Food waste recycling service

We all play a part in keeping Brisbane, our homes and backyards clean, green and beautiful.

As part of the food waste recycling service, households in selected areas across Brisbane can place their food scraps (excluding meat and dairy) in their green waste recycling bin. 

Brisbane City Council is expanding this service from February 2024 to include over 12,000 Brisbane households.

Residents who live within the selected areas are encouraged to place their food scraps in their green waste bin, as well as garden waste, like lawn clippings.

Find out what you can put in your green waste recycling bin in the 'yes' and 'no dropdowns below.

Yes - throw in

Food waste

  • fruit and vegetable scraps
  • leftover food scraps (cooked and uncooked), excluding meat, bones, dairy and seafood
  • takeaway food
  • tea leaves, tea bags, coffee grounds
  • eggshells
  • mouldy bread, cereal, pasta, rice, grains

Garden waste

  • grass clippings 
  • small garden prunings from shrubs and trees (offcuts, roots, tubers)
  • palm fronds, twigs, small branches, leaves
  • flowers and foliage
  • weeds, including ivy, creepers and vines
No - keep out

Food waste

  • dairy products (yoghurt, cheese, ice cream, all milk types)
  • meat products (bones, red and white meat)
  • seafood

Garden material

  • branches too big to fit in the bin
  • garden tools, hoses, gloves, fuel, oil, cans, plastic plant pots
  • logs or stumps wider than 10 centimetres
  • rocks and stones

Other items

  • bamboo products
  • cardboard
  • cat litter
  • cigarette butts
  • clothing and other fabric
  • coffee pods and capsules
  • compostable packaging
  • cooking oil
  • food in containers (empty food out of containers)
  • fruit and vegetable stickers
  • glass
  • hair
  • kitty litter
  • metal (e.g. cans, kitchen appliances, pots, pans)
  • nappies and wipes (including compostable types)
  • paper types (all types - e.g. paper towel, tissues, deli paper, newspaper)
  • plastic  (all types - e.g. plastic bags, compostable bags, wrappers, containers)
  • polystyrene (e.g. black trays used for meat, fruit and vegetables)
  • rubber
  • soft plastics (e.g. bags and food packaging)
  • tape, ties, rubber bands
  • timber (all types - e.g. floorboards, wooden offcuts)
  • vacuum bag contents

Food waste in Brisbane currently makes up approximately a quarter of household general waste bins. All food waste in red residential general waste bins ends up in landfill where it creates greenhouse gases, including methane that affects air quality and public health.

Instead of going to landfill, this food waste can be processed into valuable compost to be used by farmers and in gardens big and small. Recycling your food scraps, garden clippings and other green waste is a powerful way to reduce your waste to landfill and greenhouse gas emissions.

Important: No bags are to be used. Items labelled compostable or biodegradable such as cutlery and nappies cannot go in your green waste bin.

Claims of 'biodegradable', 'degradable', 'environmentally-friendly and 'plastic free' on products do not guarantee they meet Australian composting standards and may cause issues for Council's contractors to process food waste in their facilities.

Find out more about the service


If you're in the selected areas, sign up to receive email updates from Council about the service and for tips to help you participate.

Top tips to choose and use a kitchen caddy for recycling

Use this blog to find out how to choose the right kitchen caddy and how to use it to collect household food scraps.

Want to know more?

Ask us a question about the service and access more frequently asked questions and answers.

About the service

Why offer a food waste recycling service?

Food waste has significant impacts on our limited landfill, natural resources, the economy and our environment. When food waste is collected and processed through this new service, it's transformed into valuable compost that is used in urban gardens, farms and public spaces. This targeted service will assist Council to tailor our city's future waste and resource recovery systems and infrastructure to best support our communities to divert food waste from landfill.

Which households are included in the service?

Following the expansion of the service in February 2024, there will be 15 Brisbane collection routes eligible to participate. Whole suburbs are not included, the service areas are based on existing collection routes to streamline bin collection during this early phase.

From February 2024, select addresses in the following suburbs will be eligible to participate:

  • Acacia Ridge
  • Carina
  • Carina Heights
  • Chelmer
  • East Brisbane
  • Geebung
  • Grange
  • Greenslopes
  • Hendra
  • Herston
  • Mt Gravatt East
  • New Farm
  • Norman Park
  • West End
  • Westlake

Eligible residents who have an existing green waste recycling service will be contacted directly to advise of this additional service in their area and are encouraged to participate. Participation will help inform future decisions to deliver innovative and effective waste and resource recovery infrastructure.

