Food waste recycling service pilot

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

Households in selected areas across Brisbane can place their food scraps in the green waste recycling bin. Subscribe to the green waste recycling bin today.

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

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

Other items

  • all paper types (e.g. paper towel, tissue paper, deli paper, newspaper, cardboard)
  • cigarette butts
  • coffee pods and capsules
  • cooking oil
  • fruit and vegetable stickers
  • hard plastics (e.g. bottles, food containers)
  • kitty litter
  • metal (e.g. cans, kitchen appliances, pots, pans)
  • nappies (including compostable), baby wipes, flushable wet wipes
  • polystyrene containers (e.g. black trays used for meat, fruit and vegetables)
  • soft plastics (e.g. bags and food packaging)
  • tape, ties, rubber bands
  • textiles (e.g. clothes, bed sheets)
  • timber (e.g. floorboards, wooden offcuts)
  • vacuum dust and hair

Food waste in Brisbane currently makes up approximately 30% of household general waste bins. All food waste in red 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

Subscribe

If you're in the pilot, 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 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 pilot 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 pilot. 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 did the pilot start?

The pilot started in March 2022. All households in the pilot area are encouraged to place their food scraps (excluding meat and dairy) in their green bin. 

It's important to put your bin out on your green bin collection day. 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.
  • 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 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.
Step

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 pilot area 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 one to three 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 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.

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 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 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: 4 November 2022
Topics: waste

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