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Food Scraps To Be Banned From Rubbish Bins

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    FOOD could be banned from household rubbish bins or residents might be charged extra to remove it under proposals to deal with the state’s growing mountains of garbage.

    A “scrap tax” for the collection of food items from households is one recommendation under a radical plan to address our wasteful ways.

    Under proposals before the State Government, all food would be either banned from bins or residents would be forced to pay to throw it out.

    It comes after a review found a third of household garbage was food that could be composted rather than rotting in land fill.

    If the plan was put in place, Sydney could see the rise of lockable bins to stop neighbours filling them up at night, similar to procedures in Europe where rubbish is paid for by weight.

    The NSW Waste Strategy and Policy Steering Committee Review found residents of just 15 councils generated 37 per cent of domestic waste in the entire state. Blacktown, Sutherland, Wollongong, Lake Macquarie, Wyong, Gosford, Fairfield, Bankstown, Penrith and The Hills made the top 10 list of most wasteful council areas, generating between 80,000 and 120,000 tonnes each a year.

    Householders currently pay a levy in their council rates for garbage collection, regardless of how much rubbish they generate. But the scrap tax would force residents to pay for food they throw away because the existing levy, a $385 million money-spinner for NSW Treasury, does not encourage people to recycle, the review said.

    It found the current levy had “no effect” on recycling but warned the scrap tax could lead people to use their neighbours’ bins to escape the cost.

    “A cost-neutral scheme could be considered in which the rate was increased for some waste streams [eg putrescibles] and reduced for other waste streams [eg non-putrescibles],” it said.

    “That would impact most directly on ratepayers in council areas that do not take action and there may be demographic factors that influence the ability of some councils to take action.”

    It admitted a scrap tax would be difficult to enforce, could be rorted and would result in much bigger bills.

    Environment Minister Frank Sartor said the review and response documents were released for public comment, following consultation with waste industry and councils. “A continued increase in waste generation is likely to occur as a result of population growth and economic activity,” Mr Sartor said.

    This is quite a hot topic on another forum I frequent. Personally I think it’s a great idea, a lot of them don’t. :unsure: I was really surprised at how many people do not compost…one person has two green waste bins they fill every fortnight! :blink: I struggle to get enough green stuff for my compost bin!


    Backyard chooks walking compost bins……

    sue esue e

    years ago our council provided compost bins to whoever wanted them to encourage composting of scraps, green waste our current council doesnt even provide recycling bins! amazing how one administration can be so different form another.


    I live in the Wyong council area. The reason they don’t do well in the garbage is that you can’t have food scraps, even if they’re plant based in your “green recycleable” bin. Only grass clippings. This all goes into a compost type recycle centre, so what the hell is wrong with the other scraps?

    I have a worm farm and 4 chooks and a four legged s**t machine! (yep, the dog!) who consumes much of the left overs, that are generated by peeling veges etc, or something that doesn’t get finished at dinner time. However, the council is missing the point in regards to recycling.

    On the tops of the bins they have a directive on what you can and cannot recycle, and there is more that you cannot, than what you can? so if they want to reduce the land fill, then they need to do a little more homework on where they can take the refuse from kitchen scraps, seeing as they would prefer the rats in our houses than in theirs, … although there are a fair few rats that actually sit on the council 😀

    Perhaps they should also look into community programs for setting up a spare council land for composting, for a community garden? The primary school has composting buckets wherever there are garbage bins, and the children are all rather adept at knowing what food they can and cannot recycle into the compost bins 😀 (large buckets with lids). These bins are then carried down the back of the school and composted as top dressings for the gardens within the school. Such a lovely thing for each child is knowing they helped to make a difference with the lunches they didn’t finish.


    Great idea, but there will be a lot of opposition to it from the masses. They aren’t explaining the whole putrescible waste, anaerobic, methane production link and what that means for the climate situation.

