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Recycling your food waste

Recycling food waste in the weekly green bin is an easy and effective way to live more sustainably.

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Rather than sending food scraps to landfill where they rot and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, food recycled in the green bin creates compost that is used to nourish soils on Victorian farms, parks and gardens.

If everyone in Glen Eira recycled their food waste we could save an estimated 25,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually — that’s equivalent to taking more than 6000 cars off the road each year. Thank you for putting your food waste to good use!

How to recycle food waste

Recycling your food waste is easy – here’s how!

  1. Keep any scraps or food waste separate from your general waste by using a food collection container in the kitchen. Glen Eira households can collect a free kitchen caddy or simply repurpose a container you already have at home, such as an ice cream tub or takeaway food container.
  2. Empty the collection container into your green bin regularly. We recommend emptying the container into your outside green bin every 2-3 days.
  3. Put your green bin out for collection every week, even if it is not full. Green food and garden waste bins are emptied every week to help make it easier to recycle food waste.

Collect a kitchen caddy

Free kitchen caddies are available to help you put your food waste in the green bin. Please contact 03 9524 3333 to organise collection if your household does not have one. Our kitchen caddies are dishwasher safe.

Recycling food waste is easy — just put them in a kitchen caddy and then empty the caddy contents into your green bin with your garden waste.

What can I put in the green bin?

A good rule of thumb is that if it’s part of something edible, it should go in your green bin! This includes:

  • fruit and vegetables scraps (including citrus, onion and pips)
  • dairy products and egg shells
  • processed and cooked foods
  • meat and seafood scraps (including bones and shells) 
  • rice, pasta and bread
  • coffee grounds and loose leaf tea
  • spoiled or rotten food.

Then there’s also a few non-edible items that can go in your green bin too, such as:

  • newspaper
  • paper towel
  • small paper bags
  • napkins and tissues
  • garden waste
  • pea straw or hay.

These ‘dry materials’ are great to use as layers in the green bin or to wrap scraps in.

Any other non-edible items should be kept out of your green bin, even if they are labelled compostable or biodegradable. This includes food packaging, plastic or compostable bags, nappies, pet waste or kitty litter. See What goes in my bins?  for a detailed list of accepted and unaccepted items or search using our A-Z Rubbish or recyclable guide.

Wrapping food waste and lining your kitchen caddy

If you would like to wrap up any food waste before placing it in the green bin, you can use newspaper, paper towel or small paper bags — these items can go straight in your green bin with your food and garden waste.

A sheet of newspaper makes a great liner for your kitchen caddy. If you don’t have any newspapers at home, try collecting and reusing old Glen Eira News editions as a caddy liner. They’re delivered to you monthly and are free!

There are also some paper caddy liner products on the market that are specifically designed to fit inside a kitchen caddy.

Handy tip: drain off any liquid before wrapping up moist foods.

What paper bags can go in the green bin?

Using paper bags can help keep food contained if that is your preference. It can be helpful if you’re new to food waste recycling and used to putting food into a garbage bag. Simply put food leftovers inside a paper bag and then scrunch it closed. The bag of food can then go into your kitchen caddy or straight into your green bin. There are also paper liner products available that are made to fit a kitchen caddy.

Paper bags can go in the green bin if they:

  • are made of thin paper,
  • are no bigger than a kitchen caddy,
  • have no waxy or plastic coating, and
  • have no handles.

Examples of accepted bags are:

  • brown paper lunch bags
  • paper kitchen caddy liners
  • mushroom produce bags.

Supermarket shopping bags and food delivery service bags cannot go in your green bin because they are too large and are made of thick paper. These large paper bags can be reused or recycled in your yellow bin.

Not sure if your paper bag is acceptable? We can help you! Send us a message on Facebook or email us at recyclingandwaste@gleneira.vic.gov.au

Compostable or biodegradable bin liners

Compostable or biodegradable ‘plastic’ bin liners cannot be used in Glen Eira’s green bin. Compostable liners are not compatible with the rapid composting process used to turn our food and garden waste into compost in 6-10 days. We will continue to investigate caddy liner options as they become available.

Tips for using your green bin

  • Put your green bin out for collection every week so it can be emptied. Even if it is not full, put your green bin out each week to help avoid odours.
  • Use layers of dry materials between food waste. Place an initial layer of garden waste such as dry leaves, grass clippings or garden prunings in the bin to prevent food sticking to the bottom. If you don’t have a garden, you can use layers of newspaper, pea straw or hay. Add more layers of dry material as the bin fills up to act as moisture buffers and contain smells.
  • Keep the bin closed and in a shady spot. Where possible always keep your green bin in the shade and make sure the lid stays completely closed.
  • Freeze smelly food scraps. Put particularly smelly foods such as meat, dairy and seafood in a container in the fridge or freezer until the night before collection.

