Food scrap recycling service

What can and cannot go in the green bin
Reduce and reuse first
Food waste facts
Environmental effects
Compost at home if you can
What happens to my food and garden waste?
FAQs

We have introduced food scrap collection as part of our fortnightly green waste collection service from 1 May 2018. 

Recycling your food waste is easy – just put it in your kitchen caddy, then into your green bin. 

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

Kitchen caddy

Residents with a green waste bin can get a free kitchen caddy for their food waste. Order yours online or phone our Customer Service Centre on 9524 3333.

Your collection services haven’t changed. Along with food, garden waste also still belongs in your green bin.

Garbage bins are emptied every week, and recycling and green bins are emptied every fortnight.

If you don’t have a green-lidded bin, contact us on 9524 3333 to receive one free of charge.

Refer to the collection map to see what day your bins are collected.

 

What can and cannot go in the green bin

What can be put in your green waste bin Do NOT place these in your green waste bin
Fruit and vegetable scraps No plastic bags or packaging of any kind
Egg shells Cigarette butts
Coffee grounds and loose leaf tea Nappies and baby wipes
Meat scraps and bones   Coffee pods and tea bags
Used paper, paper towel and tissues Coffee cups (including compostable)
Dairy leftovers Kitty litter (including biodegradable)
Bread, pasta, cereal and rice Dog or cat droppings
Weeds and flowers Ash and tree stumps
Grass and leaves Glass and metal
Garden prunings  Vacuum dust
  Hair (including pet hair)
  Dishcloths  
  Paper plates
  Biodegradable and compostable bags, cutlery
and plates  
  Wooden icy pole sticks

It’s really important to avoid plastic contamination, as it could end up in the soil that grows our food.

Our A-Z of recycling is regularly updated to include what can and can’t be recycled, including food. It also has information on where you can take waste that is not part of Council’s collection services.

Reduce and reuse first

Taking steps to reduce the amount of food we throw away should be the first option. Download our free booklet Food Smart for practical tips to help to reduce the food you throw into the bin.

Food Smart Booklet(PDF, 3MB)

Recommended resources
Love Food Hate Waste
Sustainable Table
Food Wise

Food waste facts

 In 2016-17 Glen Eira households threw out close to 31,000 tonnes of garbage in total. Based on our audits, around half of this was food waste - 15,000 tonnes a year or 300 tonnes a week.

Food waste infographic 

Along with the financial cost to households, the consequences of food going to landfill are devastating on the environment.

Environmental effects

Rotting food left in landfills creates methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide. Food production, processing, storage and transportation consume vast amounts of energy, water, money and resources. See the story of food from farm to table.

Story of Food Waste(PDF, 120KB)

Compost at home if you can

It’s easy to turn your food scraps into garden food by setting up a compost system that works for you. Take a look at our compost web page and Sustainability Victoria’s composting at home guide.

What happens to my food and garden waste?

Your food and garden waste will be turned into compost that will be used to improve the soil on farms, parks and gardens instead of going to landfill. You can see the story on the Back to Earth website.

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

 

 

FAQs

When does food scrap collection begin?
Food scrap collection commences on 1 May 2018.

How often will food waste be collected?
Your collection services won’t change. Green bins are emptied every fortnight. Once the service commences, we will consult the community about collection frequency. Depending on community feedback collection frequency could be changed.

When will my caddy be delivered?

Pre-ordered caddies will be delivered mid-end April 2018. From 1 May, caddies will be delivered within a week of ordering. Your caddy will be left in a secure location where possible. If it can’t be left securely, a card will be placed in your mailbox advising the attempted delivery and you will need to collect your caddy from Town Hall.

Why use a kitchen caddy?
A kitchen caddy is easy to use and saves you going out to the green bin every time you have food waste to recycle. Just put your food scraps straight into your caddy, and when it’s full, tip it into your green bin.The kitchen caddy is dishwasher safe. You can use a container of choice if you don’t want a kitchen caddy.

Won’t the kitchen caddy/green bin smell?
We don’t anticipate that smells will be any more or less than your kitchen bin and garbage bin when food scraps are put in there. To reduce any smells:

  • Food waste can be wrapped in a sheet of paper towel or newspaper
  • Empty your kitchen caddy into your green bin every two or three days
  • Wash your caddy at least once a week - they are dishwasher safe
  • Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda in your kitchen caddy and green bin
  • Layer lawn clippings and other garden prunings, shredded newspaper or hay to your green bin
  • Keep the lids closed on your kitchen caddy and green bin and don’t overfill them
  • Keep your green bin in the shade
  • Seafood and meat scraps can be kept in the freezer and taken out before bin collection day

Can businesses have their food waste collected and composted?
Food businesses will not be eligible to recycle their food waste using Council’s green waste bin. Council’s new food waste recycling service is not intended for commercial quantities of food waste material.

Victorian food safety laws regulate how waste material generated by a food business is stored and managed at their premises. All food businesses are required to comply with these laws to prevent problems associated with contamination, uncleanliness, odour and pests at their premises.

Council officers will be undertaking a review of long term waste service needs for our higher density population and activity centres in 2018-19.

Why should I use the green bin for food waste?
Glen Eira residents are encouraged to use this service to help reduce the amount of food waste we send to landfill. This will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste management costs.

  • Left in landfills, rotting food waste creates methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide. This has a terrible environmental impact.
  • Sending waste to landfill costs Council (and therefore the community) a lot of money. Diverting food waste from landfill will save on these costs.
  • Food waste is a huge problem globally. This is our chance to make a significant difference at a community level and lead the way for change at a regional level.

I don’t have a green bin
Each house in Glen Eira is entitled to have a free green bin with each waste service. Additional bins can be arranged for $30 per year. Green waste bins are available in large (240 litre) or small (120 litre) sizes.

Can I use compostable/biodegradable bags for my food waste?
No. The facility that processes our green waste does not accept any plastic bags, including compostable or biodegradable bags. These bags do not break down in the process used by the facility that takes our food and garden waste. Bags of any kind will contaminate the compost that goes to farms, parks and gardens. Please only use a sheet of newspaper or paper towel to wrap food waste.

Can I wrap my food waste before it goes in the green bin?
A single sheet of newspaper, tissue or paper towel are the only acceptable items to wrap food waste in or line your kitchen caddy with. Please remove all food packaging and wrapping and dispose of these in your garbage bin or recycling bin - to find out which go to www.gleneira.vic.gov.au/recycling-az.

I already have compost at home.
Residents who compost at home are encouraged to continue to do so. This service can complement home composting. The green waste collection is composted at a commercial facility. It accepts animal bones, meat, citrus peel and dairy, which aren’t recommended for most home composting methods.

I live in apartment; can I use the green bin for food waste?
Yes, if your apartment block has Council’s garbage service. If the garbage is collected by a private contractor, Council can’t offer this service to your building.

Can animal faeces and hair go in the green bin?
No. Animal faeces contain bacteria that contaminate the green waste. The same applies to kitty litter (even biodegradable and compostable types).

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.