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Food waste recycling FAQs

Our new food waste recycling service allows residents to include food scraps in their fortnightly food and garden waste bin, reducing the amount of waste going to landfill. To help you use the food and garden waste service, we’ve provided answers some of the most commonly asked questions below.

The following items can be placed in your food and garden waste bin: 

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Egg shells
  • Bread scraps 
  • Dairy products
  • Cake scraps
  • Loose tea leaves and coffee grounds
  • Meat and seafood
  • Tissue, serviettes, paper towel and shredded paper
  • Food scraps
  • Small branches
  • Leaves
  • Prunings
  • Grass clippings
  • Flowers
  • Common weeds

The following items cannot be composted at the composting facility. Please ensure they do not end up in your food and garden waste bin.

  • Plastic bags and plastic packaging (including bags, cling wrap, ties)
  • Dog or cat droppings
  • Kitty litter
  • Household garbage and cigarette butts
  • Nappies and baby wipes
  • Coffee pods and disposable coffee cups
  • Tea bags (with a staple or plastic tag)
  • Products labelled as compostable (such as coffee cups, plates and take away containers). Lime green compostable bin liners are ok.
  • Plant pots
  • Tree stumps and ash
  • Vacuum dust
  • Hair (including pet hair)
  • Paper plates and coffee cups
  • Wooden icy pole sticks
  • Tennis balls
  • Metal, glass and plastic recyclables
  • Sharps, medicines, batteries and toys
  • Bricks/concrete/soil
  • Cardboard boxes / pizza boxes

There are many benefits to FOGO and reducing the amount of food waste that ends up in landfill:

  • It will reduce the amount of organic material (food scraps and garden waste) entering landfill - saving landfill space and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • It will save money on rising landfill costs.
  • It will produce a quality compost product that will be used on gardens, parks, farms and open spaces.

Yes, your food and garden waste bin will continue to be emptied fortnightly on the same day as it is currently collected.

You can order a food and garden waste bin online or by calling us on 9217 2170.

Yes, you can opt in to have a food and garden waste bin for a small annual fee of $87.63. To order a food and garden waste bin, order online or call us on 9217 2170.

Order a garden waste bin online.

Yes, all new orders for a food and garden waste bin will also receive a free kitchen caddy and roll of bin liners. 

 

If you are a tenant, talk to your landlord, property manager or agent if you would like a food and garden waste bin. Your landlord will need to give their permission and contact us to order the bin.

Council is paying for the extra cost of recycling food waste. So, although we will save money by not sending it to landfill, there is still a cost to process the food waste and garden waste at the composting facility.

Yes, when you sign up for the kerbside Food and Garden Waste service, Council will supply a one-off FREE kitchen caddy and one roll of 150 compostable bin liners for you to use. The roll of liners should last up to a year, based on a household using 2-3 liners per week.

 

From 2 March 2022, all residential households will be able to collect a free roll of compostable liners annually from the Council Offices - 25 Ferres Blvd South Morang. Residents will need to present their proof of residency (rates notice/driver's licence). All households are entitled to one roll of compostable liners per financial year. 

If you are unable to attend Council Offices during business hours, contact the City of Whittlesea on 9401 0558 or email waste.recycling@whittlesea.vic.gov.au  

You can also purchase compostable liners yourself from most major supermarkets and retail stores such as Bunnings. You will need to ensure they are 100% compostable Australian Certified bags (lime green colour only). The kitchen caddies are 7L, so aim for a bag size of 7L or 8L.

Alternatively, you don't need to use any liners. You can simply place food scraps directly into the food and garden waste bin and give it a wash after each use. You can also use newspaper to line the kitchen caddy to reduce mess in the bins. Newspaper can be recycled in the food and garden waste bin.

The bin liner bags provided to use in your kitchen caddy can sometimes be a little tricky to open properly. They may not seem to open all the way or they may appear have split down the middle. However, if you place the bag in front of you with the arrows up, and then rub the top of the bags between your thumb and forefinger, the sides will separate into a full bag. It’s a little similar to what you would do to the plastic fruit bags at the supermarket. Below is a handy video that may also help you with your bags. 