When did the food waste recycling service start?

The service started in March 2022 and has a planned expansion in February 2024. All households in the selected areas are encouraged to place their food scraps (excluding meat and dairy) in their green bin. The service commenced with collection routes within parts of:

  • Acacia Ridge
  • Alderley
  • Annerley
  • Archerfield
  • Chelmer
  • Chermside
  • Clayfield
  • Dutton Park
  • Enoggera
  • Fairfield
  • Geebung
  • Graceville
  • Grange
  • Greenslopes
  • Hendra
  •  Herston
  • Highgate Hill
  • Holland Park
  • Kalinga
  • Kelvin Grove
  • Mount Gravatt
  • Mount Gravatt East
  • Stafford
  • Stones Corner
  • Wavell Heights
  • Willawong
  • Windsor
  • Woolloongabba
  • Wooloowin

Download the Brisbane bin and recycling app to check if your address is participating in the FWRS, as well as staying up to date with your bin collection days and to learn more about this service.

What are the next stages of the service?

The food waste recycling service is ongoing. Future infrastructure requirements are being planned in preparation for a city-wide rollout of the service. Expansion of the service will occur in stages and residents will be informed in advance of these changes.

In the meantime, if you are within the selected areas you can continue placing your food scraps in your green bin. If you are not in the selected area, you can take action by:

Why should my household participate?

You will be helping to reduce food and garden waste going to landfill where it produces greenhouse gases. Your food waste will also be turned into valuable compost that will be used on farms, gardens, and in public spaces.

Every little bit of food scrap that you recycle helps. 

Are there any costs involved?

No, it's free to participate. Your existing green waste recycling service will continue to be included on your property rates notice

Steps to participate in the service


Collect your food scraps

  • Place your caddy on your kitchen bench before meal preparation. Place food scraps in your caddy before and after meals.
  • Store your caddy in a cupboard, on the bench, under the kitchen sink, or in the fridge to avoid flies. Remember - no plastic bags!

Empty your caddy

  • Empty your caddy every 1-3 days in your green waste recycling bin, along with grass clippings, branches, and other green waste.
  • Rinse the caddy after emptying, either by hose or unclip the lid and wash it in your dishwasher.

Present your green bin for collection

  • Wheel your green bin out for collection on your usual fortnightly collection date. With food waste now in your bin, it's important not to miss a collection!

About your food waste kitchen caddy

Households in the selected areas who sign up for a green bin will receive a free six-litre kitchen caddy to help collect food scraps in the kitchen. This container needs to be emptied in your green waste bin every 1-3 days.

The caddy supplied by Council is made from recycled materials. If it breaks beyond repair, it can be recycled at your local resource recovery centre.

Tips to reduce odours 

Brisbane can get hot, so it's important to place your green waste recycling bin out for collection each fortnight. This will help us regularly service your bin and help reduce odours.

Tips for your kitchen caddy
  • Keep it on your kitchen bench, under the sink, or in the fridge or freezer to prevent odour and fruit flies.
  • If the caddy supplied by Council doesn't work for your household, use an existing container.
  • Freeze smelly food scraps until bin collection day. 
  • Do not place meat or dairy in the caddy.
  • When you are not using your caddy, lift the handle so it locks the lid in place to prevent fruit flies.
  • Place a fly food cover net over your caddy.
  • Place a cup of apple cider vinegar beside your caddy to capture fruit flies. You will need to cover the top with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in it.
  • Sprinkle vinegar, bi-carb soda, charcoal, or eucalyptus oil in the caddy and green waste bin to absorb and dissipate odours.
  • Empty the caddy in your green waste bin every 1-3 days and rinse after.
  • Put your caddy in the dishwasher or use kitchen soap for a thorough clean each week.

Read our Top tips to choose and use a kitchen caddy for recycling blog for more information.

Tips for your green waste bin
  • Put your bin out for collection each fortnight.
  • Cover food waste with garden cuttings in your green waste recycling bin.
  • Keep the lid of your green bin closed tightly to help keep vermin and flies from getting in. Don't overfill the bin.
  • Keep the bin in the shade, if possible.
  • If needed, hose your bin out after it has been collected.

Where does the food waste go?

Food and green waste is collected by Council's contractor and taken to a resource recovery centre. From there it is transported to our green waste recycling partner's facility. At the facility, the food waste is converted into compost that meets Australian standards and then used in Brisbane by local farmers, urban growers and local businesses.

More information

Related links

Last updated:
Topics: waste

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