Design and building guidelines


The Guidelines provide the minimum waste and recycling management requirements for all development. They will assist you at the concept stage, the design stage and the application stage, and have been developed to help you avoid costly mistakes, or rejection of your DA due to poor waste/recycling design. You can (and should) use the Guidelines to help with the completion of the Waste and Recycling Management Plan (WRMP) which is required as part of a Development Application (DA).

Every new or change-of-use development that will generate demolition, construction and ongoing operational waste is required to submit a Waste and Recycling Management Plan.

The Guidelines are integral in ensuring that new developments in the Inner West will be maximising resource recovery opportunities through smart, innovative and sustainable design.

Who should use the Guidelines?

The Guidelines are a resource for the use of every person involved with the design, building and ongoing use of a building - from the developer, architect, planner and builder to the resident, building manager and waste collection team.

How to use the Guidelines

Read whichever sections are relevant to your development. For example, if your application is for a mixed-use development, you will need to read the Demolition and Construction section, along with Residential AND Commercial sections. The Guidelines are to be used in conjunction with Inner West Council’s Development Control Plan.

When to use the Guidelines

Refer to the Guidelines from the initial design phase of a building, during the preparation of the Waste and Recycling Management Plan, and as reference point in the ongoing operation of the building.

Pre-lodgement Advice

Council’s Customer Service, Planning, and Resource Recovery staff are available to assist with questions related to the requirements in these Guidelines. 

Commercial development?  Whether or not Council will be collecting waste and recycling from your development, Council staff can assist proponents with advice.

Worth noting:

  • Waste and recycling services differ between local councils as they depend on contract arrangements, councils’ waste management strategies and policies, the population size and access to service provision
  • Section 496 of the Local Government Act 1993 requires councils to levy an annual domestic waste management charge for the provision of a waste management service on each parcel of rateable land – this means that every new development MUST be designed to accommodate Council waste services.


Term Definition
Attached dwelling

A building containing 3 or more dwellings where:

  1. each dwelling is attached to another dwelling by a common wall and
  2. each of the dwellings is on its own lot of land and
  3. none of the dwellings is located above any part of another dwelling
Backpackers' accommodation
  • Provides temporary or short-term accommodation on a commercial basis
  • Has shared facilities, such as a communal bathroom, kitchen or laundry and
  • Provides accommodation on a bed or dormitory-style basis (rather than by room)
Battle-axe block A block of land behind another that has access to the street via a long driveway
Bin Storage Area (BSA) A defined space in which to store mobile wheelie bins, either contained or without walls
Boarding house A building or place which provides affordable housing, and is a principal place of residence for at least three months. Boarding houses contain rooms (which may have private kitchen and bathroom facilities) as well as shared facilities, such as a living room, laundry and kitchens or bathrooms. Boarding houses must be managed by the Land and Housing Corporation, or a registered community housing provider. The definition does not include backpackers' accommodation, a group home, hotel or motel accommodation, seniors' housing or a serviced apartment.
Bulky waste Large unwanted household items including furniture, whitegoods, toys and mattresses.
Commercial premises

Commercial refers to any business done with the sole motive of gaining a profit, and includes:

