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Are you willing to sort food waste at home?

about 9 years ago

Having a 3 bin system would mean that your food waste needs to be separated from other non-recyclable waste in the kitchen... The third bin would take food waste as well as green garden waste.

Some considerations must be made for a 3 bin system to produce quality compost such as, the food waste can't be wrapped in plastic bags, it would have to be contained in biodegradable bags or just thrown as is in the bin.

This means that in the kitchen at home, you would have to separate your waste 3 ways also (recycling/food/general non-recyclable waste) For those that want a 3 bin system, have you considered this?

On the flip side of all this sorting at home- the end product of a 3 bin system is a higher grade compost than a 2 bin system. Does the quality of the product that is produced at the end of a waste management system concern you?

  • Brian H about 9 years ago
    Most of the food scraps go into our compost bin. We do not compost meat and fish scraps/waste. These are wrapped in a plastic bag and tied, then that goes into another plastic bag and tied. The plastic bags are the result of packaging and shopping bags (even though I use green reusable carry bags for shopping, sometimes we are given plastic bags to protect some foods). I am not prepared to dispose of meat/fish waste in a third bin, because of the odours and the risk of attracting vermin.
  • Gyarran about 9 years ago
    I would prefer a system that products a higher grade compost so I guess that means a 3 bin system. We are already separating out most of our food waste though - we have a compost bin and a worm farm to take care of that. The concern I have about mixing food and green waste is the frequency that the bin would need to be collected - every week. This means that on the weeks when recyclables are due for pick up, there would be 3 bins to go out. My only interest in a 3rd bin is to reduce the amount of green waste going to landfill - when we prune or have a major gardening blitz we generate too much green waste to handle in our composting regime - so the green waste goes in the general waste bin and hence to landfill, a waste of a perfectly good resource. The other dilemna is that we wouldn't need a green bin to be collected every 2 weeks - it's only when there's too much to handle ourselves. So if a 3rd bin is to be introduced for food and green waste which would need to be collected every week, ours would be empty most weeks. So for us, the type of 3rd bin being proposed is not an ideal solution to the problem of how to better dispose of excess green waste on some weeks. Why not have a 3rd bin just for green waste?
    • Project Leader about 9 years ago
      Hi there,You've raised some really good points. The purpose of developing a new waste strategy is to divert as much organic and recyclable waste from landfill as possible. At present, about 60% of what goes into the general waste bin can be prevented from going to landfill. Both 2 and 3 bin systems can prevent this waste from going to landfill in different ways. With the 3 bin system, the third bin for organic waste needs to eventually take the food waste out of general waste bin to reduce the amount going to landfill for the following reasons: 1.landfilling is wasteful, we need to be more sustainable 2. we have limited capacity at our one and only landfill at Awaba, 3. waste taxes are going up the less we landfill, the less the NSW Gov't can tax us, and 4. to achieve waste diversion targets set by NSW Gov't. So, in order to maximise the amount of waste prevented from landfill, the third bin must take food waste. This then raises issues about collection frequency as you have raised and will be dealt with once a strategy has been selected as they are implementation issues. It's important to understand that a 2 bin system can deliver the same diversion to landfill, if not more than a 3 bin system. The alternative waste treatment plant that processes the waste from the general waste bin turns it into a low grade compost that can be used for mine site rehabilitation amongst other uses. So, there are many elements for residents to consider... convenience of 2 bin system v higher grade compost with 3 bin system ... less greenhouse gas emissions with 2 bin system v slightly cheaper option with 3 bin system. And yes, another issue Council will have to find a solution for if a 2 bin system is selected is how to manage the excess green garden waste that many people on this forum have indicated they produce that doesn't fit into the current bin system.
      • Gyarran about 9 years ago
