Compost Collective



Compost bin deliveries and training postponed

Any Compost Collective sign-ups after 16 December 2022 will be contacted in February 2023 to arrange the compost bin delivery and training. 

In the meantime, access to free composting information and a pre-recorded webinar on the Composting and Worm farming website.

      Get a free compost bin

      When you join the Compost Collective you will receive:

      • A compost bin with a rodent-proof mesh, compost spiral (aerating tool), and a kitchen benchtop bin (one per participating household)
      • Practical advice and hands-on assistance to set up the composting system
      • Ongoing support through follow-up site visits and online problem solving


        Inner West Council residents living in apartment buildings, townhouses, sharehouses or houses, and willing to compost with other households (minimum two).

        Compost bins must be installed inside the residential property. 

        Join now

        Sign-up form

        If you would like more information about this program, please email

        Common FAQs

        What are the aims of Compost Collective? 

        The Compost Collective is a program that supports residents willing to compost together. The aims are to:

        • Reduce emissions and waste
        • Create healthier urban soils to grow food and improve green areas
        • Build community and local knowledge in composting  

        What would the Council require me to do? 

        Residents must: 

        • Keep the compost bins inside the residential property. If compost bins are found in public spaces, they will be removed.

        Residents are encouraged to:

        • Record the amount of food scraps placed in the compost bin for the first six weeks of joining the project. This will help Council estimate how much waste you are diverting from landfill and how much compost you are creating each year.
        • Maintain the compost bin(s) and help to educate and motivate other residents/neighbours wishing to join the project.
        • Participate in Compost Collective promotion and acknowledge Inner West Council’s contribution.
        • Contact Council if you have any concerns about how the compost bin is functioning.
        • Allow Council to inspect the compost bins upon reasonable request.
        • Attend a follow-up composting workshop at the Green Living Centre (GLC) if available.

        What if I don’t have much space?

        The standard 210 litre compost bin Council provides is approximately 0.8m × 1m, and so doesn't require a large amount of space. The compost bin is best placed on soil, lawn or garden beds.

        Will the compost bin smell or attract unwanted creatures?

        If you place the correct amount of food waste, dry materials and garden waste in your compost bin, it should not smell bad. There is no composting system that will be totally trouble-free; however, managing the system properly will be the key to its success. A compost system that is set up adequately and is well managed can demonstrate to others an efficient and cost effective way to divert your food waste away from landfill and recycle it back into your garden.

        Council will provide the resources and support needed as you learn to get your compost system working well. This will include lining the base of the compost bin with wire to deter rodents from digging underneath. You will soon be able to identify the beneficial creatures that may take up residency in your compost bin ecosystem.


        What can I do if some people in my unit block object to setting up a compost bin on our site?

        Sometimes people may have negative perceptions or experiences of compost systems, or are not aware of the needs of a compost system.

        It is best to communicate with residents on your site and keep people informed about the project from the beginning. This way they will understand what is happening and are able to participate and join if interested. Give people a chance to ask questions and discuss the project with you. If people object, have a chat with them about their concerns—Council’s Resource Recovery Officer can assist with these discussions.

        Common reasons people might object are that they think composts are smelly, dirty or attract flies or vermin. This may be true of some poorly-managed compost bins, so you can change people’s experiences by having well-managed compost.

        What if some people at my unit block aren’t interested?

        The Compost Collective only requires two units per site to sign up and show other units how they can get involved. Just a few units can make a real difference.

        It’s fine if some people aren't interested—not everyone needs to participate for the project to be a success in your unit block.

        How does my involvement benefit me and my neighbours?

        Compost is a valuable resource. You can use the finished compost you make around garden and lawn areas as a soil food or to top up and feed pot plants. Finished compost improves soil structure and plant health, which is great when growing your own fruit, herbs and vegetables. You can save money by converting your waste into a resource to feed your plants.

        Food waste makes up nearly 40% of your red bins, so composting may reduce the number of red bins your unit block needs, saving space in common areas.

        Garden ‘green’ waste such as lawn clippings, dry leaves and plant cuttings can be used to add to the compost system, this could assist in keeping communal areas tidy.

        Introducing a communal activity such as composting is a great way to meet like-minded people and create neighbourly relations. Through composting you can connect and have a common aim, share skills and ideas—this may lead to other benefits and build community.

        Will it really make a difference if I start composting?

        Yes—each household can contribute to change by moving towards zero waste! More than 800,000 tonnes of food is thrown away by NSW householders each year—that is 315 kilograms of food waste for each household going to landfill.

        By reducing the amount of food waste going to landfill you will contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gases.

        Building your soil can make your plants healthier so you will have less need for treating pests (fewer pesticides), reduce the amount of artificial fertilisers needed, and increase the water holding capacity of your soil (therefore using less water).

        Taking responsibility for where your waste ends up is a great first step in helping your local environment and living more sustainably.

        Useful information for existing participants

        Rate this page

        • Rate as The content was useful82.22% The content was useful votes
        • Rate as The content was not useful17.78% The content was not useful votes

        Thanks for your feedback. We will use this data to improve the content of this page.

        Page last updated: 12 Sep 2023