  • Business premises
  • Office premises
  • Retail premises
Complying development A fast-track approval process for straightforward development proposals such as home renovations and additions, or a new home up to two storeys. Providing the proposal meets specific criteria, it can be determined by a Council or private certifier without needing a full development application.
Crown land Historically, crown land was territorial area belonging to the monarch, who personifies the 'crown'. Today in Commonwealth countries such as Canada and Australia, crown land is considered public land , and is apart from the monarch's private estate.
Curtilage In relation to a heritage item or conservation area, curtilage is the area of land (including land covered by water) surrounding the heritage item.
Domestic waste Putrescible and non-putrescible waste generated by households (residential properties)
Dual occupancy (attached) Two dwellings on one lot of land that are attached to each other, with no secondary dwelling.  A duplex can be referred to as a dual-occupancy; however, the distinction lies in having separate titles where the land can be subdivided.
Dual occupancy (detached) Two detached dwellings on one lot of land, with no secondary dwelling
Floor space ration (FSR) The ratio of a building's overall floor area to the size of its site
Fonzie flat A secondary dwelling built above a private garage and associated with an existing Class 1 building
Granny flat A self-contained dwelling located on the same land-title as a Class 1 building, historically used by an ageing parent
Group home Occupied by people as a single household, with or without paid supervision and care. Occupants may or may not be related, and payment for board and lodging may or may not be required.  Often provides temporary or permanent accommodation for people with a disability, or people who are socially disadvantaged. This definition relates to group homes located in freestanding houses (i.e. not inclusive of apartment buildings)
Industrial development

Refers to any business dealing with manufacturing goods, and includes:

  • construction
  • factories
  • electrical, civil and mechanical processes
Kerbside collection The collection of waste and recyclable materials from the kerb along the boundary of a property. The service is undertaken by municipal councils, as well as privately contracted services. 
Manor house A low-rise medium density housing option, commonly known as a 'two-up, two-down'.  It might look like a single house from the street and has the same pot ration and height as a house, but is in fact more than one dwelling. Manor houses have between two and four dwellings, all under the same roofline, with common attached walls.
Mixed-use development A building or place comprising tow or more different land uses (e.g. residential and commercial) which can exist within a single building (horizontally or vertically) or mulitple buildings of different uses within a distinct development site (precinct).
Multi-unit housing Three or more dwellings (whether attached or detached) on one lot of land, each with access at ground level, but does not include a residential flat building.  Examples include townhouses, duplexes, terraces, semi-detached houses and villas
On-site collection Collection of waste/recycling  from a designated loading area within the property boundaries, by a waste/recycling collection vehicle
Presentation point The point at which residents present their waste for disposal. This could be the inlet-hopper in a building with a waste chute, or the bin storage area in a basement, or garage.
Putrescible waste Waste which is likely to decay or spoil, or become putrid
Residential Flat Building (RFB) A building containing three or more dwellings but does not include attached dwellings, co-living housing, or multi-dwelling housing.  A RFB is sometimes called a multi-unit dwelling or MUD
Residual waste Waste that remains after all other materials have been extracted or separated from processing, recovery or recycling
Route of transfer The route taken when bins are moved from the bin storage area to the place they will await Council servicing
Secondary dwelling A self-contained dwelling located within, attached to, or separate from a primary dwelling on the same land title
Semi-detached house/dwelling A dwelling that is on its own lot of land, an dis attached to only one other dwelling (i.e. shares a common wall)
Shop-top dwelling One or more dwellings located above the ground floor of a building, where at least the ground floor is used for commercial premises or health services
Wheel-out/wheel-in (WOWI) A waste/recycling/bulky waste service offered by Council or a private contractor, where bins are wheeled from the bin storage area (or temporary holding area) to the truck and emptied, and then returned afterwards.

Demolition and/or construction waste

The NSW Government Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041 (WaSM) sets an 80% recycling target for all waste streams, inclusive of Demolition and Construction Waste. The WRMP must demonstrate adherence to that target.

Note: A Condition of Consent requires records of waste disposal to be provided the Principal Certifier, or Council, prior to occupation.

The records must include details of the following:

  1. The contact details of the person who removed the waste
  2. The waste carrier vehicle registration
  3. The date and time of waste collection
  4. A description of the waste (type and estimated quantity) and whether the waste is to be reused, recycled or sent to landfill
  5. The address of the disposal location/s
  6. The corresponding tip docket or receipt, including the date and time of delivery and a description of the waste (type and quantity)

What is demolition and construction waste?

Demolition and construction waste includes excavated rock and soil, and materials from previous development – asphalt, bricks, concrete, timber, vegetation etc.

