Sandbag tips, advice and disposal

Using sandbags

Many Aucklanders are looking for ways to prevent new or additional damage to property. We know sandbagging is one of the ways to minimise the impacts of water damage, however it’s important to understand their limitations also. 

If you think sandbags will help reduce the impact of flooding at your place, get ready now.

Sandbags and sand can be purchased from hardware suppliers.

Information on how to correctly use sandbags can be found in this fact sheet: Guide to sandbag use for properties at risk from king tides and coastal storms


How to dispose of sandbags 

The method of disposal of sandbags depends on whether they have come into contact with flood water or not. 

If flood water has passed through your sandbags

  • They should be disposed of in a landfill. You can take these to your nearest waste transfer station, visit the Auckland City Council Transfer Stations page for details. Charges may apply. 
  • Contaminated sandbags and their contents should not be reused.  
  • Contaminants might include sewage or septic waste, animal waste, oil and gasoline residue, lawn chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, or other hazardous chemicals.  
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment when handling and ensure areas that have come into contact with contaminated sandbags are disinfected. 

If flood water has not passed through your sandbags

You can either keep your sandbags or dispose of them. 

If you wish to keep them, they may be stored on your property for reuse. However, mould can become a problem if they are wet. If your sandbags have come into contact with rain or sea water you can wash the bags with hot soapy water, dry well in the sun for a few days and store in a clean dry place out of the sun.

Uncontaminated sand (contents of the sandbag) may be reused on your property, i.e., for lawns and garden beds, assuming the material is not used to fill a wetland or other protected area.  

Clean empty bags may be reused or disposed of in your rubbish bin.

If you wish to dispose of them, uncontaminated full sandbags may be dropped off at the Waitākere Refuse Transfer Station, 50 The Concourse, Henderson for reuse. Charges may apply. 

Sandbags placed on the kerbside will not be picked up as a part of your normal weekly collection or as part of the kerbside flood waste collection.