One of the easiest ways to reduce and recycle waste on a rural residential property is by composting all organic matter. Organic matter is any item derived from plants or animals, including straw, saw dust, paper, plant cuttings, food waste, animal manures, etc. There are different approaches to composting, suitable to any amount and type of organic matter. Small amounts (less than 20L per week) of food wastes and other organic matter can be dealt with by using a worm farm. Larger amounts of plant material and manure (a couple of wheelbarrows a month) will break down in a compost heap or bin over 2-3 months. You can purchase worm farms and compost bins or custom make them from materials on your property. For very large amounts of organic matter you can use multiple compost bins or a thermophilic composting method—this is where the composting process is accelerated by the heat generated by the breakdown of the organic matter. This has the added advantage of sterilizing seeds (and reducing germination of weeds). Adding compost (or uncomposted material such as mulch) to soil improves its water and nutrient holding properties and helps prevent runoff and erosion.
Never dispose of chemical wastes on your property - any leaks will pollute your soil, groundwater and streams. Chemical wastes may not be accepted at all landfill sites (due to risks of leaks) but there are alternatives available. ChemClear is a national program coordinating collection and disposal of unwanted rural chemicals.
Other household and rural wastes should also be recycled or disposed of at properly managed landfill sites. Many products today contain materials that release toxins when disposed of (for example most electronic equipment contains heavy metals) and landfill sites are managed in ways to help stop toxins leaking into the environment. Dumping of waste on private land is illegal, with heavy fines applicible, which is enforced by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage for more information visit http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/waste/s143questions.htm
Burning off waste is controlled under the Protection of the Environment Operation Act1997 and its regulation, the Protection of the Environment Operations (Clean Air) Regulation2002. The regulation provides a general obligation to stop or minimise air pollution. Itprohibits burning some articles, including tyres and certain preservative treated timbers,and allows burning of vegetation (on the property where it grew) in the course of carryingout agricultural operations. In some council areas restrictions apply to burning off and it is recommended that you know what these are before you light your first match. Always check with the local Rural Fire Service before you start any burning activities, and never burn off when there is a total fire ban or when the fire danger is high.
Stock and Large Animals
Transport of large dead animals to appropriate disposal sites may require commercial disposal services. Ask your Veterinarian, Local Council, Rural Supplier or a neighbour about such services or other disposal methods.