FAQs

Firewood

Q: What species is your firewood?
A: Our firewood is Pilliga - known as the 'Rolls Royce' of firewood, because it is slow burning with high heat output, minimal ash and little smoke. Pilliga is a region of New South Wales where trees grow slowly (growth rings are close together), making the firewood denser and slow burning - the hardest of hardwoods.

Q: How big are your pieces of firewood?
A: They vary, but on average our standard firewood size is around the size of a loaf of bread. We use a dedicated firewood tumbler - a piece of equipment that cleans the wood and sorts it into more accurate sizes, discarding dust, debris and smaller pieces - ensuring you pay for wood, not debris.

Q: How dry is your firewood?
A: Our firewood is aged to have a moisture content of less than 25%, which is the level recommended by the FAA.

Q: How big is your ‘stove size’ firewood?
A: ‘Stove size’ firewood is a smaller product, with pieces around the size of half a French stick. These smaller pieces save you splitting the wood and are ideal for small fireplaces & stoves. Again, these will be cleaned, sorted and sized in our tumbler.

Q: How is your firewood packaged?
A: Our firewood is available in 20 kilo bags - which most people can carry - or in 500 kilo bulk bags, delivered by crane truck, which will place the bag in a convenient spot for you. The 500 kilo bags of standard size work out as the cheapest option, working out at just under 50c per kilo of firewood, which you can further reduce with our online, quantity or other discounts (stove size works out at just under 60c per kilo and 20kg bags at under $1.00 per kilo).

Q: How much firewood do I need for winter?
A: This varies between individuals, but as a guide, our customers who use a fireplace, tile fire or slow combustion stove every weekend, plus intermittently during the week, usually go through four bulk bags of wood each winter.

Q: How much kindling should I order?
A: This depends on how often you light your fire, but typically we sell two bags of kindling for each bulk bag of firewood.

Q: Why do you sell firewood by weight, and not by the cubic metre?
A: Weight is the best and fairest way to sell firewood. Selling by the cubic metre can be unreliable, because you also pay for the air in between the pieces of wood. The way the firewood is stacked – for example, in a loose pile, or stacked in tight rows will make a difference to the amount that you get. With weight, 500kg is 500kg and any gaps between pieces will make no difference. We weigh our bags on a trade-approved certified scale so you can be sure that you are getting full value for money. The FAA commented in a recent article: “Because all dry firewood contains approximately the same amount of energy (19-21 MJ/Kg), buying by weight is a good way of ensuring that you get the same amount of heat from every load, regardless of species or wood density. Buying by weight is the safest method as you know what you are getting...”The government’s fair trading site explains more about ways of selling firewood, click here to find out more.

Q: How can I compare prices on firewood when suppliers use different measures?
A: The only way to be sure you are getting what you are paying for is to compare weights. Many firewood merchants sell by load, crate, truck or wheelbarrow, which are not trade-approved units of measure. We always ensure that you get what you pay for by selling by weight, with every bulk bag weighed to check it contains 500 kilos - not approximate or roughly, but guaranteed. Dust, sawdust and the smallest pieces of wood are filtered out in the loading process so you know you are paying for wood, not waste.

Q: What are bulk bags?
A: These are large poly woven bags measuring 900 x 900 x 1200cm high, containing 500 kilos of firewood and with a flap on the top to protect the firewood from the elements. These bags are specially ventilated to allow air to continue to dry out your already seasoned firewood and be ready for burning. As well as simplifying delivery, bulk bags provide a convenient, no-mess way for you to store your firewood. When the bags are empty they can be used for composting garden waste or storing things. You can also fill them (like a skip bin) with rubbish or junk and call us to have it taken away - find out more about our skip bin collection service on this page

Q: What is a "SmartBurn"?
A: A "SmartBurn" is a pollution reduction device that maximises the heat you get from your fuel and reduces smoke haze and particulate emissions. It will also clean your chimney and flue, removing soot and flammable sap deposits, reducing the risk of fire. It's easy to use - simply lay it at the bottom of your fireplace. SmartBurn has won many awards and benefits both the environment and you!

Q: Do you ever sell recycled firewood, like old railway sleepers?
A: No, we never sell recycled firewood, because we are concerned about the dangers this might pose. Some railway sleepers and other pre-used wood products have been treated with arsenic or creosote and other dangerous chemicals. Railway sleepers may also have absorbed oil, paint or other products that might cause fumes or unexpected sparks from your fire. BC Sands firewood is a safe, slow-burning wood from a sustainable source.

Q: Do you offer the discounted delivery option to areas?
A: Yes we deliver to Bundeena, Maianbar and Helensburgh, on Wednesdays

Firewood Delivery

Q: What areas do you deliver to?
A: We deliver to the greater Sydney region. We sometimes deliver larger quantities to other areas - call us on (02) 8543 3401 to discuss.

