Waste and Recycling

Katherine Town Council is passionate about creating a safer, healthier and cleaner environment for the community. Council provides waste services to the community including kerbside collection, litter pick-up and running the Waste Management Facility. Reuse and recycling of waste are two important activities for Council in creating a sustainable future and minimising the harmful effects of waste in the environment. Illegal dumping is an issue taken seriously by Council and preventive actions have been taken to discourage the community from engaging in this illegal practice. Community engagement is valued greatly by Council and Council is open to suggestions from the community to improve their services around waste. Regional collaboration forms an important part of Council’s approach in tackling waste issues and to work towards sustainable waste management for the community in the future.


Waste Fees and Charges


Council differentiates between domestic and commercial users for Council’s waste services. The fees and charges information booklet can be found here. These charges will be effective from 1 September 2018.

Domestic users

For domestic users, the costs of general waste disposal are included in the rates notice as a separate charge. This charge relates to kerbside waste collection, management of public waste bins and access, for all ratepayers, to the Katherine Waste Management Facility for the disposal of most waste types at no cost. Since 2018, Council has introduced individual charges for tyres, whitegoods and gas bottles. Please click here for the domestic waste services fees and charges and additional information.

Commercial users

Council is moving towards greater financial sustainability for waste management services in Katherine. This year is the first of a planned three-year increase to the general commercial waste charge to allow for recovery of the full cost of waste management. As part of this plan, whitegoods, oil and gas bottles will now be charged individually. Charges for other wastes, such as general commercial, tyres and asbestos have increased. A minimum charge for asbestos has been introduced to cover high management costs. Please click here for the commercial waste services fees and charges and additional information.

Kerbside collection

Council tenders the kerbside collection out to contractors in the region. In 2018 the Cleanaway won the tender to supply these services for the next three years. Council is aware of the community’s desire to recycle and will keep looking into opportunities for this. Information on collection services can be found below.

Collection schedule

 Collection Day   Put Bin Out    Location 
 Tuesday  Monday Night   Katherine North (town), Florina Road 
 Wednesday   Tuesday Night   Katherine South (town), Zimmin Drive, Stuart Estate, Emungalan Road,
 Gorge Road, Stuart highway (North), Victoria Highway        
 Thursday   Wednesday Night       Katherine East (town)
 Friday  Thursday Night   Collins Road, Byers Road, Uralla Road, Stuart Highway (South), Binjari Community

Collection tips

Please place your bin on the nature strip close to the kerb with the handle of the bin facing your property. For rural areas place the bin within 2m of the edge of the sealed road with the handle of the bin facing the property.

Please DO NOT place the following items in your rubbish bin:

  • Hot ashes;
  • Liquids including oil, paint and solvents;
  • Soil and rocks;
  • Gas bottles;
  • Medical waste; and
  • Timber, concrete, bricks and building material including asbestos.

Bins will not be collected if they are: too heavy, put out after the service has passed your property, not approved by Council or if the bin is full to the extent that the lid will not close (e.g. palm fronds or metal sticking out). During the wet season, residents are discouraged from putting wet grass clippings in their bin as they can result in a blockage and result in the bin not being completely emptied.

Missed service

Please allow until COB on bin collection day before contacting Council about a missed service as the normal routes may be disrupted or delayed. To report a missed service to Council, use a Service Request Form.

Request a bin

If the bin is for a new dwelling or an additional service for an existing dwelling, please complete a Service Request Form. 

If your bin has been stolen or damaged and you require a replacement bin please complete a Service Request Form.

Litter pick-up

Council undertakes activities to reduce litter in and around town. Council staff clean the parks, sportsgrounds, showgrounds and other Council properties on a daily basis and remove litter to make time spent at those facilities more enjoyable. Katherine Town Council also participates in the yearly Clean Up Australia Day, which encourages and inspires the community to clean up the rubbish from parks and bushlands.

Katherine Waste Management Facility

Domestic and commercial waste can be disposed of at the Waste Management Facility. The fees and charges for disposal of waste can be found hereUpon entering the facility, all incoming traffic is weighed at the weighbridge for the purpose of record keeping and to enable calculation of the costs of the incoming waste. A staff member will be present here during trading hours to assist in this process and to help with any questions. Domestic users are then referred to the transfer station, where they can separate and dispose of their waste. Commercial users may be sent to the tip face to dispose of their waste. Information on the location, opening hours and accepted wastes and hazardous waste disposal can be found below.

Location

The Katherine Waste Management Facility is located on Lot 5043 Novis Quarry Road, approximately 7 kilometres from the Katherine Post Office along the Victoria Highway, opposite to the Rail Terminal.

Opening hours

Monday:              7.30 AM – 5.30 PM

Tuesday:              7.30 AM – 5.30 PM

Wednesday:        7.30 AM – 5.30 PM

Thursday:            7.30 AM – 5.30 PM

Friday:                  7.30 AM – 5.30 PM

Saturday:             8.00 AM – 4.00 PM

Sunday:                8.00 AM – 4.00 PM

Public Holidays:  8.00 AM – 4.00 PM

The facility is CLOSED on Good Friday and Christmas Day.

