Kerbside Collection Etiquette: Why It’s Important to Ask Neighbours Before Scavenging their Pile

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Another round of kerbside collection will take place in North Brisbane in the coming days.  Following Virginia and Boondall’s schedule (29 July), the next ones in line are Banyo and Geebung (5 August) and Wavell Heights (19 August).

In line with this annual service, it pays to observe some kerbside collection etiquette. While most residents dispose of unwanted old items for kerbside collection, others take the opportunity to scavenge their neighbours’ pile to find stuff to recycle and reuse. 

Technically, it is not illegal to take items from people’s kerbside junk. 

“Residents are welcome to recycle kerbside collection goods, however, they should ensure that leftover items are stacked tidily and not creating any obstructions to the footpath or roadway,” a spokesperson from the Brisbane City Council said.



As a matter of courtesy, however, it would be a good idea to ask your neighbours first before digging on to their pile. Let them know that you are interested in some of the items and get their permission to check the items closely. 

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While checking the items, be respectful and careful that you don’t break anything. These might be trash for your neighbours but they still own these things.

Besides, if you break their mirror, for example, the collectors won’t pick up the item. As part of the policy, anything broken or with loose materials will be left by the kerbside. If you do find a broken item, inform your neighbour so that they can dispose of this properly and avoid being cited for illegal dumping.  

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Put back anything you’ve checked where you found these items if you are not planning on taking these home with you.

When you’re done, inform the neighbours what you took and thank them for allowing you to look at their kerbside pile. 

To learn more about the Do’s and Don’ts of kerbside collection in Brisbane, as well as check your suburb’s schedule, visit the Council’s website