Demolition waste can also include problem wastes such as asbestos and contaminated soil.

The construction project manager, as well as procurement officers, will need to be familiar with how the contractors and subcontractors manage recyclable materials, or dispose of any waste.

The Environment Protection Authority has developed two documents to assist you. These documents detail how to reduce the risk of unlawful or fraudulent behaviour by contractors or subcontractors during tender, contract and building phases:

Demolition and construction waste in the Waste and Recycling Management Plan (WRMP)

Who needs to complete the Demolition and Construction waste sections in the WRMP?

Demolition and Construction waste management is part of the Waste and Recycling Management Plan(WRMP).The WRMP is required to be submitted with any Development Application (DA) involving demolition, new development, alterations and additions to existing premises, as well as change of use of existing premises.

Asbestos management

Find out about asbestos management under Council’s policies, plans and regulations.

Residential - low-rise development

Designing for waste and recycling management in residential buildings with individual bin storage areas, such as single houses, semi-detached/attached houses, duplexes, SOHOs, Torrens Title terraces. This may include townhouses, and secondary dwellings or ‘granny flats’

Bin types

3 bins - 120L red lid 240L yellow and green lids

Every rateable residence in the Inner West is supplied with a waste and recycling service. Council will deliver bins in response to an application for new waste services. Residences which have their own (individual) bin storage area are provided with the following wheelie bins:

  • 1 x 120L red lid landfill (garbage) bin
  • 1 x 240L yellow lid recycling bin
  • 1 x 240L green lid food and garden organics (FOGO) bin

The bins are made of durable, recycled plastic.  If the lids are kept closed, rats cannot get into them.

Dimensions of a 120L bin:

image shows dimensions of a 120L bin with wheels

How much space do you need for a 120L bin?

The footprint of a 120L bin is 0.27sqm. You should allow an additional 50% (0.27/2 = 0.135sqm) so that you can manoeuvre the bin easily. Therefore, you should allow 0.41sqm per 120L bin.

Dimensions of a 240L bin:

image shows dimensions of a 240L bin with wheels

How much space do you need for a 240L bin?

The footprint of a 240L bin is 0.43sqm. You should allow an additional 50% (0.43/2 = 0.215sqm) so that you can manoeuvre the bin easily.  Therefore, you should allow 0.65sqm per 240L bin.

man stands beside 4 bins to show height comparitives

Bin Size and Type  Height (mm) Depth (mm) Width (mm) Footprint allowance (excl the 50% extra required for ease of movement) 
 80L  840mm  510mm  450mm  0.22 sqm
 120L  940mm 560mm  485mm  0.27 sqm
 240L  1080mm 735mm  580mm  0.43 sqm
 660L  1250mm  850mm  1370mm  1.16 sqm

Design for Source Separation

What is source separation? Simply put, it’s when we sort the things we’re throwing away into different bins so they can be dealt with appropriately. At present, householders can, and should, separate recyclable items, food waste and landfill (garbage) into three different streams.  This is the minimum requirement, and will be mandatory by 2030.

Kitchens should be designed to make source separation easier; include space for three bins. It is recommended that this space is inside a cupboard, but it does not have to be – ensure there is floor space for three bins if they are not in a cupboard.

Bin Storage Area (BSA)

Where will the bins go? This needs to be considered early in the design process. The future residents will want their home to look great, and bins outside the front door don’t give a good first impression.

  • The Bin Storage Area (BSA) must be shown on the DA plans and drawings submitted to Council. Granny flats or 'Fonzie flats' must have their own bin storage area.
  • The BSA must be big enough to store all the waste and recycling generated between collection cycles. It must not be located near windows of habitable rooms, or near the windows of habitable rooms of neighbouring properties.
  • The BSA can be in the garage or carport, but ensure there is enough space to move the bins in and out when the car is parked there too.
  • Some properties have very small yards – there are many ways to screen bins, and make the BSA more attractive.