New Account Application Form - Weighbridge

To set up a weighbridge (dump and tip) account with Council, Please click here for the New Account Application Form.

Accepted wastes and hazardous waste disposal

The facility accepts municipal, commercial and construction waste streams. It also accepts green waste, animal carcasses and a number of listed wastes including asbestos (appointment only), small volumes of oil, tyres and batteries. If you are unsure about whether we can accept a specific waste, please contact the council on 08 8972 5500 or send an e-mail to records@ktc.nt.gov.au. More information about hazardous waste disposal can be found below.

Asbestos

Katherine Waste Management Facility is licenced to accept asbestos that complies with NT Work Safe Authority regulations and legislative requirements. Please visit their website for clarification on these regulations. The disposal of asbestos is strictly by appointment only. Please complete the Asbestos Removal Application form and contact Council on 08 8972 5500 or records@ktc.nt.gov.au to arrange a suitable disposal time.

Batteries

Vehicle batteries can be deposited in a receptacle at the Waste Management Facility. The batteries collected at the Waste Management Facility are recycled.

Chemical Drums

Containers eligible under the DrumMUSTER stewardship scheme can be deposited, by prior arrangement, at the Katherine Waste Management Facility. Please contact the Waste Management Facility at 08 8971 2014 or e-mail records@ktc.nt.gov.au to organise a drop-off time. For further information on this scheme, including container eligibility and cleanliness standards, please visit the drumMUSTER website or call them on 1800 008 707.

Oil

Domestic volumes of waste mineral and cooking oils can be deposited in separate receptacles at the Waste Management Facility. The containers are emptied when full, and recycled.

Tyres

The Waste Management Facility accepts both whole and shredded tyres. Both domestic and commercial users are subject to tyre charges, which can be found here. Council plans to work with tyre recyclers to ensure the waste is recycled responsibly.

Recycling

Recycling forms an important part of today’s society and is an item high on Council’s agenda. It can provide benefits to the economy, the environment and even your hip pocket. Working together we can all reduce the toxic and recyclable wastes we send to landfill and provide ongoing benefits to the community of Katherine.

The Katherine Waste Management Facility is involved with a number of recycling and product stewardship schemes:

  • DrumMUSTER DrumMUSTER is the national program for the collection and recycling of empty, cleaned, non-returnable crop protection and animal health chemical containers. This program provides an easy, environmentally-friendly way of disposing of empty farming chemical containers across rural Australia through recycling the containers after inspection into new products like wheelie bins and irrigation pipes.
  • Tyre Stewardship Australia This scheme promotes the development of viable markets for end-of-life tyres to increase the recycling and resource recovery of tyres and minimise environmental, health and safety impacts.
  • Car batteries Car batteries contain sulfuric acid, lead and lead compounds, which are toxic to both human health and the environment. Car batteries can be re-conditioned or recycled into new products which saves energy and resources and removes lead form the environment.
  • Scrap Metal Scrap metal is collected at the landfill and shipped to scrap metal recycling markets so it can be recycled.
  • Oil The oil collected at the Katherine Waste Management Facility is shipped for the purpose of re-use and recycling.
  • TechCollect (E-waste) TechCollect is a free national recycling service for computers, computer accessories and TVs (e-waste). Items recycled under this scheme include tablets, notebooks, computer monitors, computer cables, computer peripherals and accessories, printers, scanners and televisions.
  • MobileMuster Any mobile phone and their batteries, chargers and accessories are accepted for recycling. Smart watches are also included in this scheme. Drop-off points are located at the Civic Centre and the Library and multiple other locations in Katherine. Alternatively, a free mailing label can be downloaded from their website or a reply-paid satchel can be picked up from Australia Post. For more information, visit their website.

Other recycling options in Katherine

There are a number of recycling and stewardship schemes Council is currently not engaged in, but are available in Katherine.

  • ChemClear ChemClear is an industry funded national program for the collection and disposal of unwanted rural chemicals. The objective of the program is to minimise the accumulation of unwanted chemicalson farms which may create potential risks to the environment, public health and trade. For more detailed information, including eligible chemicals, please visit their website or contact ChemClear directly on 1800 008 182.

  • Cartridges 4 Planet Ark Cartridges 4 Planet Ark is a free recycling program for cartridges, toner bottles, fuser and drum units, print heads and waste hoppers. These products can be deposited at the Australia Post outlet in town. If your business goes through more than 2 cartridges a month, you can get a free collection box at your workplace. Go to their website for more information.
  • Container Deposit Scheme Take your eligible containers back to an approved Northern Territory Collection Depot and get 10 cents back in your pocket. The Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) helps to reduce litter form our streets, increases recycling and helps reduce the amount of rubbish being disposed to landfill. Katherine has one approved collection depot to provide the 10 cent refund on eligible containers. This is MT Bins, who are located on Shed 5 Bovril Street, Katherine NT 0850. Please check online for their opening hours. There may also be a number of community groups, schools and sporting clubs operating collection points around the town as a great fundraising opportunity. Please note that containers should be cleaned, NOT crushed and lids removed.

