Problem Waste FAQs

What are Community Recycling Stations?

Community Recycling Stations are small cabinets placed at a number of libraries and council facilities to allow for the convenient and free drop-off of small household quantities of common household problem wastes. Problem wastes are items which should not be placed in your household bins.

What do you mean by small household quantities?

Due to space restrictions at Community Recycling Stations, please use your discretion when bringing in items. As a guide, this could include a handful of household batteries, 30 x-rays, and five light globes, mobile phones, reading glasses or ink cartridges per visit.

What is a Community Recycling Centre?

Community Recycling Centres are permanent drop-off centres located across NSW for households to dispose of larger quantities* of common problem wastes. Problem wastes are items which should not be placed in your household bins.
*up to a maximum of 20 litres or 20 kilograms of a single item.

Where is the Summerhill Community Recycling Centre located?

The Summerhill Community Recycling Centre is located within the  Summerhill Waste Management Centre, on Summerhill Road (off Minmi Road), Wallsend.

When is the Summerhill Community Recycling Centre open?

The Summerhill Community Recycling Centre is open during normal  operating hours. These are:
  • Monday to Friday: 7.30am to 5pm (last entry at 4.45pm)
  • Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays*: 9am to 3pm (last entry at 2.45pm). *Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day.

Where can I find more information on the items I take to a Chemical CleanOut Event?

For more information and a full list of chemicals and problem wastes that can be accepted at Chemical CleanOut Events, call the Environment Line on 131 555 or visit

How should I store and transport my unwanted chemicals?

Handle and transport all chemicals carefully, such as:
  • Never mix chemicals as this may produce dangerous reactions
  • Wherever possible, keep all chemicals in their original containers
  • Ensure containers are clearly labelled and well-sealed. If you do not know the contents, label the container 'unknown chemical'
  • Liquid can leak during transport; wrap containers holding liquid securely in newspaper, place in sturdy plastic bags and then in plastic buckets or trays
  • Keep household chemicals away from passengers, for example, place them in the boot of your car.

What happens to the items I drop off?

  • Fluorescent light globes - mercury is separated and sold for a range of industrial uses. The glass and metals remaining from the process are also recycled
  • Household batteries - lead, acid and plastic are recovered and recycled
  • Mobile phones - recycled through  MobileMuster, preventing hazardous materials from entering the environment
  • Reading glasses - sent to third world countries through the  Lions Recycle for Sight program
  • Printer ink cartridges - recycled through  Close the Loop® in Melbourne. The cartridges are sent back to the manufacturer for reuse in new cartridges
  • X-rays - processed in a refinery to extract the silver. The silver is then reused for silver solder, jewellery, electrical components and film manufacture.