Bin storage ideas - DIY or ready-made:

wooden storage for 3 bins with flower planter on topmetal storage with door on the short endwooden storage for 3 bins with no roof

Design for accessibility

The bin storage area and routes from dwelling to bins, and bins to kerb, should be designed with accessibility in mind.

Why is accessibility important?

  • Many of us will make use of accessible design at some point – whether we have a temporary or permanent disability, care for someone with a disability, need to manoeuvre a pram or a wheelchair or would prefer to remain in the same dwelling as we age.
  • Accessible design is usually better design
  • Accessible design makes your property more user-friendly, and therefore more attractive to potential future renters or buyers
  • Accessibility is equality

Features of accessible design

(Your design might include some of these features, and others we haven’t come across – please contact us at if you have others to suggest)

  • A smooth path to the bins, and from the bins to the kerb – ramps and stairs that comply with AS 1428.1
  • Paths constructed from solid, non-slip surfaces, in colours that contrast strongly with surrounding garden areas
  • Lighting directed at the path surface, not the user
  • Sensor lighting, for when hands are otherwise occupied
  • Protection from bad weather
  • Doorways should have a minimum unobstructed width of 820mm and passageways a minimum of 1000mm, but any additional width is beneficial. Passages need to be 1200mm wide to accommodate bins in any case. Circulation space around doors is required to allow wheelchair access, and to ensure the door lever can be reached.
  • Light switches or other controls should be placed at a height range between 900 and 1100mm.
  • Switches should be placed no less than 300mm from an internal corner (and in plain view) to allow easy access by wheelchair users.

(thanks to for the above information)

Route of transfer for bins

The route of transfer is the route the resident will take from the Bin Storage Area to the collection point. The route of transfer must:

  • Be a minimum of 1200mm wide to accommodate domestic bins
  • Have a maximum gradient of 1:14
  • Be free of steps or guttering – a full bin can weigh 70kg, and can be difficult to move over uneven surfaces

Council services

Inner West Council provides a domestic waste and recycling collection services to all rateable properties in the inner west. The service should be requested three weeks prior to occupation to ensure timely delivery of bins.

The service includes:

  • Weekly collection of landfill waste (‘garbage’) in a 120L red lid bin
  • Fortnightly collection of recycling in a 240L yellow lid bin
  • Fortnightly collection of garden organics (FOGO) in a 240L green lid bin

Collection point

Generally, the collection point is from the kerb outside the dwelling. Bins are not to be presented on the frontage, or along the boundary, of a neighbouring property – if you are uncertain about where the bins will be presented, speak to your DA assessing officer for advice, or contact

Residential - medium and high-rise development

This section covers development with communal bin storage, including Residential Flat Buildings, manor houses, top-of-shop development, group homes, boarding houses and student accommodation. It also includes townhouses with communal bin storage.

Inside the dwelling/room/unit

Residents must be able to separate their waste, recycling and food scraps at the source.

What does this mean for you, as the designer, or developer?

  • A dwelling must be provided with enough space to store bins for landfill waste, recycling and food waste.
  • The landfill and recycling bins must have capacity to store waste generated over a two-day period – this is approximately 20L of each.

3 kitchen bins in a cupboard tall stand alone bins at the end of the kitchen counter3 small kitchen bins in a cupboard

Food recycling for all residents

The NSW State Government has mandated that all residential dwellings will have to separate food waste by 2030; the Inner West is giving developers a head start by getting in early so that buildings won’t need to retrofit in a few years’ time.

What does this mean for you?

A dwelling must have space to store a kitchen benchtop bin. Council issues a 5L benchtop bin to every resident, and this is designed to go on the kitchen counter, but it does not have to. So long as there is cupboard or counter space for a 5L food scraps bin, your design will meet Council requirements. For more about FOGO (food and garden organics) please visit us here.

black and green benchtop food scraps bin stainless steel benchtop bin for food scraps inbuilt benchtop bin for food scraps


To save space, multi-unit developments are provided with larger bins (240L) than single dwellings. These bins are shared between units.