Tip-Shop

For the past few years, a tip-shop has been operated at the Waste Management Facility. Council highly values the presence of a Tip-shop as it encourages re-use of materials, reduces the waste going into landfill and provides products that can be put to good use in and by the community at accessible pricing. The enquiry for Expressions of Interest in starting and running a tip-shop at the Katherine Waste Management Facility in early 2018 resulted in a lack of resource and interest at this moment to be opening a tip-shop again. Council will keep looking for opportunities to get a tip-shop back at the facility. Any questions, suggestions or interest regarding the tip-shop can be e-mailed to records@ktc.nt.gov.au, or call Council on 08 8972 5500.

Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping is the disposal of waste on public or private land or into water without a licence, permit or approval from the relevant authority. Katherine Town Council takes illegal dumping seriously and will enforce Council by-laws and escalate serious offenders to be prosecuted under the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act. Council is familiar with hot spot dumping sites and is using cameras to secure these areas. Regular ranger patrols will be conducted and Council encourages the Katherine community to keep an eye out as well to discourage illegal dumping thereby protecting the environment of Katherine and its surroundings. If you want to report illegal dumping, please contact Council on records@ktc.nt.gov.au or 08 8972 5500.

Community Engagement

Katherine Town Council aims to achieve community expectations and to overcome any challenges that are encountered during this process. Waste and recycling is all about collaboration between Council and the community: It is important for Council to know the community’s goals and concerns. Council therefore encourages the community to contact Council on records@ktc.nt.gov.au or 08 8972 5500 to express any ideas, concerns or goals regarding waste and recycling.

Regional Collaboration

Katherine is in a unique position when it comes to waste. The town is not large enough to create reasonable economies of scale when it comes to waste and recycling, however it is strategically located with easy access from all directions. So, although Katherine is situated in a relatively remote location, it does have the opportunity to create better economies of scale by collaborating with the wider region.

Katherine Town Council is a member of the Big Rivers Region Waste Management Working Group, where Council works together with Roper Gulf, Victoria Daly and West Daly Regional Councils, the Department of Health (DOH), the Local Government Association NT (LGANT), the NT Environmental Protection Authority (NT EPA), the Department of Housing and Community Development (DOHCD) and NT Worksafe.

By participating in this group, Council plays a key role in creating a safer and healthier environment in remote communities which is beneficial not only for each community, but also for the whole Katherine Region. Katherine hosts the coordinator of the group, a position funded by the DOH. This collaborative approach is unique and has shown to be extremely effective. Whereas resources can be limited and distances too large to overcome when regarding individual cases, collaboration with the region and sharing of resources changes the impossible into feasible projects.

Past, Present and Future of Katherine’s Waste

Waste is a hot topic nowadays but unfortunately has not always been in the past. Waste has been around from the moment people started consuming and is not a product people are keen on dealing with. As the years passed, more knowledge has been gained about the consequences of waste and waste management laws have been created and become stricter. The landfill is currently close to getting full and is at the end of its life. The Katherine Waste Management Facility at its current location was opened in early 1983. Operations of the site have not always been in Council’s hands, but since the early 2000’s Council has operated the site continuously up to now. As regulations have changed since 1983, some aspects of the current landfill are outdated such as its location near the Katherine River. Proper rehabilitation of the site after closure is therefore really important and Council has engaged with Environmental Consultants to make sure this process gets done according to all standards and requirements set by the NT EPA.

Council is currently looking into opening up a new landfill in the Katherine area to relieve the pressure on the current landfill and to enable the rehabilitation of the site. Requirements such as proximity to residential area and water sources, the soil type and the prevailing wind combined with the availability of land in the Katherine Region make the selection of a new site a difficult process. Due to many uncertainties, there is no prospect of the new landfill opening up yet, however Council aims to finish this project over the next 5 to 8 years.

Council is monitoring waste to give an insight into trends and help in future modelling of waste. Another advantage is that it allows for comparison with average data in Australia to compare Katherine’s behaviour towards waste with the rest of the nation. Waste is nationally growing at a rate of 7.8 percent a year on average, as published by MRA Consulting Group. The graph below shows the growth of the waste generated in Katherine over the last five years. The bars show the amount of waste that was monitored and the lines show how much this has increased percentage-wise. Compared to 5 years ago, Katherine’s waste has increased by almost 45%, which is 11% on average per year. Katherine therefore produces over 3% more waste compared to Australia’s average of 7.8 percent. Per person, this comes down to approximately 38 kilograms. This might not seem as much, but as a comparison, this equates to more than 150 wheelie bins (240 L) filled with plastic, which is the majority of the waste produced by households.

Katherine Town Council will continue to work pro-actively to improve waste management and decrease the waste going into landfill, to create a more sustainable, safer and healthier future for Katherine.