Food waste recycling service pilot

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

Food waste in Brisbane currently makes up around a quarter of the household's general waste bin. 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.

Use this page to find out more information about Council's food waste recycling service pilot and how you can help reduce food waste at home.

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Food waste in Brisbane

Did you know Australian households throw away 2.5 million tonnes of edible food year! Check out Brisbane's top wasted food items.

Want to know more?

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

About the service

Why run a food waste recycling service pilot?

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 pilot?

Eight existing green waste collection routes have been selected.

If you have an existing green waste recycling service, and you live in any of the below suburbs, you may be included in the food waste recycling service. Download your suburb's map to see if your street is included.

Brisbane north

Brisbane south

A total of around 6000 households are included in the pilot.

When does the pilot start?

You can start to collect your food scraps up to two weeks before the first collection date of the pilot. To find your first collection date, refer to the dates and suburb information below. Your green waste recycling day of service will not change.

From 2 March 2022

Brisbane north
  • Collection route two - includes parts of Alderley, Enoggera, Grange and Stafford
  • Collection route three - includes parts of Clayfield, Hendra, Kalinga, and Wavell Heights
Brisbane south
  • Collection route one - includes parts of Acacia Ridge, Archerfield and Willawong
  • Collection route two - includes parts of Holland Park, Mount Gravatt and Mount Gravatt East

From 8 March 2022

Brisbane north
  • Collection route one - includes parts of Herston, Kelvin Grove and Windsor
  • Collection route four - includes parts of Geebung and Wavell Heights
Brisbane south
  • Collection route three - includes parts of Chelmer and Graceville
  • Collection route four - includes parts of Annerley, Greenslopes, Dutton Park, Fairfield, Highgate Hill, Stones Corner and Woolloongabba

Download the Brisbane bin and recycling app to check your bin day.

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

Step

Collect your food scraps

  • Place your caddy on your kitchen bench before meal preparation. Place food scraps in your caddy before and after meals.
  • Line your caddy with a newspaper, paper bag or paper towel to reduce mess and odour.
  • Store your caddy in a cupboard, on the bench, under the kitchen sink, or in the fridge to avoid flies. Remember - no plastic bags!
Step

Empty your caddy

  • Empty your caddy every one to three days into 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.
Step

Take your green waste recycling bin out for collection

  • Wheel your green waste 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!
Step

Repeat steps 1-3.

What can you put in your green bin?

Participating households will be able to place food scraps (excluding meat and dairy) into their green lid bin.

Yes - throw in

Food waste

  • fruit and vegetable scraps
  • leftover food scraps (cooked and uncooked), excluding meat, bones, dairy and seafood
  • 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

Other items

  • small amounts of paper towel
  • tissue paper and shredded paper (only a handful)
  • deli paper (non-glossy, paper only)

No - keep out

Food waste

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

Garden material

  • rocks and stones
  • branches too big to fit in the bin
  • plastic plant pots
  • garden tools, hoses, gloves, fuel, oil cans

Other items

  • plastic bags and food packaging
  • all types of plastic or polystyrene containers
  • cooking oil
  • fruit and vegetable stickers
  • coffee pods and capsules
  • tape, ties, rubber bands
  • cigarette butts
  • vacuum dust and hair
  • nappies (including compostable), baby wipes, flushable wet wipes
  • kitty litter, animal waste

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

About your food waste kitchen caddy

A six-litre kitchen caddy has been delivered to participating households. You can use your kitchen caddy to collect your food scraps in the kitchen. Make sure to empty your caddy into your green waste bin every one to three days. A list of items that you can place in your caddy is printed on the lid.

The caddy is dishwasher safe, made from recyclable materials and is designed to be rinsed and reused. 

If you're already a composter or worm farmer and have a caddy or container for your food scraps, use the caddy or container that works best for you.

Tips to reduce odours from food waste

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

  • Wrap smelly food scraps in paper towel, newspaper, deli paper, or keep smelly foods in the freezer until bin collection day.
  • If you have space, place your kitchen caddy in the fridge to prevent insects.
  • 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 t prevent insects.
  • Place a fly food cover net over your kitchen caddy to also prevent insects.
  • Place a cup of apple cider vinegar beside your kitchen 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 recycling bin to absorb and dissipate odours.
  • Empty the caddy in your green waste recycling bin every one to three days and rinse after every use.
  • Put your caddy in the dishwasher or use kitchen soap for a thorough clean each week.

Tips for your green waste recycling 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 maggots 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 will the food waste go?

Food and green waste will be collected by Council's contractor, Suez, and taken to a resource recovery centre where it will be 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: 11 April 2022
Topics: waste

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