Green bin for food and garden organics

Green Bin.jpg

We are introducing a green bin in July 2020. Everyone with a kerbside bin service will receive an additional 240L bin for food and garden organics. The green bin will complement your existing red lidded landfill bin and yellow lidded recycling bin.

Bin Capacity  Collection Disposal
Green 240L   Weekly  Food organics and garden organics
Red 120L  Fortnightly Landfill/Rubbish
Yellow 240L  Fortnightly

 Recycling

 What goes in the green bin?

 YES  NO
 Grass, leaves, small branches and weeds  Vacuum cleaner dust
 Fruit, nuts and vegetables  Soft plastics
 Pet waste (including poo), fur and feathers  Disposable coffee cups
 Pizza boxes  Plastic bags
 Meat, seafood and bones  Soil and sand
 Breads and grains  Treated or painted timber
 Egg shells  Stone, rocks and rubble
 Newspaper and paper  Rubbish
 Cheese and yoghurt  Nappies
 Tea bags and coffee grounds  Syringes and medical waste
 Compostable caddy bags  Feminine hygiene products

A complete A-Z Bin Guide(PDF, 422KB) to what goes in your bins is also available to download.

Why do we need a green bin?

On average, more than half the contents of your red landfill bin is food and garden organics. Landfill should be our last option for waste disposal. Not only is it very expensive, landfilling is a huge environmental issue because it means resources are lost instead of recycled.

Keeping garden and food organics out of landfill is the most important waste management priority at local, state and national level. In a landfill environment, food and garden organics produce leachate that can pollute groundwater and waterways. It also produces methane, which is 25 times more potent than CO². Those exact same organics in a compost environment do not produce methane.

If everyone across our region uses their green bin we can potentially cut the amount of waste we send to landfill by 39 per cent.

When does the green bin service start?

May-June 2020
Green bins, kitchen caddies and compostable caddy bags will be delivered during May and June 2020. You will also receive helpful information about how to use these correctly. If you have not received your bin by 26 June, 2020 please contact Council.

6 July 2020
Our contractor, Cleanaway, will start emptying green bins the week commencing Monday 6 July 2020.

Where will the organics go?

Once collected from the green bin, your food and garden organics are taken to commercial composting facility and turned into compost and mulch. This valuable product is used to improve the health of our soils in primary production, and our parks and gardens.

Your kitchen caddy

To help make using the green bin easier, we’ve supplied everyone with a kitchen caddy and roll of compostable caddy bags. Use your caddy and compostable bags to collect all household food waste – even things you can’t compost at home like meat, dairy and seafood. You can wash the caddy by hand or in the dishwasher.

Compostable caddy bags

You will receive one roll of 150 compostable bags with your kitchen caddy and green bin. Another roll of bags will be supplied to each household the following year.  Compostable caddy bags are specially made to decompose along with the organic material they contain. These are the only bags that can be put in your green bin. You can also use newspaper or paper towel to line your kitchen caddy. Extra compostable bags are available from Council. You can also buy compostable bags from a range of local retail outlets and online. Only bags clearly marked with the AS 4736 Compostable symbol can be used in your green bin.

Compostable Vs Biodegradable

Compostable bags are made of plant materials and break down during the commercial composting process. These are the only bags that can be accepted through our green organics bin service.
While biodegradable bags break down faster than regular plastic bags, they still take many decades to disappear and will contaminate your green organics bin. Organics collected in biodegradable or plastic bags will not be accepted through our green bin service. 

Adjusting to a fortnightly red bin collection

When the weekly green bin service gets underway, your red landfill bin will be emptied once a fortnight. On average, more than half of what gets put in red landfill bins is food and garden organics. Putting this in your new green bin will free up more space in your landfill bin.  There’s also lots of other ways you can make space in your red bin and keep waste out of landfill:

  • Reduce how much waste you create
  • Reuse and recycle as much as possible
  • Take reusable bags when shopping
  • Compress air out of garbage bags and tie them tightly
  • Avoid using large, bulky garbage bags which take up more room
  • Learn what you can recycle in your yellow bin and at our Transfer Stations
  • Consider sustainable alternatives to items such as nappies, cling wrap and disposable coffee cups.

What about smell?

All waste has the potential to create odours, particularly in extreme heat conditions, which are unavoidable in our region. Food and garden organics are often the biggest culprits when it comes to smell, and these items will be collected in your weekly green bin. To keep bin odours at bay, you can also:

  • Store bins in a shaded, well-ventilated area
  • Keep bin lids closed flush by not overfilling
  • Scrape solid waste off nappies into the toilet
  • Tie used disposable nappies in a plastic bag (or consider double-bagging)
  • Wash your bins and kitchen baddy regularly (the caddy is dishwasher safe)
  • Keep meat and seafood scraps in the freezer in a compostable bag and put in the green bin the night before collection
  • Empty your kitchen caddy into your green bin every 3-4 days
  • Ensure compostable bags are tied properly to contain food scraps
  • Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda in your kitchen caddy.
  • Place a layer of garden waste over food waste to reduce odours in the green bin

How should nappies be disposed of?

With a move to a fortnightly 120L red landfill bin service, parents or guardians concerned about odours from nappies can consider double-bagging nappies when disposing of them. Another option could be to utilise scented rubbish bags, which are widely available. Nappy manufacturers also recommend that any solid waste is scraped into the toilet before disposing of them.

Already composting at home?

Even if you’re already composting using your food scraps for chooks, there is still plenty of scope to find use for the green bin. Consider it an opportunity to extend on the great work you’re already doing to reduce waste and help the environment. Unlike your residential compost heap, at the commercial composter, the process is scientifically monitored, achieving temperatures well above those you normally achieve at home.

The new green bin service accepts many food and garden organics that you can’t traditionally put in a home compost or worm farm. These include meat, bones, bread, seafood, dairy products, citrus fruits, onions, oils, kitchen paper towels and soiled tissues. In the garden, things like diseased plants, weeds, pet manure (loose or in a compostable bag) and fruit fly infected fruit (bagged in a compostable bag) can go straight in the green bin.

Is the green bin optional?

No. The success of the 3 bin system relies on all households and businesses adopting a green bin.

 

More information

Contact our Waste Management team on (03) 5018 8100
Email mrcc@mildura.vic.gov.au