Food waste questions

I don't have a green bin — how do I order one?

To order a green bin, please contact us on recyclingandwaste@gleneira.vic.gov.au or 9524 3333 (including renters).

If you live in a residence with shared bins, please ask your owners corporation to contact us. We will work with them to ensure that your property has appropriate waste services and bin capacity.

Can I use compostable or biodegradable liners in the green bin?

Compostable or biodegradable bin liners cannot be used in Glen Eira’s green bin, even plant-based liners made from vegetable or corn starch. Compostable liners are not compatible with the rapid composting process used to turn our food and garden waste into compost in 6-10 days. So, the processing facility does not accept them and will send any material in a compostable caddy liner to landfill.

We will continue to investigate caddy liner options when they become available

For now, we want to ensure that as much as our food and garden waste is composted as possible, and that the compost we create from our food waste is of the highest quality and free of contamination, as it is used on Victorian agriculture, parks and gardens.

You can wrap your food scraps or line your kitchen caddy with newspaper, paper towel or plain paper bags (such as mushroom produce bags). There are also paper liner products that are especially designed for kitchen caddies.

Many residents in Glen Eira report really good results with newspaper or paper towel, especially when liquids are drained off before wrapping in newspaper and when food scraps are layered with garden waste.

Can I get my green bin cleaned?

If you would like to have your green bin professionally cleaned, we have negotiated an arrangement with The Bin Butlers who can offer you a competitive price on their bin cleaning. This offer is available to all Glen Eira residents with bin sizes up to and including 360L.

If you would like to book a bin cleaning service, contact Bin Butlers directly on 1300 788 123 or visit thebinbutlers.com.au*

To receive your discount when booking online:

  • go to website and click on shop
  • choose 1 OFF BIN CLEANING SERVICE
  • choose your options
  • go to cart or checkout
  • add your coupon code
  • your coupon code will be your postcode-40% (eg. 3204-40%)

*By accessing this link you will be leaving the Glen Eira City Council’s website. If you engage The Bin Butlers’ services, you will be entering into a separate transaction with The Bin Butlers, which is subject to The Bin Butlers’ terms and conditions of use. Glen Eira City Council is not a party to and does not accept responsibility for any transaction between The Bin Butlers and its customers and is not liable for any loss or damage resulting from use of The Bin Butlers’ website or services provided by The Bin Butlers.

What happens to my food and garden waste?

Food and garden waste is turned into compost at a commercial facility in Dandenong South. It is then used on farms, parks and gardens to improve soil. Visit the Back to Earth website for more information on where this compost is used in Victoria. Council also uses it on our parks and gardens

What if I already have compost at home?

We encourage you to continue with your own composting. Our service complements home composting, as our commercial facility accepts animal bones, meat, citrus peel and dairy, which aren't recommended for most home composting.

If you want to set up your own compost system, visit our home composting page or Sustainability Victoria’s composting at home guide.

How often will you collect food waste?

The green waste bin is collected every week. See our rubbish and recycling calendar for bin collection days.

Why use a kitchen caddy?

A kitchen caddy makes it easier to collect scraps as you prepare food. You can use your own container if you prefer.

Will my kitchen caddy or green bin smell?

To reduce any smells:

  • wrap food waste in newspaper or paper towel
  • empty your caddy into your green bin every two or three days
  • wash the caddy at least once a week – it’s dishwasher-safe
  • sprinkle bicarbonate of soda in your kitchen caddy
  • layer lawn clippings, garden prunings, newspaper or hay in your green bin
  • keep your caddy and green bin closed and don’t overfill them
  • keep your green bin in the shade
  • keep seafood and meat scraps in the freezer until collection day.

Where can I collect my kitchen caddy?

You can collect your kitchen caddy from the Town Hall service desk. First call our Customer Service Centre on 9524 3333.

Can businesses have their food waste collected and composted?

No. Our food recycling service doesn’t cater for commercial quantities of food waste.

We’re reviewing the long-term waste service needs of our higher density population and activity centres.

If I live in an apartment, can I use the green bin for food waste?

Yes, if your apartment block uses our garbage service. We can’t offer the service if a private contractor collects your rubbish.

  • Recycle food waste in your green bin

  • McKinnon resident Diane Shonberg on Food Waste Recycling

  • The Back to Earth Initiative


 

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