4 bins for multi unit dwellings - green red yellow and burgundy lids

Collection frequency

  • The red lid landfill (‘garbage’) bins are collected weekly
  • The yellow lid recycling bins are collected fortnightly
  • The green lid garden organics bins are collected fortnightly
  • The burgundy lid food waste bin is collected weekly


Waste and recycling generation rates


The Environment Protection Authority has calculated that, on average, residents dispose of:

  • 120L of landfill waste per week.
  • 120L of recycling per week
  • Garden organics disposal depends on the size and character of any landscaped area
  • Food organics disposal depends on the level of engagement of the residents

How many bins will you need?

  • To calculate the number of landfill bins  required in a multi-unit development, simply divide the total number of units by 2.
  • Recycling collection in most apartment buildings in the Inner West is fortnightly; to calculate the number of recycling bins required, provide a 240L bin per dwelling - this equates to 120L of recycling disposal per week.
  • Food waste bins are calculated as follows: 1 x 240L bin per 10 units.

Dimensions of a 240L bin

image shows dimensions of a 240L bin with wheels

How much space do you need for a 240L bin?

The footprint of a 240L bin is 0.43sqm. You should allow an additional 50% (0.43/2 = 0.215sqm) so that you can move the bin easily. Therefore, you should allow 0.645sqm per 240L bin.

For example, if the proposed development has 40 units, residents will require the following:

  • 20 x 240L landfill bins
  • 40 x 240L recycling bins
  • 4 x 240L food waste (FOO) bins
  • Garden organics (GO) bins – consider the following:

This number will be affected by the size, and nature, of landscaped grounds, whether residents have balcony gardens, and if the development employs a gardening service which removes garden organics, or not.

A sample calculation for the area required for bin storage in a building of 40 dwellings:

(20 x landfill) + (40 x recycling) + (2 x FOO) + (4 x GO) = 66 x 240L bins

66 x 0.43sqm = 28.38sqm

Additional 50% for manoeuvring bins:

28.38sqm/2 = 14.19sqm

23.38 + 14.19 = 42.57sqm

Design and layout of bin storage areas

Waste is a reality of life, but we don’t want to think about it, and this results in poor and ineffective design for waste and recycling management.

Consider the following, when designing your building:

  • How will residents get to the disposal points - how far will they have to travel, carrying their bags of rubbish, recycling and food scraps?
  • Are the disposal points on the way to the exit?  A resident will be more willing to drop off waste/recycling on the way to the building’s entrance, or on the way to their car park.
  • Will the waste/recycling/food waste be in proximity to dwellings?  If not maintained and managed well, bins can start to smell, and attract insects or rats – best design situates bins in a basement, or on the ground floor.

Council requirements for design of a bin storage area (BSA):

  • The maximum walking distance (excluding vertical travel by lift) from a unit to the BSA is 30m
  • BSAs are to be easily accessible by all residents - see Design for Accessibility below
  • BSAs must be located and designed to reduce adverse impacts of noise, odour and amenity on the inhabitants of the development, and those of neighbouring properties. Any part of the waste and recycling management system that is visible from outside the building is to be in keeping with the dominant design of the remainder of the development.
  • If the developer or future owner wishes to secure the BSA, a PIN lock will be required, not a key lock. Contact Council at for further information.
  • If landfill waste and recycling bins are to be stored in separated BSAs, the food waste bins should be included with the recycling bins, NOT landfill waste.

Design for Accessibility and Liveability

When assessing a development application, Council considers the following:

  • Ease of use – appropriate gradients, circulation space, user-friendly entrances
  • Safety – contrasting colours for points of danger, slip-resistant travel surfaces, and signage

The Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA)

The DDA makes it unlawful for public places to be inaccessible to people with a disability, and deals specifically with access and use of premises. Disability is defined in the DDA, but your design will be a better design if it is user-friendly to all residents. It will also be more marketable.