Q: Why should I buy from an FAA member?
A: FAA (Firewood Association of Australia) members are committed to using sustainable firewood that meets both environmental and usage criteria. BC Sands is proud to be a FAA member, to meet all the requirements of their approval program and to follow their code of practice, which includes ensuring our firewood supply is environmentally sustainable, is seasoned and ready to burn, and complies with trade measurement regulations.

Q: How far can your crane trucks lift the bulk bags?
A: Our crane trucks will fit down most domestic driveways (2.7m or 9 feet needed for access) and the crane has a three metre reach, so the operator can usually put the bag in a convenient location for you. Depending on access, our crane trucks can also lift your firewood over side or back fences. You can store your firewood in the bag, just taking out what you need, when you need it.

Q: What does 'non-peak delivery, normally between 7am and 3pm' mean?
A: When you choose this option, we will deliver your firewood during periods that avoid traffic congestion around your area on the specified day. We load our trucks with multiple deliveries and the driver unloads along the most efficient and time-saving route - and we pass that saving on to you. If you really need your firewood at a specific time then it is best to select the 'specified date/time delivery' option.

Q: Can I share the delivery cost with my neighbour?
A: Yes, if you and your neighbour order together for the same delivery time, then will only charge a single delivery cost. If your neighbour is a new customer for us, then we will give you a 5% discount off your next order - see next question. Please note that you will need to phone us on (02) 8543 3401 to arrange this type of delivery.

Q: Do I get a reward for referrals?
A: Yes, like many businesses, ours thrives on word of mouth! If you are happy with our firewood and service, please let us know about any other firewood users that you know and if they place an order with us, we will give you a 5% discount off your next order.

Q: Can I pick up my firewood to save on delivery costs?
A: Yes, you can pick up 20 kilo bags, a boot load of 125 kilos, a ute load of 250 kilos or a bulk bag of 500 kilos from either our Mascot or Taren Point outlets. You can also borrow our courtesy trailer, which can handle a weight of up to 750 kilos (deposit required). Please note that if you are picking up your own firewood, you should order over the phone on (02) 8543 3401, as our online shop automatically adds delivery costs!

Landscaping

Q: How do I know how much mulch I need?
A: We recommend that you use mulch to a depth of 75-100mm (10cm). For 10cm coverage over an area of 1m2 you would need two of our 60 litre bags. So the first thing to do is to measure your garden bed to work out the area you want to cover in square metres. (Length x width will give you the measurement in square metres, e.g. if your bed is 3m long and 2m wide, 3m x 2m = 6m2.) Then multiply that by two to work out how many 60 litre bags you need – in our example 6 x 2 = 12 bags.If you discover that you need 1000 litres or more, then you might want to think about ordering a 1m3 bulk bag (which equals 1000 litres), or asking for your mulch to be delivered loose in bulk. Both of these methods will save you money compared to buying the smaller bags, although the smaller bags may be easier for you to transport around your garden. An even easier, and faster, way to spread large quantities of mulch is to have us blow it for you. A bark blower has a 100m-long hose that can easily access sloping or awkward sites. And it distributes the mulch almost five times faster than a man can spread it!


Q: How do I know how many pebbles I need?
A: We recommend approximately 50mm coverage over 1m2, depending on the size of the pebble. Pebbles are sold in 20 kilo bags and to cover 1m2 to a depth of 50mm, we recommend using approximately 4 bags. So the first thing to do is to measure your garden bed to work out the area you want to cover in square metres. (Length x width will give you the measurement in square metres, e.g. if your bed is 3m long and 2m wide, 3m x 2m = 6m2.) Then multiply that by four to work out how many 20 kilo bags you need – in our example 6 x 4 = 24 bags.If you discover that you need 1000 kg or more, then you might want to think about ordering a one tonne bulk bag (which equals 1000kg), or asking for your pebbles to be delivered loose. Both of these methods will save you money compared to buying the smaller bags, although the smaller bags may be easier for you to transport around your garden.

 

Mulches

Q: Is any specific type of mulch better at stopping weeds?
A: No mulch can completely stop weed growth, however wood chips like our Wood Chip or Red Wood Chip make it harder for them to grow. Most mulches will deter weeds if thick enough. If you use a depth of 75-100mm (7.5-10 cm) then you should only have to pull out the biggest or more persistent weeds.

Q: How long will my mulch last?
A: It depends on the type of mulch that you use. Leaf Mulch breaks down within a year or so, but Wood Chip can last a few years. Most people put down new mulch every year to give their garden a fresh, clean look in spring. However, under the new layer, your old mulch is still working for you – as it breaks down and decomposes it will enrich your soil.

