Food and green waste

Council collects food and green waste fortnightly as an opt-in service. Your food and green waste are collected and turned into nutrient-rich mulch and compost for use on Victorian farms, vineyards, and orchards to grow nutritious food.

You can find information on what goes in your bins and how to ensure your bins are collected at what goes in each bin.

To download the collection calendar, visit waste and recycling.

Bin lid change over

From August, Council will be swapping out all old burgundy food and green waste bins for new bins with a black body and lime green lid.

Apart from the colour, everything else about your food and green waste bin will stay the same, including your collection day. When it is time for your bin to be swapped, you'll receive a postcard on your old bin. Your new bin will be delivered a few weeks later and you can start using it straight away.

Once you have received your new bin, leave your old burgundy bin at the kerb after it is emptied on the next food and green waste collection day. Council will come and remove it within a few days.

As the changeover process is complicated, it may take some time for us to get to everyone! This means that not all households will receive their new bin at the same time.

Don’t worry! Your old bin won’t go to waste. We are making sure all burgundy bins get recycled into brand new bins.

Just as good, your new bins are made from 60 per cent recycled plastic.

This change is part of a state-wide reform to Victoria’s waste and recycling sector. Making sure Stonnington bins look the same as other bins across Victoria will help us recover more recyclable materials and reduce contamination (where the wrong items end up in the wrong bins).

Find out more about the what we are doing to make changes to waste and recycling.

Kitchen caddies and liners

To make separating and collecting food scraps easier for you at home, Council provides free kitchen caddies and certified compostable liners. Caddies and liners can be collected during business hours from our Customer Service centres.

You can put food scraps straight in your caddy or use a liner. Using a liner can help reduce odour and make taking your food scraps to your bin more convenient.

You can line your caddy with:

  • certified compostable lime green caddy liners (AS4736)
  • newspaper
  • paper towel or napkins.

If you buy your liners, ensure they are plastic free (usually made from corn starch), certified compostable (look for the code AS4736) and lime green. Choosing this colour helps our waste processor, Bio Gro, tell the difference between accepted liners and contamination (plastic bags).

Tips for using compostable liners

Compostable caddy liners are designed to break down quickly, so they need extra care. To get the best out of your compostable liners, we recommend:

  • keeping liners in a cool, dark and dry place
  • changing liners roughly every three days - less often in cool weather, more often in hot weather
  • ensuring liners are not overfilled and can be tied without breaking
  • using liners by their best before date.

Tips for avoiding caddy odour and mess

  • Empty your caddy regularly.
  • Wash your caddy after emptying it.
  • Store your caddy in a cool place out of direct sunlight.
  • Add a layer of paper towel, newspaper or even a bread crust at the bottom of your caddy to soak up any moisture.
  • Ensure the lid is closed tightly.
  • Store smelly foods like meat and seafood in the freezer and place them in the bin just before collection.

Keeping your food and green waste bin fresh

While food scraps can produce odour and attract flies, we have a few tips for you to help keep your food and green waste bin fresh.

  • Layer dry materials with your food scraps. Small amounts of used paper towels, newspaper or garden waste, such as leaves and grass clipping, will soak up moisture and reduce smells. Layers these materials at the bottom of your bin and between layers of food waste, like a lasagne! Layering will also stop food from sticking to your bin.
  • Store your bin out of direct sunlight in a shady spot.
  • Avoid overfilling your bin so the lid can be closed. Keeping the lid closed will stop wildlife from getting into the bin and prevent smells from escaping.
  • Make sure to put your bin out every collection day, even if it’s not full.
  • Wash your bin regularly. A quick hose out may be enough, but if your bin needs a deeper clean, you can use hot water and environmentally friendly dish soap or an enzyme-based cleaner.

Reducing your food waste

Right now, more than a quarter of the waste we send to landfill in Stonnington is food waste. The average Stonnington garbage bin contains around 36 per cent food waste. When you put your food waste in the garbage bin it is sent to landfill. There, it creates harmful greenhouse gases such as methane, which contribute to climate change.

Sending food to landfill also wastes money and resources such as water and fuel that goes into its production and transport.

There are a few simple things you can do to reduce food waste and save money.

  • Cook to a meal plan. Food planning can help you save time and money, ensuring you only buy the things you need.
  • Pick recipes that use up ingredients you already have.
  • Plan and shop efficiently. Write a list before you go shopping and check your fridge and pantry so you know what you have.
  • Think about portion sizes when cooking. If you have leftovers, eat them for lunch the next day.
  • Find recipes that use leftovers, such as fried rice. The internet has tonnes of ideas.
  • Store your food correctly in airtight containers.
  • Set your fridge to 3 or 4°C and avoid overcrowding so that air can circulate.
  • Set your freezer to -18° if you plan on storing food for longer.
  • Put your food waste in your food and green waste bin.

Putting your food and green waste to work

Stonnington’s food and garden waste is processed by Bio Gro at their commercial composting facilities. Your food and green waste is sorted, shredded and then mixed with organic waste from other councils and businesses. Then, it is processed into mulch and compost.

The mulch and compost are put to work in Stonnington’s parks and gardens and on Victorian farms, vineyards, and orchards to grow food for our tables. You can buy this food from your local supermarket or grocer.

You can also grow your own fruit and vegetables at home by purchasing Bio Gro compost from your local garden centre or nursery. These products improve soil health, help soil ecosystems thrive and, help your plants use water and soil nutrients better. They can also replace the use of harmful chemical fertilisers, while keeping your plants healthy. It's the circular economy in action.

Owners Corporation managers guide

Apartment blocks with Council waste services can request food and green waste bins. Using a food and green waste bin means that your building could reduce the amount of waste in your garbage bins by up to 40 per cent.

Even better, getting a food and green waste bin often means you’ll need fewer garbage bins. If you send back the garbage bins you don’t need, your apartment building could save hundreds of dollars every year.

For more information check out our Owners Corporation managers information pack(PDF, 616KB).

Renters guide

No matter your living situation, we want to support you to avoid sending food scraps to landfill. Check out our infographic below to find the best solution for your household.

If you live in a house with a private outdoor space, you can:

  • Compost at home and use the compost in your garden. You can get a discounted compost bin or worm farm from Compost Revolution.
  • Request a Council food and green waste bin. This way, the waste is taken away and composted by commercial facilities.
  • Ask your landlord to request a food and green waste bin. If you rent a house, use our guide for asking your landlord(PDF, 153KB).

If you live in an apartment building:

  • Buildings with Stonnington bins can request a shared food and green waste bin.
  • Buildings with a shared outdoor space, but no Stonnington bins, can apply to join Council's Apartment Composting program(PDF, 643KB).
  • Buildings that don't have Stonnington bins or shared outdoor space can use Sharewaste, or you can speak to your Owners Corporation managers about expanding your building's private waste collection.
Food and garden waste options for apartments

By getting a food and green waste bin, your landlord and apartment could:

  • save on garden maintenance costs, if you are happy to help out with the gardening by using your new bin
  • save on waste fees if you downsized your garbage bin from a 240L to a 120L
  • help reduce your environmental footprint
  • help reduce the amount of garbage waste by up to 40 per cent.

Worm farms

To find out about Council subsidised compost bins and worm farms and our Apartment Composting Program visit Compost Revolution.

Get in contact

For all program enquiries, kitchen caddy questions or more information, email us at environment@stonnington.vic.gov.au or call 03 8290 1333.