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Fight Food Waste

Let our Chief Binfluencer, Kaarina, take you through the process of what happens to your banana peels, egg shells, chicken bones and other food scraps and organics put into your green FOGO (Food Organics, Garden Organics) bin, after it's collected kerbside by NAWMA.

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We often hear people say that it doesn’t matter which bin you put your waste into.

The truth is that small changes to the bin you use can make a huge difference to our local community.

If you have a green FOGO (Food Organics, Garden Organics) bin in Playford you’re one of around 20,000 households that do, and that means you're in a prime position to help make a difference to where your waste goes.

If you don't have a green bin, you can also put your food waste back into your own garden, by adding it to a compost bin or worm farm.

Playford residents with green FOGO bins do a pretty good job of using the bin to dispose of garden waste, but they may not be aware that food scraps and other organic matter can also go into the green bin. Around 30% of the red bins in Playford are made up of food waste, and we need to choose to move this out to the green bin where it belongs!

When food waste goes into the red bin it goes into costly landfill, where it is lost as a resource. When it goes into the green bin it's processed into valuable compost which can be used in local market gardens, parks, and household gardens.

Processing food waste is considerably more cost efficient when it goes into the green bin rather than the red. Contents of the red bin cost five times more to process than those added to the green bin, so there is a real economical benefit to putting your food waste into the green bin.

Every banana peel, apple core, or eggshell you move out of your red bin and into your green bin is going to make a real difference!

If you're not already doing it, (and if you are - a huge thankyou!), try shifting fruit and vegetable scraps, paper towels, tissues, oily cardboard such as pizza boxes, meat waste, citrus peels, and even pet poo into your green bin and ensure they never end up in landfill. This simple change of routine by green bin users can make a huge impact in our community.

The Compost Journey

Compost journey map LAYOUT square v3 1 high res
Journey map showing the path of food scraps - growing in the ground, through your kitchen to kerbside collection, then onto NAWMA and Peats, through the composting process, where it is packaged up and sent back out to be used as rich compost by primary producers and household gardeners to help fertilise the soil - for more of our food to grow!

It Starts in Your Kitchen

Brussel sprouts
Broccoli stems...
Paper towel
Paper towel...
Mandarin peels...
Egg shells - and so much more!
What Else Can Go In The Green FOGO Bin?

As a general rule of thumb, remember the saying 'If it grows, it goes.' In other words, if it was once 'alive' then it's good to go into the FOGO bin.

  • Any food waste - cooked or raw, peels or bones
  • Egg cartons and eggshells
  • Pet poo
  • Tree cuttings and lawn clippings
  • Hair and nail clippings
  • Pizza boxes, cardboard and paper (they're compostable because they were made of trees - which grow!)
  • Pencil and wood shavings
  • Old flowers
  • Fallen leaves
  • Coffee grounds and used tea leaves (and whole tea bags without staples in the tab)

To find out more information about what does and doesn't go into your green bin visit:

How Do I Fight Food Waste at Home?

Make it as easy as possible by following these steps:

  • Keep a kitchen caddy (or an old ice cream container) on your kitchen counter so when you're peeling veggies, or clearing dishes, it's easy to discard your food waste.
  • Line the caddy or container with paper towel or newspaper - this helps soak up additional moisture and reduce the smell. You can also use compostable bags which you can buy online or at your local supermarket. Make sure they're 100% compostable, not just bio-degradable - no plastic, especially plastic bags, can go into the green bin.
  • When the caddy is full 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 out daily or two or three times a week. Food scraps can go into the green bin loose, wrapped in newspaper, or enclosed inside of a compostable bag - but never in plastic or polystyrene.
  • Rinse out your caddy after it's emptied and re-line it ready for more food waste.
It's as easy as that!

If you'd like to move to a more advanced level in the fight against food waste, try the following tips:
  • Reduce any smells in your green bin by adding layers of aerated organics in between 'wetter' organic matter - this creates a layer or pocket of air, which helps to reduce the smell. The easiest way to do this is with pizza boxes but you can also put in a layer of newspaper (by tearing it into strips and dropping it in untidily rather than just throwing the whole newspaper in), or add handfuls of dry leaves or dry lawn cuttings. Make sure the leaves or grasses are dry as green or wet lawn cuttings won't have the same effect.
  • If you have particularly smelly food scraps (ie; prawn heads and shells or a chicken carcass), wrap them in newspaper and freeze them. Set a reminder on your phone or in your calendar just before bin night.
  • Reduce food waste before it enters your kitchen. Meal prepping and bringing a shopping list when doing the weekly shop, help reduce the amount of waste that could go into any bin. OzHarvest has some great tips here

We'd love to hear your tips and share them with others - become one of our 'Community Binfluencers' and get in touch with us at

Kristie empties food waste from the caddy into the green FOGO bin

More Resources

If you want to get involved but don't have a green FOGO bin, you can contact the Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority - NAWMA - ( or call 8259 2100) to have one delivered to your home for $57.

TIP - when your bin is delivered, open the lid and look inside. All green bin purchases come with a free kitchen caddy.

Visit the links below for more information on food waste, recycling, and waste management in Playford.