Q: Does mulch help my soil to retain moisture?
A: Yes – mulch will help keep your soil dark and cool. The thicker the layer, the more effective it will be. Water the soil thoroughly before you lay down your mulch. If you water your garden after laying your mulch, remember to water very thoroughly so that the water can make its way through the mulch into the soil. You are still saving water, though, because the mulch will make the most of every drop you put into your garden, so you shouldn’t need to water so often.

Q: What is ‘Soft Landing’?
A: This is a fine, soft pine mulch, designed for use in playgrounds and under trampolines. Our Soft Landing is Australian Standard certified as suitable for these purposes, when installed to standards – but you can also use it as general garden mulch.

Q: If I put mulch next to my house, will it attract termites?
 A: We don’t recommend that you put mulch right up against your house, or any wooden structure. In fact, pest controllers recommend that you keep all garden beds away from your house. If you are worried about termites, you might like to try Cypress Mulch – while we love the smell, termites hate it!

Q: Is the dye in red wood chip natural?
A: Our Red Wood Chip is dyed with environmentally-friendly dye. The colour is long-lasting, but will gradually fade with exposure to sun and other elements.

Q: My garden is mostly natives; should I use a special type of mulch?
A: Avoid phosphorus-rich mulches, such as manures, but other than that you can use most types of mulch with a native garden – the choice is purely the look you prefer! Leaf Mulch gives a natural ‘native’ look, while Pine Bark, Cypress Mulch and Eucy Mulch will create a more formal or traditional look.
 

Soils

Q: What’s the difference between Organic Garden Mixand Native Organic Garden Mix?
A: Native Organic Garden Mix has been created specifically to suit Australian native plants which are adapted to our phosphorus-low soils. Using a normal garden mix which includes phosphorus is not beneficial to these plants. Our Native Organic Garden Mix will give Australian plants just want they need! Our Organic Garden Mix can be used for all other types of plants and we also offer a special vegetable mix for your vegetables.

Q: How do I use Premium Lawn Builder?
A: Our Premium Lawn Builder is a very versatile product. To top dress your lawn, simply scatter over and distribute with a lawn leveler to a depth of around 15mm, and then water thoroughly (or apply just before rain is due and let the rain do that for you!). It can also be used as a lawn underlay when you are laying a new lawn (use a depth of 75-100mm), or as an additive for garden beds.

Q: Why would I want to buy soil? My garden is full of it!
A: Unfortunately in our area you’re likely to find that your existing garden soil is not always the best quality. Beautiful plants and lawn need a good growing medium to be at their best. Enriching your garden with new soil and/or fertilizers is one way of making sure your garden grows beautifully. For an existing garden, digging in VitaGrow can help make the most of your plants. We also have special Planter Box Mixes for enclosed planter boxes and raised garden beds, and a potting mix for pots.
 

Pebbles

Q: Can weeds grow through pebbles?
A: Weeds can grow through almost anything! However, to make life hard for them, give any existing weeds a quick spray with weedkiller, avoiding any existing plants, then lay down a layer of fine mulch, followed by a thick layer of pebbles.

Q: What’s the best type of stone or gravel to use for a driveway or path?
A: It’s largely up to you and the look you prefer, but smaller stones are best for this purpose, for pathways around 5-10mm and for driveways around 20mm. Avoid round smooth stones, which won’t compact into a solid base. Crushed products like Crushed Tile or Decomposed Granite, which keep a firm base once compacted, are ideal. We also sell Road Base which is the perfect material to use under a decorative gravel driveway. Use a depth of at least 100mm road base and a layer of at least 50mm of your decorative gravel.

Q: Can I just put gravel on top of my old concrete driveway?
A: Unfortunately if you do this, you will find that the gravel tends to move around, exposing the concrete underneath. It can also be quite dangerous for people to walk on.

Q: Do you sell polished pebbles?
A: Yes, we have a wide range of polished pebbles in colours ranging from black to white, and lots of colours in between!
 

Turf

Q: Do you sell turf other than Sir Walter?
A: We have a wide range of turf for all kinds of different purposes! Sir Walter is one of the most popular domestic turfs on the market – you can read more about it at the Sir Walter web site. However, we also sell Couch, Kikuya, Matilda, Palmetto, Shademaster, Santa Ana, Sapphire and can order other turfs in as required. Take a look at our turf range here.
 

Purchasing and Delivery

Q: Do you deliver and is there a minimum quantity?
A: There is no minimum delivery quantity if you pay the full cost of delivery. We offer discounted delivery for off peak orders of $200 or over – please see our delivery calculator for more information (nb this only works if you have something in your shopping cart!).  We sometimes deliver larger quantities to other areas - call us on (02) 8543 3401 to discuss.