        If the choice comes down to a 2 bin system (basically what we currently have) or a 3 bin system with the 3rd bin eventually being used for food and green waste, then I would have to say reluctantly that I would prefer to stay with 2 bins. Rationale:1) A 3 bin system that requires the 3rd bin to be collected every week will result in extra trucks and hence greenhouse gases. While it may produce a better quality compost this end product comes at a high cost mainly because of the need to collect weekly.It would seem to be a waste of resources (trucks, manpower, fuel, bins)2) My concern with the 2 bin system is that I believe it encourages residents to be lazy and results in a lower grade of compost that has a limited use because of the potential for contaminantsIIn the implementation of your new strategy please give consideration to encouraging residents to be more responsible for managing their waste (encouraging worm farms and composting systems at home and providing education to optimise the outcomes of these home based processes, providing more frequent kerbside pickups of green waste especially at those times of the year when pruning is most popular - there are some things that just won't fit into a bin, doing bin audits and providing residents with feedback on what could be improved, providing regular information regarding what can and can't go in the recycles bin, providing regular updates of other recycling programs, etc
  • Chookman about 9 years ago
    This to me is the best option especially as there are many who cannot compost because of a variety of reasons. The reduction in landfill, and the utilisation of the resource that would be otherwise wasted is the way to go.
    • Project Leader about 9 years ago
      Hi Chookman,A 2 bin system achieves the same reduction to landfill as the 3 bin system - it recycles the general waste and turns it into a compost through an alternative waste treatment system. The benefit with a 2 bin system is people don't need to sort their food waste from everything else in their general kitchen bin, it remains business as usual, which caters to those people who are reluctant to make the effort to do this sorting.
  • lamson about 9 years ago
    We already compost food waste but not meat or fish which would, I assume, go into a third bin. The argument of an extra bin meaning greater traffic on possible road damage therefore greater maintenance bill I don't think can be considered because the shire is growing at a rate that it is inevitable roads will require more maintenance or upgrading. The extension in the life of Awaba and the recycling of compost must count for something.
  • Kenyon about 9 years ago
    Would the high quality compost produced be available to ratepayers at no charge? Not likely! I am not prepared to dispose of unwrapped food waste in a third bin - can just imagine the smell and maggot problems in summer. And as for the general non-recyclable bin what is the use of having a bin which in all likelihood (especially in my household) would probably contain a half kitchten tidy bag for collection - a complete waste of resources.
  • KB1 about 9 years ago
    I do not support the idea of including food waste in the green waste bin. Our dogs get most of the meat/fish leftovers and the rest goes to compost. I would be very concerned with vermin/pests if I were to put food waste in the bin, particularly in summer and with a 2-weekly collection. Green waste for branches/garden waste only! Perhaps an alternative to a green waste bin in every houshold would be a larger bin/skip every 10-20 houses. This would have to be continually assessed as to need and usage.
  • Caz about 9 years ago
    I don't believe every resident of LMCC would be bothered taking time to sort food waste if we had a three bin system and I certainly don't like the idea of placing unwrapped waste into a bin, especially during the summer months. My family are in the Parramatta Council area and have three bins - a smaller food waste bin, recyclable bin and a green waste bin and don't have to sort anything. Is this three bin system you are proposing a new initiative for all Councils? I would prefer to have another bin to use for green waste only, if not we will continue to place green waste in the household waste bin or wait until there's a Council pickup.
  • Alida about 9 years ago
    it would be good to have a 3rd bin system but just for the green waste eg. grass clippings, leaves etc. when we have bought a hot chicken and have thrown the remains away in our outside bin (even though it was in a tied bag) we had measles crawling over the rubbish in the bin. we had to clean our bin out thoroghly after the rubbish was collected. that's why it would be better to get rid of the food in the bin we have now for general waste every week for collection then have the recycling bin fortnightly then a green waste bin fortnightly (off week to the recycling bin so we don't have 3 bins to collect one week). there are a lot of people who do get rid of their food wastes in their own compost or worm farm. our local primary school is asking for our food scraps so they can use it for compost. that would be a good idea if other schools got involved with that. at least then the food scraps can go to good use.
