Cockatoos and your kerbside bins


Sulphur-crested cockatoos are clever, and can be destructive in some situations.

They have figured out how to open bins to forage for food (sometimes working together), and as they search through the bin they also spill waste onto the street.

They are also known to cause damage to homes by chewing on timber and cables.

We are investigating what we hope will be a permanent solution to help prevent cockatoos from opening bins and spreading waste. Residents can also help by following our suggested tips.

Follow these tips to protect kerbside bins from cockatoos

  1. Do not overfill bins. Ensure the bin lid can easily close. Bags of household waste sitting next to bins are easy targets for cockatoos, and also will not be picked up by the collectors. If it doesn’t fit in the bin, wait until the next collection or take it to a transfer station. Find your closest transfer station

  2. Your bin may be fitted with a rubber strap or latch that secures the lid to the body of the bin. Make sure the strap is securely attached or the latch is engaged before you put the bin out on the kerbside to be emptied. This may only deter the cockatoos for a limited time. Other changes to bin lids are being investigated, we hope these changes will permanently prevent the cockatoos from getting in the bins.

  3. Use the rubber strap or latch if you store your bin outside your garage between collections. This will discourage birds from foraging in the bin and spreading bin contents in your garden.

  4. Place bins out on the kerbside the night before, or by 5am of the morning of your collection day. Under Council’s Local Law, penalties apply for bins left on the kerbside for extended periods.

  5. Please don’t feed the cockatoos:
  • Expecting to be fed by humans, cockatoos are becoming aggressive and pestering people for food.
  • Eating food waste can make cockatoos sick.
  • Wild bird seed mix encourages cockatoos, king parrots, and other wildlife to become dependent on humans for their survival and may cause nutrient deficiencies. Wildlife need to teach their young how to forage for a variety of food.
  • Hand-fed cockatoos are bored cockatoos. When cockatoos don’t need to forage for their natural foods, they use their extra “leisure time” chewing on buildings or opening the neighbour’s bin lid.

Please pick up any litter at your property that has been spilled on the road or kerbside by birds and other wildlife.

We have has recently increased resources to help with litter problems.

Report issues directly by lodging a request online (the quickest and easiest way) or by calling us on 5261 0600.

Other important advice about cockatoos

  1. Cockatoos are a protected native species under the Wildlife Act 1975 and it is an offence to injure or kill them.

  2. Feeding allows for the easy spread of disease between birds, such as Psittacine Beak and Feather disease, and also from birds to humans.

  3. Leaving food out for birds encourages pests such as mice, rats and introduced species, as well as feral predators like feral cats and foxes.


Read more tips on cockatoos