Q: How soon can you deliver?
A: When do you want it?! In most cases (80%) we can deliver on the day you order or you can choose a time to suit you (although this may not qualify for the discounted delivery rate). Discounted deliveries normally take place within 24-48 hours, other than in the areas where have specific delivery days.

Q: Do I get a discount for ordering online?
A: Yes - we discount all purchases from our online shop by 2.5%.

Q: Do I get a discount if I buy more than one thing at a time?
A: If you buy multiple bags of the same item, you may qualify for a quantity discount. You will also minimise your delivery cost.

Q: What days do you deliver?
A: In the greater Sydney region, we deliver seven days a week in spring & six days per week between May & August. We usually can offer next day delivery, depending on the area. There is a surcharge for Sunday delivery.  We sometimes deliver larger quantities to other areas - call us on (02) 8543 3401 to discuss.

Q: How far can your crane trucks lift the bulk bags?
A: Our crane trucks will fit down most domestic driveways (2.7m or 9 feet needed for access) and the crane has a three metre reach, so the operator can usually put the bag in a convenient location for you. Depending on access, our crane trucks can also lift bags over side or back fences. We also have a crane with a 13m reach. Please ring for details on (02) 8543 3401.

Q: What does 'off-peak delivery mean?
A: When you choose this option, we will deliver during periods that avoid peak hour congestion around your area on the specified day, often the afternoon, although this may vary. Practically what happens is that we load our trucks up with multiple deliveries and the driver unloads along the most efficient and time-saving route - and we pass that saving on to you. If you really need your products at a specific time then it is best to select the 'specified date/time delivery' option.

Any more questions? Please send us an email at Sales at BC Sands and we’ll answer you within 24 hours!



Skip Bin Bags

Q: How big is a BC Sands Skip Bag?
A: Our bags measure 900 by 900 by 1200 high and can carry up to one tonne in weight.

Q: How do I know what one tonne actually is?
 A: Imagine the bag three quarters full of sand or soil – that’s how heavy a tonne is! If you are filling the bag with something particularly heavy, such as bricks, concrete or metal items, then you might want to leave a bigger gap at the top to be sure that you are below the weight limit. Most domestic waste should be fine.

Q: What can I put in my bag?
A: Most construction, garden and domestic waste is fine, including building, DIY and renovation waste, lawn clippings, garden waste, sand and soil, rocks, household goods and furniture, cardboard, empty paint cans, household appliances – doors removed, carpet and mattresses (must fit completely in bag).

Q: What can’t I put in my bag?
A: Glass or anything with sharp edges that might tear the bag, any liquid waste, including paint cans with paint in them, oil or things which have contained oil, batteries, tyres, propane or gas tanks, fluorescent tubes, anything containing asbestos, poisons, chemicals or toxic waste, and food waste.

Q: Can I fill the bag in my back garden?
A: Only if your garden has easy, open access to a driveway or street. Our crane trucks need 3m of clear, open space to operate their crane. However, they are small enough to use a standard driveway.

Pricing and payment

 
Q: What about the pick up costs?
A: The pick up price for BC Sands Skip Bin Bags is the web price, plus cartage (varies depending on distance). To get a quote for your suburb, visit our online shop, put a skip bin bag pick up in your shopping cart, then click on 'estimate delivery' and enter your suburb. (You do not have to enter any personal details to do this, nor will it commit you to any purchase).

Q: How do I pay for pick up?
A: When you are ready for your bag to be picked up, please call us on (02) 8543 3402 or request it online. Please have your credit card ready to make payment.

Q: Can I pay for my pick up when you collect the bag?
A: No, we’re sorry, but we only take payment by credit card in advance.

Pick up

Q: How long will I have to wait for pick up?
A: We aim to be there within 24-48 hours. You do not have to be there for us to pick up the bag/s.

Q: How do you pick up the bag?
A: We use a crane truck with a three metre reach. Please make sure we can pick up your bag by placing it within a three clear metre reach of the road or driveway.
Recycling and reuse

Q: Do you recycle the rubbish?
A: Yes, we recycle as much as we can – and our bags themselves are 100% recyclable.

Q: How often do you reuse the bags?
A: A bag is only used once for rubbish and then it is recycled. If you have purchased a bag with BC Sands product that bears our rubbish bag tag, then you can use it for our rubbish service, after which it will be recycled. Product always leaves our yard in new bags.
Location

Q: I live in Canberra, can I use this service?
A: We’re sorry, but at the moment we only cover Sydney Metro.

Skip Bin Bag Hotline:(02) 8543 3402 We’ll answer you within 24 hours!




Parse Time: 0.828 - Number of Queries: 94 - Query Time: 0.075486478591919