Managing Bushfire Waste: Debris clean-up

Updated Thursday March 4, 2020


Click here to view clean-up schedule


What are the steps in getting my waste and debris cleared?

  • If you haven’t already, please register your waste needs with us. If you have registered you do not need to register again.
  • Once registered your property will be assessed for urgent issues like asbestos and CCA timber ash. Your property may already have been assessed and treated with a chemical to contain the asbestos.
  • GISA contactors will contact you to confirm your consent and a time when they will come and remove asbestos containing material. Asbestos, along with the rubble and demolished property cannot be separated safely, so all of the material will be removed and sent to a secure landfill.
  • GISA contractors are also being tasked with removing bushfire waste and debris after the clearing of material and properties that present an immediate public health risk (such as asbestos or CCA ash). This waste removal process is still being planned and rolled out. We appreciate the urgency, but we ask that people be patient as we organise to collect waste and debris in the coming weeks. Timelines and updates will be published on this website and on the DHS Recovery website as dates and times become available.
  • GISA contractors have organised centralised bins for materials like polypipe and irrigation dripline and burnt fence posts where you can drop off items. You can access these locations through your local recovery centres to address these sorts of wastes without needing to wait.

What will be covered under this clean-up?

Fire-affected materials including:

  • bricks
  • rubble and demolition waste
  • e-waste
  • metal sheeting
  • metal tanks
  • plastic rain water tanks
  • fencing materials
  • polypipe and irrigation materials
  • vehicles

Metal that may still be recyclable will be assessed on a case-by-case basis on your property. In many cases, even if fire-affected, metals can be recovered and recycled for cash­—you are encouraged to contact a local metal recycler to organise this kind of collection from your property. Where it’s not possible to separate it from other waste, it will be collected as part of the clean-up.

Will property owners have to pay for any part of the clean-up?

No it will not cost you anything for the Government to remove bushfire affected waste. Regardless of your insurance status, The South Australian Government will cover the full clean-up cost for eligible property owners: that is, properties that are used as residences, or for small business or primary production as defined in the guidelines for Bushfire Recovery Grants for Small Business and Primary Producers.
For these definitions visit and

How will the waste get collected?

A mix of services is being coordinated to best address the complexities of waste clean-up. These include collection from properties and central drop-off points. Make sure you have registered with Green Industries SA so you can be contacted.

Green waste is not covered by this clean-up and what do I do about it?

Local councils have organised free green waste drop-off days in response to the fires:

I registered ages ago, why hasn’t my property been cleared yet?

The waste clean-up process after a bushfire is complex, and we are working hard to make sure the best solutions are in place. The maps above show just how big the areas affected by fires are. Properties with bushfire waste are being grouped together, so that local contractors can efficiently roll out the clean-up process. Please be patient and be sure that if you have registered with Green Industries SA, your property is in line for clean-up.

I organised clean-up on my own already. Can I be reimbursed?

Anyone affected by the bushfires who has incurred costs for clean-up as outlined in this FAQ under “What will be covered in this clean-up?” can discuss potential reimbursement with their Local Recovery Coordinator.

This includes property owners who have organised clean-up through their private insurance. For reimbursement of clean-up costs to be considered, property owners will need to:

  • Have sustained damage to physical building structures or vehicles on their property (not green waste)
  • Demonstrate the materials were bushfire-affected
  • Provide evidence of the costs and payment associated with the clean-up
  • Have not received other government assistance for clean-up.

I am going ahead with my own clean-up. Can I be reimbursed?

The public announcement that State and Federal government would cover the costs of clean-up was made on 12 February 2020, with promotion through South Australian media, local recovery community newsletters, Recovery Centres, and social media.

If you can demonstrate a private arrangement was already in place—and paid for—before midnight Sunday 23 February 2020, reimbursement will be considered subject to the conditions noted above under “I organised clean-up on my own already”.

If you intend to initiate private clean-up after midnight Sunday 23 February 2020, you will not be able to access any reimbursement.

Click here to download the bushfire waste clean-up factsheet (PDF, 195Kb)