We asked Kristie from Blakeview to share some tips to make it easy to get your food scraps into the green bin, and why it’s important.
“I used to worry that people would think all my ‘house rules’ about recycling made me a bit of a 'nerd,’” says Kristie. “But I’m actually ok with being a nerd, because I know our family has a positive impact on the environment - which makes me feel pretty good.”
The reason Kristie is keen to get any food scraps, or organic matter for that matter, into the green bin is because they will go on to be composted into a rich resource for our soil. Food scraps put into the red bin are lost to landfill.
“I’ve found the easier you make your kitchen bin system, the more likely you are to dispose of food scraps the right way.” Kristie says.
If we all do our bit, we can make a real difference.
In line with making it simple, Kristie’s kitchen caddy now lives under the sink.
“The benefits of having all of our ‘waste’ bins in one space were immediate,” says Kristie. “The sink is the ‘go to’ for all of our rubbish, and if one of the kids opens the sink cupboard to throw an apple core away, there’s no excuse for it not to go into the caddy – it’s right there, next to the general rubbish bin.”
As the caddy is portable and has a handle, it’s also easy to move to the counter when doing food prep.
The most important thing is to just get those food scraps into the green bin instead of the red. If you don’t have a green bin, it can go into a home compost, worm farm, or be donated to someone with chooks.
“If we all do our bit, we can make a real difference.”
Kristie provided us with a bunch of really helpful tips earlier this year, which helped us to create the list below!
Helpful tips on how you can fight food waste:
- Make it as easy as possible - keep a kitchen caddy (or an old ice cream container) on your kitchen counter (if not in your under sink bin system!) so when you're peeling veggies, or clearing dishes of uneaten food before doing the dishes, it will be easy to discard the food into your caddy rather than putting it into your general waste bin.
- Line the caddy or container with paper towel or newspaper - this helps to soak up additional moisture. You can also use compostable bags (you can purchase them online or from Woolies), but make sure they're 100% compostable, not just bio-degradable, and do not put plastic bags in your caddy - they can't go into the green bin. All compostable products have the seeding logo.
- When the caddy is full - or if it's starting to smell unpleasant - it's time to take it out. It should go out more regularly than your general waste bin. Depending on the size of your family it may go daily or two or three times a week. Food scraps can go into the green bin loose, wrapped in newspaper, or enclosed inside a compostible bag - but never in plastic or polystyrene. Rinse out your caddy after it's emptied and re-line it ready for its next meal!
- Pop your kitchen caddy into the dishwasher every so often - this gives it a really good sterilising clean, rather than having to scrub by hand.
- It's possible to reduce the smell in your green FOGO bin by adding layers of aerated organics; ie; use pizza boxes in between 'wetter' organic matter - this inserts a layer or a pocket of air which helps to reduce the smell. You can also put in a layer of corrugated cardboard or newspaper - tear the newspaper into strips and drop it in untidily rather than just throwing the whole newspaper in as is. You can also use dry lawn cuttings on top of more smelly contents - but make sure the grass is dry, because green or wet lawn cuttings won't have the same effect.
- If you have some particularly smelly food scraps (ie; prawn heads and shells), we recommend you wrap them in newspaper and freeze them - and put them in your green bin the night before your collection date.
Residents can purchase a FOGO green bin for $57 delivered. Get in touch with NAWMA online or by phone on 8259 2100.
Check out our Fight Food Waste page for more information.