fruit and vegetables on a table

Food and Garden Waste Service

Food waste recycling is here

Greater Dandenong now has food waste recycling in place. 

All Greater Dandenong residents with a green lid garden waste bin can reduce their waste going to landfill by recycling their food scraps alongside garden clippings, grass and leaves.

Food waste means any food that is left over from meal preparation and plate scrapings, even including meat, fish, cheese, rice, pasta and cake.

Read more information regarding particular foods that is accepted below in the Food Waste Recycling Information Guide.

Information to help you get started 

Booklet and magnet

A fully detailed information guide on food waste recycling and a fridge magnet are now available for residents to collect at any of our Customer Service Centres

The information guide on the food waste recycling service contains details on what is accepted and not accepted, as well as some helpful hints and tips on successful food waste recycling - also available to download below. 

Food waste recycling information guide - 6MB

Videos

Residents can find out what can and cannot go in your garden waste bin and what happens to your food and garden waste by watching two YouTube videos. Click below to watch the videos:

What goes in your food and garden waste bin?

What happens to your food and garden waste? 

How to recycle your food and garden waste?

Register now for your free kitchen caddy

A kitchen caddy can make it easier to collect your food scraps as you prepare food in the kitchen. You can use your own container if you prefer, or you can simply place your food scraps directly into your green lid garden waste bin.

To be eligible for this offer, residents MUST have an existing green lid garden waste bin. Read more about the eligibility conditions on the online form. 

Please note that you will need your Property Number to apply for a free kitchen caddy. You can find this number in the top right hand corner of your rates notice. 

Register for a kitchen caddy

Why is Council doing this?

Approximately 50 per cent of waste found in the red lid garbage bins in Greater Dandenong is comprised of food waste. 

When food waste is sent to landfill, not only is that valuable resource ‘lost’, it also breaks down slowly and releases methane gas – which is a harmful greenhouse gas. Diverting food waste, along with garden waste, into the garden waste bin will prevent this from happening.

By providing residents with the option to put loose food waste into the garden waste bin rather than the red lid garbage bin, residents are playing their part in diverting waste from landfill.

Food and garden waste that is put into the green lid bin will be turned into high quality compost that is sold to farmers, growing food for Victorians.

To find out more about how the compost is helping our farmers on our What happens to my garbage, recycling and garden waste page.

Frequently Asked Questions

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I already have a garden waste bin - what does this mean for me?

You will be able to put loose food scraps into your garden waste bin.

Food must not be in a bag or container of any sort.

There will be no additional cost to residents who already have a garden waste bin.
 

I don't have a green lid garden waste bin - what does this mean for me?

If you do not currently have a garden waste bin and would like one please contact Council’s customer service team on 8571 1000 or visit the Bin Options and Charges page.

If you are renting and would like to add a garden waste bin to your services, you will need to speak to your landlord
 

Can I change the size of my existing garden waste bin?

Yes, you can change the size of your existing Garden Waste Bin by changing your bin option to either upgrade or downsize your garden waste bin.

What size garden waste bins are available?

Households can opt for either a 120L or 240L garden waste bin. For more information visit the Bin Options and Charges page.

What if I am already composting at home?

That's excellent. Thank you for doing this – please keep up the great work.

However, if you are still continuing to place some of your garden materials or food scraps that are not suited to composting in your garbage bin – then a food and garden waste bin can actually complement backyard composting, helping you to divert ALL your food waste and garden waste material away from landfill and making sure none of this valuable resource goes to waste.
 

What is a kitchen caddy?

A kitchen caddy is a small, lidded container used for storing and transporting of food scraps

A kitchen caddy can make it easier to collect your food scraps as you prepare food in the kitchen.

Keep your kitchen caddy handy as you prepare food, place your food scraps in to your caddy and then when it is full, carry it to your garden waste bin and tip the loose food scraps into your green lid garden waste bin.

I have a green lid garden waste bin, do I have to have a kitchen caddy to recycle my food scraps?