The Premises Standards

Under the DDA, the Commonwealth Government developed a nationally applicable set of technical standards called the Premises Standards.  Schedule 1 of the Premises Standards contains the Access Code for Buildings, which are the technical standards for compliance with the DDA.

The National Construction Code of Australia (NCC) reflects the Access Code for buildings and therefore compliance with the NCC is deemed compliance with the technical requirements of the Premises Standards.  The NCC is determined a the Construction Certificate (CC) stage by meeting deemed to satisfy provisions, or by adopting an alternative solution that achieves the relevant performance requirements.

The Premises Standards do not apply to free-standing private dwellings, or a Class 4 part of a building (i.e. a sole dwelling within a non-residential building, such as a caretaker's residence in a storage facility). Developers of private dwellings are encourage to design for liveability nonetheless.


Walls, floors and ceilings:

The floors, walls and ceilings of waste and recycling storage areas and chute room(s) are to be finished with a rigid, smooth-faced impermeable material capable of being easily cleaned. The floor is to be at least 75mm thick, and walls are to be smooth concrete or cement rendered. The floor-wall intersection must be coved.

All internal surfaces are to be lightly coloured.


The waste and recycling storage area is to be provided with bin wash bay. Hot and cold taps should be included to facilitate the cleaning of food waste bins and kitchen caddies. The floors of waste and recycling storage areas are to be graded and drained to a Sydney Water approved drainage fitting.


A close-fitting and self-closing door or gate operable from within the room is to be fitted to all waste and recycling storage areas. Doors/gates to the waste and recycling storage rooms are to provide a minimum clearance width of 1200 mm. Lightweight roller shutter-type doors or grilles can be considered for access to waste and recycling storage areas, as these do not impact on the available storage space. In this case, adjacent signage must indicate that the roller door is to be closed when not in use.

The design shall restrict the entry of trespassers, animals or insects into the area.


Natural ventilation openings to external air. The dimensions of the openings are not to be less than 5% of the floor area of the BSA.

Any mechanical exhaust ventilation system is to be installed in accordance with relevant Australian standards.

Lighting and Signage

Bin storage areas are to be provided with artificial light controlled by switches located both outside and inside the storage area.

BSAs must include signage which clearly describes the types of materials to be deposited in each bin type. Signage is available from Inner West Council

Food waste management

A shelf or cupboard should be included which provides storage for rolls of compostable food waste bags (supplied by Inner West Council) for residents to collect as needed. This should also have space for spray bottles, chemicals, salt and other cleaning agents.

plan shows bins route of transfer



If chutes are to be included for both landfill waste and recycling, it must be a dual-chute system, with one chute for waste, and one for recycling.  E-diverters are not acceptable due to the higher rate of blockages.

NOTE: No compaction is allowed.

Chutes and food waste

If a chute is to be included, it will be necessary to work out how food waste will be managed.

The following scenarios are just ideas; this is new territory, and we look forward to seeing what design solutions are proposed.

If the design includes:

  • a chute for landfill waste, and a communal storage room in the basement for recycling bins, the best solution might be to have additional space in the bin storage room for FOGO bins (or an additional room dedicated to FOGO bins)
  • a landfill chute and recycling chute, then the building should have an additional room (ground level or basement) for storage of FOGO bins
  • a landfill chute, with cupboards on each floor for recycling bins, then the building should have an additional room (ground level or basement) for storage of FOO bins
  • no chutes, with one or more communal bin storage rooms (ground level or basement) then the FOO bins should be stored with these bins. In the case of separate landfill and recycling bins, the FOO bins should be stored with the landfill bins

Chutes and access

  • A chute room is required on each habitable floor of a development that has a chute system.
  • The chute room is to be accessible, in accordance with AS 1428.1
  • The chute room will include the chute inlet hopper, and space for 1 x 240L bin, in case of chute failure
  • The chute room may also need to have space for a recycling bin and food waste bin, if provision is not made for these bins on the ground floor or in the basement.

