Frequently asked questions: Essential waste services

Find out how we’re working to provide a safe and sustainable service through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Industry Updates

April 9, 2020


All our sorting and processing facilities continue to be operational and we encourage everyone to keep putting their recyclables in the right bin.

Tags: COVID-19

All our sorting and processing facilities continue to be operational and we encourage everyone to keep putting their recyclables in the right bin.

As businesses and communities work to respond to COVID-19, you can be assured that our waste services remain operational. Waste management is considered an essential service which means Cleanaway will continue to support our customers and councils while working to keep our people, contractors and members of the public safe.

How is Cleanaway protecting staff while continuing service?
To minimise the risk of transmission within our teams and assist with social distancing, we’re staggering shift start and finish times (particularly for front line operational staff such as drivers) and using all available space in all our office or admin buildings to separate our teams.

We’ve also stopped non-essential visitors to our sites, we’re using technology to replace face-to-face interactions and making the most of work-from-home strategies wherever possible. We have a COVID-19 Response Team in place that meets daily to ensure a timely and effective response, and is consistent with guidance provided by the Australian Government Department of Health, State Health Authorities, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Comcare.

Will my waste services continue uninterrupted?
Collections will continue as usual although schedules may change to stagger shifts and manage movement through our depots. We have received approval from some councils to lift curfews to allow us to collect earlier in the morning and minimise disruption of service. Residents should keep up to date with the latest information from local councils while customers will be informed of any changes to their schedule.

Is it safe to touch my bin?
We encourage you to put out your bins as you normally would, while taking care to maintain personal hygiene. Wash your hands before and after taking your bin out as washing your hands remains the best defence against transferring the virus. Bins collected through our automatic truck arms are designed to minimise human contact while manual collections will be handled by staff with the appropriate gloves. If you see our drivers maintain a safe social distance of at least 1.5 metres and minimise verbal interactions. A friendly wave from the window would be great!

Is it safe to drop off waste at Cleanaway facilities?
Our staff are equipped with the necessary Personal Protective Equipment to follow operational and hygienic practices. Drivers are encouraged to stay in the car when they are on the weighbridge and complete credit card payments while keeping a safe social distance from our staff.

Do I need to continue recycling?
Absolutely. All our sorting and processing facilities continue to be operational and we encourage everyone to keep putting their recycling in the right bin, free of contamination such as food, liquids and soft plastic.

How will you maintain my service if my business goes into lockdown?
If your business is impacted by an isolation situation and you’re concerned about your service, please speak to your account manager. If you do not know your account manager, please call 13 13 39 and ask to speak to a customer service manager about the impact to your site due to COVID-19. We will work with you to develop an appropriate servicing plan.

What plans does Cleanaway have in place if a significant portion of the workforce is impacted?
Cleanaway has a number of measures in place to limit the impact on our teams if an individual has a confirmed case of the virus, including separation of teams and cross-training of staff. Please refer to our Emergency Management Plan for more information. We have a national network of trained professionals to draw on to maintain services. We are also working with our temporary labour providers to ensure access to a sustainable workforce.

Do you offer emergency clean up services?
Cleanaway is an experienced emergency response provider, supporting the community through some of our biggest challenges including fires, floods and other large-scale mobilisation of industrial waste and cleaning service. Call us on 13 13 39 to find out more about a public area decontamination or secure product destruction service.

For the latest updates on how Cleanaway is responding to the evolving situation, please visit our website.

Contact us to learn more about how we’re making a sustainable future possible.