Food waste avoidance

Reducing food waste is a priority for Council as it makes up 36% of the average garbage bin in the Council area and is critical in addressing a move towards zero waste. The food in your garbage bin breaks down in landfill and together with other organic materials it becomes the main contributor to the generation of methane - a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Wasting food wastes more

Wasting food also wastes the energy, water and natural resources used to grow, package, transport and market that food. Reducing your food waste helps reduce your overall environmental footprint.

Avoiding food waste

Key steps to avoiding food waste include:

  • Planning
  • Storing
  • Cooking creatively


  • Check your cupboards and fridge before you go shopping
  • Keep a list or write one before you go to the shops
  • Think about delaying shopping for a day and using what you already have
  • Make a weekly meal plan so that you don’t over buy
  • Don’t get tempted by two for one specials. It’s not saving you money if you don’t end up using it.


  • Learn how to store food correctly
  • Fresh food will last longer if it’s stored correctly. For example, salad and leafy greens can be wrapped in a damp tea towel and then placed in the fridge
  • Love Food Hate Wastehas some great storage tips
  • Confused about best before and use by dates? Here's a short video that explains the difference.


There are plenty of creative ways to use up leftovers or parts of vegetables that you might usually throw away. Here are some recipes:

Unavoidable food waste

Council offers residents support to compost or divert food waste through:

  • Home composting - Council offers all households one subsidised home composting and worm farming system through Compost Revolution.
  • Communal composting in apartment complexes with Compost Collective - Council offers apartment blocks free compost bins and ongoing support.
  • Food recycling in apartments - Council is rolling out a food recycling service to apartment buildings in the Inner West. All Inner West apartment buildings will have access to this service by mid 2021.

Do you have a food waste question or a great tip? Email us at