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Environmental protection, waste and recycling

How to reduce household waste, recycle more and prevent litter and illegal dumping. Report noise, air and water pollution to protect the environment.

Advice on face masks and their disposal

Masks are a helpful addition in the fight against COVID-19 if used correctly. NSW Health strongly encourages people to wear them when unable to physically distance, particularly in indoor settings, to keep everyone safe.

Safe disposal of face masks

Dispose of single-use masks responsibly in the general rubbish bin. For safety, where possible, put it into a sealed bag before putting it in the bin to ensure others won’t touch it.

Don’t put disposable masks in the recycling. Most single-use masks contain soft plastics and cannot be recycled. They can also get caught in recycling equipment and be a hazard to waste management workers.

There's been an unwelcome rise in disposable masks littering our streets and waterways. Don't be a tosser. Always dispose of single-use masks responsibly.

Learn more about the types of face masks, how to wear them correctly and how to dispose of them safely.

Waste and recycling

Reduce and recycle household waste to save you money and help protect the environment.

Litter and illegal dumping

Illegal dumping of waste and litter on land and in water pollutes the environment and can harm human health. Find grants and funding for litter and waste prevention projects.

Report pollution

Contact the responsible organisation to report water, air, chemical, noise and waste pollution.

Air quality and air pollution

Check current air quality, learn about air quality monitoring, air pollution and how to protect your health.

Noise pollution

Noise is regulated by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), your local council or police depending on the source of the noise. Excessive noise can distress native animals, ruin our enjoyment of the environment and can impact our health and hearing.

Water use and monitoring

Information about water pollution, drinking water quality, how to reduce stormwater pollution and wastewater recycling.

Contaminated land

Lands can be contaminated with hazardous chemicals or pesticides that may be harmful to human health or the environment. A list of NSW contaminated sites notified to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is published each month.

Environment protection licences

Environment protection licences may be required for certain activities, particularly those that impact on the environment or cause pollution. Find out if you need an environment protection licence.

NSW State of the Environment 2018

Prepared every 3 years, the NSW State of the Environment (SoE) reports on the status of key environmental issues facing New South Wales.
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