Food recycling for apartments
Figures current from September 2020 - August 2021
How do I order more compostable bin liners?
Click here to order more compostable bin liners
How do I order a benchtop bin?
As part of the food recycling service residents are eligible to request a kitchen benchtop bin and Australian certified (AS4736) compostable bin liners.
If you don't have a kitchen benchtop bin or require additional bin liners please complete the online order form so we can have them delivered to you .
Order a kitchen benchtop bin or compostable bin liners
You can also collect compostable bin liners from our major customer service centres:
- Ashfield Service Centre - 260 Liverpool Road, Ashfield
- Leichardt Service Centre - 7-15 Wetherill Street, Leichhardt
- Petersham Service Centre - 2-14 Fisher Street, Petersham
If you want to purchase your own compostable bin liners, look for the 'seedling' logo to ensure products are Australian certified compostable.
What can I put in the benchtop bin?
All of your food waste. The food waste collection service takes any type of food, even meats!
- Fruit and vegetables
- Bread, rice, and cereals
- Coffee grinds and tea bags
- Soiled paper towels, serviettes and hair
- Cooked and uncooked meat, chicken and fish including delicatessen
- Dairy products
- Bread, cakes, biscuits and sweets
- Small bones such as chicken wings
- Seafood such as fish bones, crab shells, prawn shells
What can’t I put in my bench top bin?
Regular plastic bags should not be used to collect and recycle food scraps. Please only use bags provided by Council or bags that carry the 'seedling' logo. Other materials not recycled through the service include:
- Food that is still in its packaging. Please remove the packaging first.
- Avoid shellfish such as oysters, clams, mussels, abalone and scallop shells
- Large bones such as steak, leg ham and BBQ rib bones
- Green waste such as leaves, branches, flowers
- Kitty litter and pet waste
- Tissues or single-use paper products that contain bodily fluids or pathogenic material
- No ordinary plastic bags, plastic wrapping or meat trays (Council issued and AS4736 compostable bags only)
How do I recycle my food scraps?
Council will provide you with everything you need to recycle your food scraps.
Use only the compostable bags provided bag to line your kitchen benchtop bin. You can order replacement bags using Council's online request system.
If you want to use your own bags make sure to purchase bin liners that carry the AS4736 'seedling' logo. See below for our guide to finding Australian certified compostable bin liners.
Place all your food waste including meat and fish into your kitchen bench top bin (avoid large bones, shellfish and packaged food).
Once full, tie a knot in the top of the liner and take it to your burgundy lid food recycling bin (this will be located in your bin bay area or ask your Body Corporate or Strata Manager).
The food recycling bin is collected weekly by a dedicated food recycling truck and should be presented with your red lid garbage bin every week.
How can I reduce odour and pests?
Reducing odour and pests in your kitchen benchtop bin
There are a number of quick and easy steps you can take to reduce odour and pests with your kitchen benchtop bin:
- Wash your kitchen benchtop bin with hot, soapy water. The bin is also dishwasher safe.
- Use bicarb soda or paper towels to line the bottom of the of the bin.
- Use 100ml of water, 100ml of vinegar and a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a 200ml sprayer to create a chemical-free deoderising spray.
- Wrap meats and seafood in a paper towel before putting in your kitchen benchtop bin.
- If you have the space, you can also store meats and seafood in an airtight container in the freezer until the night before collection.
Reducing odour and pests in your wheelie bin
There are a number of quick and easy steps you can take to reduce odour and pests in your wheelie bin:
- Rinse the wheelie bin every week after collection. Clean using boiling water and detergent once a month.
- Use bicarb soda to line the sides and base of the wheelie bin. This will soak up food waste liquids, reduce odour and lessen the attraction of flies.
- Sprinkle table salt around the rim of the bin to deter flies and the formation of maggots.
- Use 2.5L of water, 2.5L of vinegar and 200ml of eucalyptus oil in a 5L pump action sprayer to create a chemical-free deoderising spray. This can also be used to reduce the odour of general waste bins.
Why is it important to recycle food organics?
Food scraps, together with other organic material, break down in landfill to create methane - a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Food waste accounts for 8 per cent of global emissions. If food waste were a country it would be the worlds third largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions behind China and the US.
To put it in perspective, the average Inner West apartment sends 106kg of food waste to landfill per year. If the average Inner West household recycled their food scraps the emissions saved would be equivalent to powering their household for 4 weeks.
How does recycling my food scraps make a difference?
With the help of our residents, we have achieved a number of milestones since expanding the service to the former Marrickville Council area. We are expecting to see these numbers increase significantly when our West service area residents join us in the food recycling service.
Where do the food scraps go?
The collected food scraps are recycled at EarthPower in the Sydney suburb of Camellia. EarthPower uses anaerobic digestion to convert food scraps into a methane gas. The gas produced by the digester is captured and used as a renewable fuel as green electricity.
The anaerobic digestion process also produces a nutrient rich sludge which is dried, granulated and sold to agriculture and horticulture markets.
You can find a step by step explanation of the food recycling process on EarthPower's website.
Please note there has been a temporary change to our food scrap processing as EarthPower is currently closed for maintenance and upgrades. While this work takes place food scraps are being sent to a commercial composting and worm farming facility where your food scraps are turned into compost, mulch and soil conditioners.
Who can join the food recycling service?
The food recycling service is now available across the Inner West Council area for apartment buildings with 10 or more units.
Apartment buildings with less than 10 units can 'opt-in' to the service by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Council is working on bringing a food recycling service to houses as soon as possible. If you live in a house and want to recycle your food scraps, you can find out more at food recycling for houses.
What if residents in my building speak other languages?
If you live in a building with residents who speak other languages you can use the translated materials below to provide some information about the fundamentals of the food recycling service.
We have included a version in plain English so you can understand the information included in the translated materials.