You do not need a kitchen caddy to start recycling your food scraps.

Any container will do – although we do recommend a lid – so an old ice cream tub or similar makes a great caddy.  And you can always replace it with a new one too – don’t forget to recycle your old ice cream tub when you are finished, just a quick rinse and it’s ready for the yellow lid bin. 

I am a tenant and would like to apply for a kitchen caddy. How do I do this?

If you are a tenant and you have a garden waste service, you will need to ask your landlord / property manager to complete the online kitchen caddy form on your behalf

If you are a tenant and would like to add a garden waste bin to your services, you will need to speak directly to your landlord / property manager.

I completed my online form, how do I receive my kitchen caddy?

You can choose to either have your kitchen caddy delivered, or collect your kitchen caddy in-person at your nearest customer service centre - please select which option on the registration form.

Please allow up to 2-3 weeks for delivery. 

If opting to collect in-person, please bring along your email confirmation you would have received after your online registration. 

A 'How to guide on food waste recycling’ and a fridge magnet will be included with your kitchen caddy delivery &/or collection. 

I currently don't have a garden waste service. Am I eligible for a kitchen caddy?

Residents who do not have a current garden waste service are not eligible for a kitchen caddy. 

Residents can change their bin option to include a garden waste service - Council will need to process your change of bin option application before you can apply for your kitchen caddy. 

Remember – you do not need a kitchen caddy to recycle your food scraps in your green lid bin! Any container with a lid will do - although we do recommend a lid - so an old ice cream tub or similar makes a great caddy. 

Will this effect the bin collection cycle?

City of Greater Dandenong’s collections cycles will remain fortnightly for Garden waste (green lid) after the introduction of food waste recycling from 5 April and the household general waste (red lid) will remain weekly.

How do I use the food and garden waste bin?

1. Collect food scraps in a kitchen caddy or a similar container

2. Empty the food scraps from your kitchen caddy into the green lid bin

3. Place your food and garden waste bin out on your kerb for collection

Hints and tips for managing food waste

  • Store your food and garden waste bin in a shaded area
  • Layer your food waste in between garden waste material such as grass clippings and leaves
  • You can wrap your food waste in 1-2 sheets of kitchen paper towel or a single sheet of newspaper before placing into your bin
  • Store food waste in a sealed container (eg an old ice cream container) in your freezer until the night before collection and then empty directly into the bin
  • Rinse out your kitchen caddy and green lid food and garden waste bin regularly
     

For further information please refer to the food waste recycling information guide.

Food waste recycling information guide - 6MB

I have a Garden Waste Bin but it is already full of garden waste - there is no room for food scraps

Thank you for using your garden waste bin for garden waste and keeping this material out of landfill. 

To make sure you can also divert your food scraps away from landfill, consider establishing a backyard compost bin for some of your excess garden materials and food waste in addition to utilising your garden waste bin.

Food waste actually does not take up a large amount of volume in your bin so you may be surprised what you can fit in!

To maximise space in your bin, you can layer your food waste with garden waste. 

If you find you have an excess of garden and food waste materials, you can order an additional garden waste bin by contacting Council and asking for an upgrade of your collection service to add an additional garden waste bin.

Details of the bin options and costs are available on the Bin Options and Charges page
 

Can I put my food waste in a compostable (or other) bag and place it into the garden waste bin?

No. The process which is used to turn the food and garden material in the garden waste bins is highly specialised and is designed to create a quality compost as quick as possible. Unfortunately the composting process is not designed to break down the compost liners quick enough – including those marked with the Australian Standard.

It is preferred that you line your kitchen caddy with either newspaper or paper towel. These not only breakdown easily in the composting process but also absorb liquids.

Placing items loosely into the bin also aids the composting process.

By not accepting any kind of bags (including compostable ones) we are minimising the risk of soft plastics finding their way into the food and garden waste bin. 

Items such as plastic bags, wrappers, food containers and other general waste items cannot be processed by the composting facility.