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Food and Garden Organics service

Lime green food and organics bin on naturestrip

A new food and garden organics service is coming in 2023! 

As a way of helping our community reduce food waste to landfill, from May 2023 Council will be changing the way households use the Garden Organics bin service.

Maroondah will be changing the fortnightly garden organics bin service to allow the community to place food scraps in the garden organics bin in addition to garden materials.

The new food and garden organics waste service will also mean that by June 2023:  

  • All garden bins with a maroon lid will be changed to the Australian Standard colour of lime green.
  • The community will be provided with kitchen caddies and compostable caddy liners to help collect their food waste.

When will the new service begin?

As of 1 May 2023, all Maroondah households with a Council serviced garden organics bin will be able to add food waste to their garden organics waste bin. Council aims to have all garden organics bins with a maroon lid changed to a lime green lid by the 1 June 2023. 

The Victorian Government has led four local government group procurements for composting of household food and garden waste. The eastern region group of Councils, of which Maroondah is a member, is the latest group to go through this process.

You will not need to do anything to get your bin lid changed over or to receive your kitchen caddy and compostable caddy liners.

Before May 2023 Council will:

  • Provide information to households advising when to leave your bin out for the lid changeover.
  • Deliver the kitchen caddy and compostable liners to your house.

If you do not want a kitchen caddy or compostable liners you will be able to opt out of receiving them. Council will provide households with more information about this in the second half of 2022.

Please do not begin adding any food waste to your garden organics bin until the new service launches in May 2023.

FAQs about this service

This change is happening to meet the requirements of the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria Policy, released in February 2020, which outlines that all Councils will need to introduce a food and garden organics service and standardise their bin lids by 2030.   

Standard bin colours help to promote the correct use of garbage, recycling and garden organics household bin collection services and supports consistent education and messaging around the use of kerbside bins across Victoria. 

To reduce waste, we will only be replacing bin lids. Council will only replace an entire bin where the bin itself is structurally damaged. 

Although these changes are not required until 2030, Maroondah is bringing this new service to residents in May 2023. Reducing waste to landfill by introducing a food and garden organics service is one of the priority actions of Maroondah’s Waste, Litter and Resource Recovery Strategy 2020-2030(Outcome area 1, priority action 1.4).

In 2021, Council collected over 20,000 tonnes of garbage from households in Maroondah and it’s important that we divert as much of this from landfill as possible.  Recent audits have found that Maroondah households typically throw away an average of 3.4 kgs of food waste, per week. When we put this into perspective, this means that each household is sending 176.8 kgs of food to landfill each year. This generates greenhouse gas emissions, uses finite space in landfill and is economically not sustainable.  

Introducing a food and garden organics service to Maroondah will help us in working towards our strategic goal of halving waste to landfill by 2030.

In addition to your garden waste, you will be able to place the following types of food waste in your food and garden organics bin:

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Bread, rice, pasta
  • Meat and bones (raw and cooked)
  • Cheese, eggs and eggshells
  • Nuts, grains and seeds
  • Mouldy or expired foods
  • Plate scrapings and leftovers
  • Pastries and cakes

An extensive list of what can and cannot go in the food and garden organics bin will be made available in the second half of 2022.

For more information on what items are currently accepted in your garden organics bin, visit the Garden organics collection webpage.

Please do not begin adding any food waste to your garden organics bin until the new service launches in May 2023.

Currently, your garden waste is turned into a high-quality compost, used by Victorian farmers to help grow our food. Adding food scraps to the garden bin not only reduces the amount of garbage sent to landfill, but also improves the quality of the finished compost material.

Organic waste collected in FOGO bins is processed to create nutrient-rich, weed-free compost that can be used on farms, in parks and as fertiliser.

You can visit the Back to Earth webpage and view farmers stories, to see some of the examples of how your compost is used by Victorian farmers.

No.

There will be no changes to the frequency or day of your collections with the introduction of this new service. The food and garden organics bin and recycling bin will continue to be collected fortnightly and your garbage bin will continue to be collected weekly. 

Enter your address to check your next collection day

The Victorian Government has led four local government group procurements for composting of household food and garden waste. The eastern region group of Councils, of which Maroondah is a member, is the latest group to go through this process.

As a member of the eastern region group, Maroondah will be able to use a new composting facility that can accept food scraps with the garden waste. This new facility will be ready to accept the new food and garden organics waste in May 2023.

This is the biggest change our residents will have to their kerbside service in many years. As we approach the start date, we are taking the time to engage and inform our community, ready for when the new service begins.

If your property is serviced by a private waste collection contractor, these changes will not affect you.

Speak to your owners corporation or landlord to discuss your options for recycling food waste. If you would like to start composting at home, visit the Compost Revolution webpage to receive up to 60% off the price of a range of home composting systems.

If you have a Council-provided waste service, but do not currently have a garden organics bin, please contact Council on 1300 88 22 33 to check if you’re eligible.

Please continue to compost your food scraps at home, this is the best outcome for our environment.  

We know there are many households already home composting or feeding their scraps to pets, and the new service isn’t designed to replace these great low-waste habits.  The new service will compliment home composting and will allow for other food waste, like dairy, meat and spoiled food, to also be diverted from landfill.  To reduce unnecessary plastic waste, households that already have their own system for collecting food scraps, will have the opportunity to opt out of receiving a kitchen caddy or compostable caddy liners. 

Any food that you do not currently compost (such as meat, seafood, bones, citrus, dairy) can be placed in your garden bin, so you can divert even more food waste from landfill. 

More information will be provided as we prepare for the change over the next year. In the meantime, you can reduce the amount of food scraps heading to landfill by joining the Maroondah Compost Revolution. Simply sign up to receive 60% off a range of home composting systems delivered for free to your door! 

Yes, all households who have a Council household collection service will receive their own kitchen caddy and compostable caddy liners.

A kitchen caddy is a small plastic tub with a lid. You can use it to store and transport your food scraps. A kitchen caddy can make it easier to carry your food scraps from your kitchen where you’re preparing your food, outside to your garden organics bin.

Compostable liners will be provided with the kitchen caddy. These are used to line your caddy to help keep things clean and tidy and to keep your food scraps contained in your garden organics bin. They are made from a plant-based material, so will be transformed in to compost alongside the other items in your food and garden waste bin. 

Kitchen caddy liners 2.png

No.

You do not have to use the kitchen caddy and compostable caddy liners if you don’t want to. You could use your own container and tip your food scraps straight in to your garden organics bin.

If you don’t want to receive a kitchen caddy or compostable liners, you will have the opportunity to opt-out of receiving them in the second half of 2022.

To keep up to date with the food and garden organics service changes, as well as upcoming workshops and events, be sure to sign up to our waste education newsletter

We will continue to update this webpage with more information and FAQs as we get closer to the launch of the new service in May 2023. You can subscribe to page updates in the bottom right-hand corner of this page.

Council is preparing to run a Food and Garden Organics Champions program. Help inform, support and educate the Maroondah community so they’re ready to go FOGO by 1 May 2023 by becoming a Maroondah FOGO Champion!

If you love talking rubbish, are passionate about your local community and would like to help them make the change to reduce food waste to landfill, we would love to hear from you.  For more information on the program and to submit an Expression of Interest, visit the Maroondah Food and Garden Organics (FOGO) Champions program webpage

Further information

We will be providing regular updates to our community as we get closer to the service launch in 2023. This webpage will also continue to be updated as the food and garden organics service begins to roll out. 

Updates and educational resources to help you use the new food and garden organics services will be provided via social media, Maroondah News and other community announcements. 

Stay up-to-date

03/02/2022
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