Green bin tips

If you don’t currently have a food and garden bin, one will be delivered soon as part of the green bin roll-out. New green bins will not be collected until July. Check know my bin day for your first collection day.

Your food and garden bin (green bin) is used to recycle food scraps and garden clippings. You might know it as your organics bin, green waste bin or FOGO (Food Organics Garden Organics) bin.

It comes with a kitchen caddy to help you collect and carry food scraps from your kitchen to the bin. If you have a green bin but no kitchen caddy, you can order one for free here.

Why do we have a green bin?

When food and other organic material breaks down in landfill it creates methane. Methane is a harmful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

Food waste is also costly. By weight, food waste makes up 40% of the contents of the average garbage bin in Hume. Councils pay the State Government a waste levy of $129.27 per tonne to send waste to landfill. Diverting organic material from landfill is not just good for the environment, it can also reduce the cost of managing our waste.

If every household in Hume composted or put their food waste into their green bin instead of their garbage bin, we could save over 27,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill every year. This is equivalent to 2,500 garbage trucks!

By putting your food scraps and garden clippings in your green bin you can help reduce the amount of organic waste going to landfill, lessen the effects of climate change and help care for the environment.

What can I put in my green bin?

Your green bin is for:

  • Food scraps including raw or cooked food, leftovers, fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood, bones and processed food
  • Garden clippings including grass, leaves, flowers, small branches and sticks

More information on what can and can’t go in your green bin is available here.

  • Put food scraps and garden clippings into your green bin loose
  • Remove stickers from fruit and vegetables and put them in your garbage bin
  • Remove any food packaging and put it in the appropriate bin (garbage or recycling)
  • Wrap smelly food scraps in 1-2 sheets of newspaper or paper towel
  • Keep metal, glass and plastic – including caddy liners – out of your green bin.

Tips for using your kitchen caddy

The caddy makes it easy to collect food scraps while you prepare meals and clean up leftovers.

  • Keep the caddy in your kitchen
  • When not in use, keep it out of direct sunlight with the lid closed
  • Put food scraps in it while you prepare meals
  • Put leftovers in it when you clean up (let hot food cool down first!)
  • Empty it into your green bin every 2-3 days or as needed
  • Rinse it after each use, or put it in the dishwasher
  • Sprinkle bicarbonate (baking) soda on top of food waste to reduce smells.

Can I use a liner in my kitchen caddy?

Please do not use any bags or liners in your caddy, even if they are labelled 'compostable' or 'biodegradable'. These bags and liners cannot be processed through our facilities and will end up in landfill.

If you need to line your caddy or wrap food scraps, use 1-2 sheets of newspaper or paper towel. This can help to reduce smells and keep your caddy clean.

Tips for using your green bin

These tips will help you reduce smells and keep your green bin fresh:

  • Put your green bin out for collection every two weeks even if it’s not full
  • Keep it somewhere out of direct sunlight with the lid closed
  • Put a sheet of newspaper or a layer of dry garden clippings in the bin before adding any food scraps
  • Use lavender, peppermint or eucalyptus spray around the lid to help keep insects away
  • Wrap smelly food scraps in 1-2 sheets of paper towel or newspaper
  • Keep smelly food scraps in the fridge or freezer until bin night
  • Sprinkle bicarbonate (baking) soda on top of food waste to reduce smells
  • Rinse your green bin regularly.

What happens to the waste in my green bin?

The contents of your green bin are taken to a local composting facility.

Material that doesn’t belong is manually removed by staff. The food and garden material is then sealed in a large container where it is kept dark and warm so that it breaks down faster.

After a few weeks it is moved outside to allow it to break down further. It is then tested for safety and quality before it is finally used to enrich the soil in parks and gardens, and on farms.