Chutes and signage

Chute rooms are to display instructions on the use of the chute/s. The instructions should be provided by the chute manufacturer.

Bulky waste storage - design and location

Buildings of five or more units must include a dedicated area for the storage of bulky household items awaiting collection by a waste contractor. Bulky household items are things that cannot go in the bin, such as mattresses, whitegoods, furniture, large cardboard packaging and so on.

Some of these items can be successfully recycled, but only if they are presented in the correct stream for Council collection. This starts with providing space to store them in the correct stream, making it easier for the resident, or building manager, to book the correct type of collection.


As per the DCP, buildings of 5 - 20 units are to allocate a minimum of 6 square metres for bulky waste storage.  Buildings of 21 to 40 units are to allocate a minimum of 12 square metres, and for every 10 units over 40, an extra 2 square metres must be allocated.

Where collection services (provided by Council, third parties or charities) are available, additional space within the bulky waste storage area should be provided for e-waste, textiles, batteries, household chemicals, printer cartridges etc.

bulky waste storage area

Image courtesy of City of Canterbury-Bankstown

Commercial development

Commercial development includes offices or office blocks; cafes, restaurants and take-away outlets; non-food retail e.g. hardware stores, homeware stores; group retail centres such as shopping malls or plazas; hospitality and accommodation e.g. hotels, motels, serviced apartments.

Note: If your development is mixed-use, please read the relevant residential section as well.

Commercial and residential waste and recycling is to be stored and collected separately.  This is to ensure there is no conflict between employees and residents, and each service is used and managed correctly.

Getting started

  • Identify type and scale of development (including likely occupancy)
  • Estimate waste and recycling generation rates (using the Average Generation Calculator)
  • Design waste storage, route of transfer and collection point
  • Select type of equipment (e.g. bin tugs, balers) that might be required
  • Work out how the system will be managed, and complete the Commercial section of the WRMP

Remember – Council’s Resource Recovery officers are ready to assist at any stage. Email us at

General Design Considerations

Poor design can result in problems which can result in extra costs, frustration, complaints and even risks to safety.Consider the following issues as you design:


Proponents must ensure compliance with the NSW Protection of the Environment (Noise Control) Regulation 2017

Strategies to ensure compliance might include:

  • Locating bin storage areas (BSAs) and collection points away from neighbours, tenants and public areas
  • Avoiding the need for collection vehicles to reverse (Note: Council vehicles do not reverse into or out of private property)
  • Selecting road, driveway and pathway surfacing materials that minimise noise
  • Ensuring a private service can be contracted which is able to collect waste/recycling within the required hours:


Organic waste (food, greenwaste) may cause odour issues. Where large amounts of organic waste are likely to be generated, having separate and more frequent collections may help reduce the problem. Alternatively, wrapped food waste can be frozen in dedicated freezer space until collection.

Air flow from enclosed storage/service areas should not exit near public areas. Locate natural ventilation openings close to the floor or ceiling and ensure they are meshed to prevent access by insects.

If forced ventilation or air conditioning is used, it must meet the requirements of the Building Code of Australia, and AS 1668.2 – The use of Ventilation and Air Conditioning in Buildings. These systems must not be connected to the same ventilation system that supplies air to public or tenanted areas of the building.

Hygiene and undesirable visitors

If lids of bins are partly open, rats and birds can get in easily.  Ensuring the development has enough space to store the required number of bins will mean that lids can be closed, and the bins will be sealed against these intruders.