    But all new ideas go through the same process

    first they are ridiculed

    then they are vehemently opposed

    then they are accepted as fact



    given that many compost heaps aren’t managed properly and produce methane anyway, i imagine this proposal has nothing to do with the climate situation and a lot more to do with passing responsibility for rubbish management back to the residents.

    the impact it could have on household management would be a good thing (eg meal planning to reduce wasted food). It could be a great plan wholistically if it came with free composting/chook keeping/worm farming workshops.


    shadowdancer post=299229 wrote: I live in the Wyong council area. The reason they don’t do well in the garbage is that you can’t have food scraps, even if they’re plant based in your “green recycleable” bin. Only grass clippings. This all goes into a compost type recycle centre, so what the hell is wrong with the other scraps?

    i think it’s quite unusual for councils to provide a green recyclable bin at all. in the wingecarribee shire, we have a bin for landfill rubbish and a bin for recyclable stuff (paper, glass, plastic, tin). everything else needs to be taken to the tip.


    Top idea. No idea how it could be enforced! But perhaps as earlier suggested free provision of worm farms and encouraging local residents to use them would be a positive way to enforce it.

    Judi BJudi B

    I think it is a good idea but wont work for some brisvegas lives in a unit complex so can’t compost hasn’t got a garden either.

    The only food scraps that go in the bin here are bones and fat, my compost doesn’t work too good never enough water for it, mind you at the moment it is surrounded by water and full of ants trying to get out of the water.


    Compost bins and a turning screw ($20 from Bunnings) for households that want them may help!!

    I actually ask my neighbours for their lawn clippings when I spot them mowing and i have a neighbour who often leaves a bag of veggie scraps next to my garage.

    I only fill a small garbage bag a week and in that is stuff that cannot be recyled and leftover food that cannot be composted.

    Wish I could have chooks – we would have virtullay no garbage apart form recyclable stuff!!


    In the town where I work residences have 3 bins

    Bin 1 household rubbish

    Bin2 recyclables

    Bin 3 garden refuse.

    I take home as many food scraps as I can when I’m working but it goes in the bins when I’m not.

    I used to take a bucket to work when I worked in a different section and got all the food scraps for the pig.

    People got used to saving the scraps for me they’d even ask if I had my scrap bucket that day.I would have one empty one in the car to swap over.

    I knew people who would throw out food the next day even if they hadn’t touched it this annoyed me terribly.

    So maybe this is aimed at them.

    It wouldnt surprise me if we ended up with a food refuse bin.

    At our place we have Bin 1 household ,Bin 2 recyclable and the tip.We hardly ever have any rubbish for either bin but we still have to pay for collection regardless of how often they go out.

    As others have said it has its pro’s and cons hopefully they will get it right at some stage.


    I have lived in a flat with no provision for compost, and catered for medieval feasts, at one time I had 20 chicken carcasses to dispose of, another time it was fish. I was expected to keep this stuff in my flat for a week in hot weather..

    In Medieval Italy, cities required that garbage be collected every day. In our ‘modern, advanced society’ we can only collect once a week, now they want people to hold on to food scraps when they have no place to put it?

    sue esue e

    i just put that kinda stuff in the freezer until bin day and bin it then. we don’t eat much meat though so there isn’t much to store.


    20 chicken carcasses do not fit in a small single person freezer, actually the stock I made from them hardly fitted. I wouldn’t want to compost them either. Here such stuff is bodily hurled into a paddock, but not everyone has 85 acres of paddock. That is what urban rubbish collection is for, to dispose of stuff that would be unhygenic to keep in a city house. Are we only going to dispose of ‘clean’ rubbish?

    Certainly composting should be encouraged where possible, but without care compost areas will just become filthy rat nests. I am happy to spend hours each week turning compost, but I can accept that most people just don’t have my feel for it.


    I have to agree Greth, I live in a tiny flat with a little concrete courtyard. Everything I grow is in pots. I have often thought about composting, but then I always come to the conclusion I wouldn’t really be able to use it.

    I do however feel its a great concept and perhaps if they were serious about it, blocks of flats could be given a council compost bin which the council could then take and use on parks/council land etc. I think they need to be practical about all this.

    I’m on a waiting list for a plot in a local community garden. When I eventually get a spot, I’ll definately compost.

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