Designing 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.

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Page last updated: 02 Jul 2024