Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Over the past few weeks, we’ve significantly reduced what we’re throwing away. By significantly I mean we’ve reduced our landfill rubbish by well over half. We’ve also reduced our recycling a little.

I’m sad to share that most of our kitchen waste was going into landfill since we have neither a compost bin nor a worm farm. Husband, however, did a short half-day course in sustainable living and brought away a piece of extremely relevant information. Our local council now encourages people to throw their food scraps into the garden waste bin. I knew that was the case in other council areas but didn’t know it was in ours. Not only do they encourage it but they give local residents bench top bins and compostable bin liners.

We already had a bench top bin and most of what went into it was food scraps. Unfortunately when we emptied it most evenings it went into the rubbish bin outside. Our habits have not had to change at all. The only difference is that the scraps now go into the garden waste bin instead at the end of the day. We can also throw in used tissues and shredded paper. I shred any correspondence which has personal details on it so all that is now going into the kitchen bin instead of the recycling one. In fact, shredded paper for the recycling bin needs to be put into a paper bag first because the bits of shredded paper can cause problems. Not so with the food scrap bin; just throw in the shredded paper as is.

I would encourage anyone whose local government provides a green waste bin to find out their policy on food scraps. You may get a pleasant surprise.
If you can put your food scraps into your garden bin, be aware that it’s preferable to wrap them in newspaper – which is acceptable – or compostable bags. Otherwise they get smelly and, since our bin is only picked up fortnightly, we don’t want that! Alternatively, you can freeze all those scraps until bin day and then throw them in. I guess it depends on how much disposable freezer space you have.



  1. We used to have a worm bin / compost bin. We now just dig all the scraps directly into the garden. Given how much fruit and veg we get through in a week (astounding really!!) and despite using much of the stuff I had previously thought of as unuseable, we probably dig in about 4 large buckets a week of veg scraps in this way.

    I recently found out about coles an plastic recycling too. I know you hate going in there but any wrapping can be deposited there and they apparently turn it into benches and play equipment. I would add that I don't shop much and am not a slave to any particular supermarket but I hate throwing packaging into landfill. As a result of that change our red bin (general waste) contains about 1-2 small fruit and veg bags of waste and some nappies. It would probably take 3 weeks to fill it and it is the small one. The recycling is always the fullest.....We could easily have that picked up once a week.....having said that the kindy has adopted a lot of the stuff we used to put in there and we now return to the fruit and veg shop with our boxes from there until they fall apart. What I need now is to make washable fruit and veg bags to take with us rather than use plastic. Although we use them as bin bags or recycle to coles at present which is an interim solution.....does one still have to bag rubbish in the red bin do you know?

    1. I don't know about the red bins.
      Thanks for mentioning the plastic recycling at Coles! I meant to and forgot. We've already taken two full bags of plastic there for recycling since Callum learnt about that in the course, as well.
      I use produce and bread bags for dog poo which then goes into the red bin. Some of the produce bags get reused for shopping, too, of course.