From 2 March 2022, all residential households will be able to collect a free roll of compostable liners annually from the Council Offices - 25 Ferres Blvd South Morang. Residents will need to present their proof of residency (rates notice/driver's licence). All households are entitled to one roll of compostable liners per financial year. 

If you are unable to attend Council Offices during business hours, contact the City of Whittlesea on 9401 0558 or email waste.recycling@whittlesea.vic.gov.au  

You can also purchase additional compostable bin liners from some supermarkets as well retail stores such as Bunnings. You will need to ensure they are 100% compostable Australian Certified bags (lime green colour only). 

 

No, you do not need to use the caddy bin liners if you do not want to. You can use newspaper or paper towel to line your caddy or you can choose to not using anything and simply place the food scraps loose into the bin.

Our top tips for avoiding smells in your food and garden waste bin are:

  • Keep your food and garden waste bin in the shade.
  • Don’t overfill your bin so that the lid remains closed.
  • Tie a knot at the top of your compostable caddy liners to contain your food waste before placing it in the bin.
  • Wrap food waste in a layer of used paper towel or newspaper.
  • Keep seafood and meat scraps in the freezer until the night before your collection day.
  • Wash your caddy regularly using detergent or eucalyptus oil, or in the dishwasher.
  • Sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) in your caddy of bin to absorb smells.
  • Layer food waste between lawn clippings or garden waste.

It is not uncommon for flies and maggots to be attracted to your green bin as they are attracted to protein sources that may be found in the bin - mostly meat and bones. There is no cause for concern however you can try some of the following tips to avoid them:

  • Drain as much liquid as possible from your food scraps
  • Wrap meat scraps and bones in a sheet of newspaper before putting them in your green bin
  • Freeze meat, fruit and vegetables in newspaper or paper bags and put them in your green bin the night before pick up
  • Alternate layers of kitchen waste with layers of paper product
  • Line the outer rim of your green bin with salt or vinegar
  • Clean your green bin regularly using warm water and mild soap. Wash and rinse your bin on your lawn, not near gutters or storm drains because the rinse water might flow into local creeks and waterways.
  • Keep the bottom of your green bin dry by lining it with newspaper or paper towel to absorb liquid and prevent material from sticking to it.
  • Eliminate or minimize smells by sprinkling your bin with vinegar or baking soda.
  • Store your green bin in a well-ventilated area.

Tips for getting rid of maggots that may be in your green bin:

  • Cover them with lime, sale or vinegar
  • Spray the top and inside of your bin with vinegar. 

If you already compost your food scraps at home, that’s great and we encourage you to continue.

A food and garden waste collection service allows you to easily dispose of a larger variety of food scraps and garden waste than you would be able to compost in a home composting system.  

It can also take organic material that does not easily break down or that needs to be chopped up into smaller pieces at home such as meat, fish, bones, corn cobs, fruit stones and watermelon skins.

The food and garden waste will be transported to SUEZ green waste facility Epping.

After collection, your food and garden waste are taken to a local composting facility – SUEZ green waste facility in Epping, and made into compost using a highly controlled composting process. This process takes 8-10 weeks. The compost will then be used as soil fertiliser in a wide range of settings, including farms, parks, schools and community gardens.

Soil and turf cannot be placed into your food and garden waste bin as it is too heavy for the bins. The weight of soil or turf can cause damage to the truck lift or can cause the bin itself to crack or break. 

If you have soil you need to dispose of that can't be reincorporated into your garden, you can take it Wollert Landfill (charges apply). 

Council supplies one kitchen caddy per household. Unfortunately, if your kitchen caddy breaks over time, Council will not be able to replace it with a new one.

You can use other containers, such as an old ice-cream container or similar to store your food scraps before placing them in the food and garden waste bin. Alternatively you can purchase a small caddy from a retail store such as Bunnings for a small price.