Reducing food waste

Food waste facts

From farm to fork, our food production and consumption has far-reaching environmental and social effects.

From planting and harvesting, to transport, processing, packaging, and distribution, we use up our increasingly scarce resources, negatively impact biodiversity, generate waste, degrade the land, pollute waterways and create greenhouse gas emissions.

Rotting food left in landfills produces methane - a greenhouse gas which is 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide.

Each year Australian households generate around 345kg of food waste, putting Australia amongst the top producing countries of household waste in the world.

Along with this, there is the financial cost to households.

Food waste infographic

1 in 5 bags of food we buy ends up in the bin. This equals $2200 per household per year.

There are lots of reasons why we waste food:

  • We don’t make use of our leftovers
  • We buy and cook too much food, and don’t eat it all
  • We don’t check the cupboard or fridge before going shopping
  • We purchase takeaway instead of cooking the food we have
  • Food is thrown out before the best-before date when it is often still safe and edible

Food waste fact: 

Around 20 - 40% of fruit and vegetables are rejected before they reach the shops because they don’t meet rigorous quality standards, which are usually cosmetic.

Getting food smart

Download our Food Smart booklet(PDF, 558KB)  that has practical tips to help  you plan, shop, cook and store food, and reduce the food you throw into the bin, including:

  • Food storage tips for keeping your food fresh for longer;
  • A food diary to track and measure your food waste; and
  • Love your leftovers with recipe ideas.

Recommended resources for reducing your food waste

Useful resources with tips, recipes, ideas and inspiration on how to make the most of the food you buy, cook, and eat, go to: 

Love Food Hate Waste
Sustainable Table
Save the Food
Just Eat It: a food waste movie
War on Waste (available on ABC  iview)

Compost at home if you can

Home composting is an easy way to deal with your food scraps.  You can also consider a worm farm, Bokashi bin, or backyard chickens.

Take a look at our home composting guide

No space for a compost?  Sharewaste is an excellent option - a free site that connects people who wish to donate their food scraps to their neighbours who are already composting.

The history of food waste

Reducing our food waste isn’t a new concept. Take a look at these old posters from World War II.

The difference to then compared to now is that food was in short supply and had to be preserved.  Now we have abundant food easily accessed at supermarkets. So it’s easy to forget about it or discard it because, for most of us, we can go out and buy more.

The future of food scraps in Glen Eira

The good news is that Council is introducing food waste recycling in 2018. All Glen Eira households that have a green bin will be able to put the food scraps in with their garden waste.

This food scraps and garden waste will be turned into compost for use in parks, gardens, and farms to improve soil, rather than being buried in a landfill.

If you do not have a green bin you can order one online (coming in 2018) or call Council’s Customer Service on 9524 3333. We look forward to bringing you more information on this service.

Keep up to date on the food scrap recycling implementation and all our sustainability events and initiatives, and connect with local residents through our Facebook page Sustainable living in Glen Eira.