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Food waste

Food waste is a valuable resource that can be recycled into compost for gardens.

By recycling food scraps in a kitchen caddy and recycling these in your green organics bin, you are helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reducing waste and lowering the cost of waste disposal to the community.

Kitchen caddies for food scraps - coming soon to all households

City of Marion residents can use a kitchen caddy to collect all food scraps in the kitchen for disposal into the green organics bin so it can be collected for compost rather than wasted.

Food waste makes up 35 per cent of the waste in our red bins. There are environmental and economic benefits of recycling food waste.

All food scraps, cooked and raw, can be collected in your kitchen caddy and placed into the green organics bin along with your garden clippings.

Frequently asked questions

About the kitchen caddy delivery

Do I need to apply or register to receive a kitchen caddy?

No. A kitchen caddy will be delivered to the doorstep of all households where possible.

When will I receive my kitchen caddy?

The deliveries are scheduled to take place over approximately 4 weeks, starting Monday 23 August.

If I don’t want a kitchen caddy, what do I do with it?

If you do not want to use the kitchen caddy, please return it to Council for someone else to use. You can return it to our Administration Centre on Sturt Road, City Services depot on Marion Road or to one of our libraries or neighbourhood centres for redistribution to new residents.

Can businesses get a kitchen caddy?

Businesses will be considered on a case-by-case basis, as some commercial businesses would be expected to have their own arrangements in place.

What if I move into a home which doesn't have a kitchen caddy?

From September 2021 onwards, if the kitchen caddy is missing from the property when you move in, please contact Council to arrange collecting a new kitchen caddy. All households are entitled to a free kitchen caddy as an addition to the green bin service.

If I move out of the house, should I take the kitchen caddy with me?

No, the kitchen caddy is an addition to the green bin collection service and should remain with the property if you move out.

About using the kitchen caddy

How do I use the kitchen caddy?

  1. Keep your caddy in the kitchen somewhere that is easy to access.
  2. Line the caddy with a compostable bag.
  3. Use your caddy to dispose food scraps, paper towels and tissues.
  4. After 2-3 days, tie off the bag and place it in your green bin.

What can go in the caddy?

All food scraps, cooked and raw, can be collected in your kitchen caddy and placed into the green organics bin along with your garden clippings.

Food scraps can include:

  • Fruit and vegetables including citrus
  • Meat/ chicken
  • Bones
  • Cheese and yoghurt
  • Food from the fridge that has spoiled (removed from packaging)
  • Seafood
  • Egg shells
  • Teabags, tea leaves and coffee grounds
  • Bread and cake
  • Cooked leftovers/ plate scrapings

You can also include:

  • Tissues
  • Paper towels and paper napkins
  • Hair and nail clippings
  • Shredded paper

What if I already have and use a kitchen caddy?

Thank you for leading the way with using the kitchen caddy system.

If you don’t need a second caddy, you are welcome to gift it to a friend or family member. Otherwise you can return it to our Administration Centre on Sturt Road, City Services depot on Marion Road, or to one of our libraries or neighbourhood centres for redistribution to new residents.

Why put food scraps in the green bin?

Food waste makes up 35 per cent of the waste in our red bins. There are environmental and economic benefits of recycling food waste. By placing food scraps in the green bin instead of the red bin, we will:

  • Reduce production of methane gas (a greenhouse gas with 25 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide)
  • Extend the life of landfill sites
  • Reduce the costs of waste management to the community as landfill disposal costs are five times higher than for organics disposal
  • Be closer to the target of diverting 75 per cent of domestic kerbside waste away from landfill
  • Support South Australian composting businesses

What if I am already composting at home?

Keep up the great work. You may like to use a kitchen caddy for hard-to-compost food scraps such as citrus, onion, meat, and dairy.

Why is the caddy ventilated?

