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Food waste, composting and worm farming

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

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

Home composting rebate scheme

Council’s Home Composting Rebate Scheme offers a 50% rebate (up to $40 maximum) when a resident spends $40 or more on eligible home composting products within 12 months prior to submitting a rebate application.

If you are a City of Marion resident (and have not previously claimed a kitchen caddy or composting rebate from the Council) you can apply for a rebate from Council when you buy:

  • A compost bin
  • A worm farm
  • Bokashi bucket or starter kit
  • Compost worms (booster boxes)

Rebates can also apply to:

  • Two compost bins in one purchase and claim a rebate on the total cost of both items.
  • A compost bin and an aerator tool and claim a rebate on the total cost of both items.

These composting products can be found for sale in garden centres, hardware stores, or from online retailers.

How to claim a rebate

  • Download the Home Composting Rebate Application Form below.
  • The form contains instructions about the additional documents you need to submit with the application form.
  • Claims can only be made for purchases made within the previous 12 months.

Rebate terms and conditions

  • One rebate per household (once you have received a rebate, you are not eligible for a rebate in future years).
  • Entitlement per household is one rebate or one kitchen caddy. Find out more about kitchen caddies below. If you have claimed a kitchen caddy from the Council, you are not eligible to apply for a composting rebate.
  • Purchases must have been made within the previous 12 months.
  • Rebates are applicable to minimum purchases of $40 on eligible composting products.
Worm farming

What materials can go in a worm farm?

As a guide worms will eat any item that was once a living thing, listed below are some of the more common items that are suitable for worm farms:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg cartons (torn & soaked first)
  • Eggshells
  • Most fruit and vegetables (except citrus, tomato, onion, garlic)
  • Hair clippings (including animal)
  • Manures - well aged horse and chicken manure
  • Newspapers (torn & soaked first)
  • Paper
  • Pizza boxes (torn & soaked first)
  • Tea bags and leaves

Tips for successful worm farming:

  • To increase the rate that worms eat your waste, we suggest mashing, blending or chopping the food into smaller pieces.
  • A handful of lime or crushed oyster shells or eggshells or ashes from a fire will help to balance any acidity.
  • Pre-soak any dry materials such as paper, card and old manures to keep the moisture levels up in your worm farm.
Using compost bins

What materials can go in a compost bin?

Any item that was once part of a living thing can be composted. Listed below are some of the more common items that are suitable for home composting:

  • Bark
  • Bread
  • Cereals
  • Dairy products*
  • Eggshells
  • Flowers
  • Food scraps
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Garden waste
  • Grass clippings
  • Hair
  • Hay/Straw
  • Horse and chicken manure
  • Leaves
  • Meat*
  • Paper
  • Sawdust
  • Vacuum cleaner dust
  • Wood ash

* Avoid placing meat or dairy products in the compost until you are confident and experienced with composting methods and your compost heap is working well.

Tips for successful composting

  • To get your compost heap working well you need a mixture of ingredients as well as water and air.
  • If you add dry materials to your heap make sure you add a bucket of water; your compost heap should be as moist as a well wrung out sponge.
  • Aerate your compost with a garden fork or aerator, every couple of weeks to make sure it is getting enough air.
Home composting workshops

Do you want to reduce your waste to landfill, help the environment and improve your garden?

Starting a compost system at home is really easy once you have the tools and know-how.

Sign up and learn how to effectively turn your kitchen scraps into compost in your own backyard.

To register your interest for the next workshop, please email the address below (including your name and address) or call City of Marion.

Below are some handy guides that you can download, filled with great tips for successful composting at home.

Kitchen caddies for food scraps

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.

How can I get a kitchen caddy?

We are currently out of stock of kitchen caddies.

We are seeking funding from Green Industries SA to make kitchen caddies and compostable bags available to all households. We will provide further updates to this program in January 2021.

As an alternative to a kitchen caddy, residents can wrap food scraps in newspaper or compostable bags before putting in the green organics bin.

Where can I get more of the compostable bags?

Residents can buy replacement caddy liners from the Administration Centre on 245 Sturt Road or from any of the Marion Library branches for $4.50 per roll of 75 bags.

It is a good idea to replace the caddy bag every 2 - 3 days even if it is not full. A roll of 75 bags used in this way will last around 6 months.

It is recommended to use these caddy bags within one year of purchase. After this time they may begin to start breaking down which they are designed to do.

You don't have to use compostable bags in your kitchen caddy - you can simply wrap them in newspaper or place your scraps loose in the green bin.

It is important to only use certified compostable bags in the caddy, never biodegradable or other plastic bags as these contaminate the organics and cause problems for composting. The bags that come with the caddy are made from corn starch, which is 100% compostable.

What can I put in the kitchen caddy?

All food scraps such as:

  • All dairy including cheese and yoghurt
  • Cake, bread and biscuits
  • Pasta, rice and grains
  • Meat, and bones - raw and cooked
  • Seafood and shells - raw and cooked
  • Shredded paper
  • Paper towel and tissues
  • Fruit and vegetables, scraps and peels
  • Tea bags
  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg shells
  • Take away foods
  • Cooked leftovers

You can even put hair, tissues and paper towels in your kitchen caddy.

What can't go in the kitchen caddy or green organics bin?
  • Plastic bags
  • Oven bags
  • Aluminium foil
  • Dishcloths or sponges
  • Cigarette butts or ash

Related downloads

Reducing Food Waste

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.