Our food and garden waste bin service allows residents to recycle food and garden waste, reducing the amount of waste going to landfill. To help you use this service, we’ve provided answers some of the most commonly asked questions below.
+ What can go into my food and garden waste bin?
The following items can be placed in your food and garden waste bin:
Fruit and vegetables
Loose tea leaves and coffee grounds
Meat and seafood
Tissue, serviettes, paper towel and shredded paper
+ What can’t go in my food and garden waste bin?
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
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.
Tree stumps and ash
Hair (including pet hair)
Paper plates and coffee cups
Wooden icy pole sticks
Metal, glass and plastic recyclables
Sharps, medicines, batteries and toys
Cardboard boxes / pizza boxes
+ What are the benefits of a food and garden waste collection service?
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.
+ Will my food and garden waste bin still be emptied fortnightly?
Yes, your food and garden waste bin will continue to be emptied fortnightly on the same day as it is currently collected.
+ If I don’t have a food and garden waste bin, how do I get one?
You can order a food and garden waste bin online or by calling us on 9217 2170.
+ Do I need to pay for a food and garden waste bin?
Yes, you can opt in to have a food and garden waste bin for a small annual fee of $105.15. To order a food and garden waste bin, order online or call us on 9217 2170.
+ If I order a food and garden waste bin, will I receive a kitchen caddy and bin liners?
Yes, all new orders for a food and garden waste bin will also receive a free kitchen caddy and roll of caddy liners.
+ What if I’m a tenant? Can I get a food and garden waste bin?
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.
+ Will Council supply caddy liners to put the food waste in?
Residents using this service, are eligible to receive one free roll of caddy liners annually.Residents can collect the roll of caddy liners from the Council Offices - 25 Ferres Blvd South Morang and 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 9217 2170 or email email@example.com
You can also purchase compostable lime green caddy liners yourself from most major supermarkets and retail stores such as Bunnings. You will need to ensure the caddy liners 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.
+ I’m having trouble opening the bin liner bags. Do you have any tips on how to use the bags properly?
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.
+ Where can I can get more bin liners?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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).
+ Do I have to use the caddy liners?
No, you do not need to use the caddy liners if you do not want to. You can use newspaper or paper towel to line your kitchen caddy or simply place the food waste loose into the bin.
+ How do I avoid bin smells?
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.
+ How do I avoid maggots in my food and garden waste bin?
It is not uncommon for flies and maggots to be attracted to your food and garden waste 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.
+ I already compost my food scraps and garden waste at home. Can’t I just keep doing this?
If you already compost your food and garden waste at home, that’s great and we encourage you to continue.
The food and garden waste collection service allows you to easily recycle a larger variety of food waste and garden waste than you can compost at home.
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.
+ Where will the collected food and garden waste be taken to?
The food and garden waste will be transported to Repurpose It green waste recycling facility Epping.
+ What will happen to the collected food and garden waste?
After collection, your food and garden waste are taken to a local composting facility – Repurpose It green waste recycling 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.
+ Why can't I include soil in my food and garden waste bin?
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).
+ What if my kitchen caddy breaks?
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 kitchen caddy from a retail store such as Bunnings for a small price.