Ventilation on all sides of the caddy maximises air flow to reduce odours and moisture build-up inside the caddy. This allows food scraps to dry more through evaporation and reduces the weight and subsequent disposal costs of food waste.

The caddy has grooves in the bottom to capture any moisture and prevent spillage, keeping it clean and easy to use.

How do I prevent odours in the green bin?

  • Cover food scraps (loose, bagged or wrapped) with lawn clippings, leaves, weeds or shredded paper to deter flies and absorb moisture and smells.
  • Place cardboard, newspaper, or green waste at the bottom of the green bin to absorb liquids and prevent food scraps sticking to the inside of the bin.
  • Wrap and place any smelly meat or seafood scraps in the freezer until collection day, particularly in warmer weather.
  • Keep your green bin in the shade with the lid tightly closed.

Can I use the caddy if I live in a unit complex?

If you don’t have a garden, or live in a unit, you can still use a kitchen caddy if you have a green organics bin.

Where does my food and garden waste end up?

All green bins in the City of Marion are collected by Cleanaway and taken to Peats Soil and Garden Supplies in regional SA, where the food scraps and garden clippings are chopped, shredded and placed into large compost heaps. Once the materials break down, they are turned into nutrient rich compost and used on farms and gardens to enrich the soil.

What if I don’t have a green organics bin?

If you do not have a green organics bin and would like one, please visit marion.sa.gov.au and download the ‘Request to replace a missing bin’ form.

About liners for the kitchen caddy

What liners can I use in the caddy?

All bags used with the kitchen caddy must be certified compostable (AS4736). These often feature a seedling logo to confirm the product meets the Australian standards for compost.

Bags labelled as biodegradable, bio, eco or degradable cannot be used, as these can still contain plastic and just break down into smaller bits of plastic.

The compostable bin liners are made of corn starch and will break down in the composting process just like the food scraps do.

Store your liners in a cool and dry place.

Do food scraps need to be in a bag before putting in the green bin?

No. Food scraps don’t have to be put in a compostable bag before putting them in the green bin. You can wrap them in newspaper or put them loose in your green bin.

Can I use the liners for pet poo?

The compostable liners provided by Council are intended to be used for food waste only. You can purchase compostable bags for pet poo from your local pet store or online from Biobag.

Where can I get more compostable bags when I run out?

With the caddy you will receive a free roll of 150 compostable caddy liners which should last most households about 12 months.

From July 2022, residents can collect one free replacement roll of 150 compostable bags per year from the Administration Centre on Sturt Road, City Services depot on Marion Road, or any of our libraries or neighbourhood centres.

If you run out of liners before July 2022, you can buy them from most supermarkets. Only purchase bags which are certified compostable. Look for the seedling logo and the certification AS4736.

Some Foodland supermarkets in Brighton, Glenelg South and Pasadena provide free compostable bags for in their fruit and vegetable sections which can be reused as kitchen caddy liners after bringing the shopping home.

What about possible leakage from the bags?

Leakage can be prevented by ensuring the bags are replaced every 2 – 3 days, even if the caddy is not full.

Paper towel and tissues can be placed into the bottom of your kitchen caddy to help absorb moisture.

About the kitchen caddy project

Why is Council doing this kitchen caddy project?

Food waste makes up 35 per cent of the waste in Council’s general waste bins. This is too high and we all have a part to play in reducing food waste to landfill for environmental and economic reasons.

Delivering kitchen caddies to all households will make it easier to cut the amount of food waste that goes to landfill.

By diverting food waste, the project is expected to save Council about $200,000 in landfill disposal costs each year.

How is the project being funded?

Council received a $562,950 grant from Green Industries SA to add to its $202,500 to deliver the project.

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Reducing Food Waste

Even better than diverting your food scraps from landfill is reducing your food wastage. Visit the Foodwise website to find recipe suggestions for using up leftovers in the fridge and reducing the amount of food that goes to waste.

For more information relating to food waste, visit our composting and worm farming page.