Long ago, now and in the future they care for country.
We acknowledge a continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to the Elders, past, present and emerging.