The bin storage area must be designed to meet the guidelines given below – this will make the area, and the bins, easier to keep clean.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles can be applied to the design of bin storage areas. The four CPTED principles are:

  • Surveillance – allow people to see what others are doing by ensuring clear sightlines, selecting appropriate landscaping, and providing adequate lighting
  • Access control – establish physical and symbolic barriers to attract, channel or restrict the movement of people
  • Territorial reinforcement – create a sense of community ownership to promote use, and to discourage antisocial behaviours
  • Space management – manage and maintain spaces to ensure that space is appropriately utilised and cared for e.g. remove graffiti, replace burn-out light bulbs and clear away litter

As far as practicable, the design of bin storage areas should maximise casual surveillance by other tenants, and allow easy access for tenants and building management while at the same time barring access by members of the public.

The bin storage area or areas

Well-designed bin storage areas can circumvent potential conflict between different businesses, or business types.

Note: In mixed-use developments, commercial and residential waste/recycling bins must have their own storage areas. This is to prevent the residents from using the waste services paid for by the businesses, or vice versa.

When calculating the bin storage area requirements consider:

  • Waste and recycling generation rates
  • Frequency of collection
  • Accessibility by users
  • The likely collection service type, including access requirements for collection vehicles.

Size of bin storage area or areas – keep it loose!

The most challenging part of calculating the size of a bin storage area is predicting the future waste management requirements as businesses grow, or change. Requirements should be discussed with waste contractors at the design stage, and the design should be flexible, to meet future needs. Flexibility can be incorporated by:

  • Identifying suitable waste storage and collection points that would enable on-site collection in the future
  • Keeping waste and bin storage areas clear of potential obstacles that would limit bin size e.g. fixed structures to separate bin bays, as bin sizes and/or configurations may change
  • Designing access paths and doorways to maximum possible width to allow for potential changes in bin size
  • If hospitality or food retailers are potential tenants, ensure there is storage space for kegs, pallets, dairy crates and bread crates

Bin Storage Area – design

The bin storage area must:

  • Be constructed in accordance with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia
  • Have a separate ventilation system in place if enclosed. The system is to comply with AS 1668 – The use of mechanical ventilation and air-conditioning in buildings

Waste and recycling collection

Inner West Council provides a commercial service to some areas – contact to find out more.

The collection point is where bins are placed in readiness for emptying by the private contractor, or Council.

660L bins

If the business chooses to use 660L bins, the collection point must be flat (zero gradient). 660L bins should not be moved more than 10m from the storage area to the collection point.The gradient on this route of transfer must not exceed 1:40.

1100L bins or bigger

If the business chooses to use bins that are bigger than 660L, the collection point must be flat (zero gradient).  Bins that are larger than 660L should not be manually moved.

Industrial development

Industrial development refers to any business dealing with the manufacturing of goods.

Designing for waste and recycling management in industrial development is often overlooked. Good design will support efficient management of a development. If essential aspects such as facilities for landfill waste, recycling and organics are overlooked or undervalued, they can cause inconvenience and irritation to the occupants for the lifetime of the building.  A small amount of planning at the design stage can prevent a great deal of difficulty for tenants, cleaners, customers, building managers and a stream of contractors through the life of the building.  Additionally, effective waste systems result in better sorting, and this in turn lowers the cost of waste disposal.  In New South Wales, every tonne of waste sent to landfill is charged a significant levy, which increases annually.

New subdivisions and planned precincts

New subdivisions and planned precincts may comprise a range of dwelling types and densities, as well as mixed retail, community, and commercial development. Waste and recycling management should be designed according to the requirements of each property type, but to maximise efficiency of services, the design must be integrated into the precinct as a whole.

Resource Recovery

Key objective: waste and recycling management on site must be designed to maximise source separation and resource recovery, with the aim of achieving zero waste by 2036, in line with the Inner West Community Strategic Plan 2036.

This target is to be included in sale or lease agreements for this precinct, for residential and commercial units, and managed and monitored by the building/site managers.

Targets could be achieved by addressing food organics for processing on site, and maximising reuse and recycling.

Precinct design must show the movement of waste and recycling, from the the point of generation, to the point at which they are collected, or otherwise managed.

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Page last updated: 12 Apr 2024