    • Project Leader about 9 years ago
      If we were to get a 3 bin system, the food waste would evenutally have to go into that 3rd bin for organics (garden and food waste) to meet the reasons specified in the above response to Gyarran's post. That bin would have to be collected weekly because of the many issues you have all raised about odours and hygiene. If you don't like the idea of doing this- then we suggest you consider the 2 bin option and make a vote on the survey on this site. This survey will be considered by Council amongst all your feedback made on the forum.
  • Dee about 9 years ago
    I’m really concerned about a 3rd bin! Please NO 3rd bin1. Food scraps will attract vermin. I have a worm farm, it deals with most food scraps, meat scraps go to my dog or bagged in the freezer until bin night- due to smell/ maggots2. Except for autumn and spring where majority people do their pruning or collecting of leaf matter the ‘green bin’ for many people will be empty, especially if you have a compost bin. So maybe we could have more council green waste kerb side collections during those seasons or provide more collection drop off similar to Newcastle city council.3. We know that all things come at a cost- worried about the extra cost (through rates) that we will have to pay not only to give all residence a green bin ($$$$), but the ongoing collection, maintenance and tip fees associated with it. 4. Some homes won’t have any space to store the 3rd bin. If you do, how unsightly will it be having 3 bins at the front your home and imagine the smell from food water bin is summer! Then when it comes to collection where are the cars that are normally parked on the street (especially if you live near a school) going to park if we have 3 bins out taking up spaces waiting for pick up.In an ideal world I would like to see our recycle bin picked up more often, it’s overflowing after the first week - Or get rid of the divider. As for the rest of it, worm farms don’t take up that much room, I had a worm farm on the veranda of my 1 bedroom unit so it can be done it you want to! As for the rest I’m sure a compost bin, regular green waste pick- ups and drop off spot could be the solution and at a far cheaper cost to ratepayers.
  • wfgreen about 9 years ago
    Best solution is 3 Bins: (1)Weekly- collected food + non-recyclable plastics etc. as at present (2) Fortnightly- recyclable items - would be happy to sort paper from glass/plastic - presently all goes into same bin (3) New Monthly - garden waste for shredding and re-use. Mulch could be returned to community. Only contents of (1) would go to land fill
    • Project Leader about 9 years ago
      Unfortunately the solution you are suggesting does not meet the long-term needs of LMCC's waste management requirements. If a 3 bin system is selected as the appropriate strategy, it must eventually take food and garden waste in order to meet the NSW Gov't waste diversion targets and to avoid extra costs to the resident due to the waste taxes on amount dumped in landfill.
      • Collis about 9 years ago
        wfgreen's suggestion is my favoured option as well.If the 2 bin system can create low grade compost why not use this technique for the weekly food+non recyclables. The result would be at least some high grade compost. What has been the result of bin audits? Are food scrapes the majority of our waste?I dont htink we would produce a very small bag of bones as organic waste. Most goes to worm farm or compost on site. We have a small yard yet collect lawn clippings from the neighbours for composting. Education of the community is the answer and forced compliance via cost increase by wieght of waste as the carrot.
  • Greet a Garbo about 9 years ago
    I'm inclined towards two bins with additional news ways of removing the nasty products from the compost stream. Perhaps consider heavy duty bright orange plastic bags for residents to safely and conveniently dispose of batteries, phones, smoke detectors and other small electronics. These bags could be placed in either the garbage or recycling bin at the residents leisure and picked out by the recycler or waste technology for further recycling. The cost of this could in part be funded by the producers of these products and be part of their cradle to grave commitment. This idea ticks the convenience, low cost and quality compost boxes.
  • Neighbours chooks about 9 years ago
    I used to have 3 worm farms for our kitchen waste but it was a cockroach breeding ground and the possums took the lid off and helped themselves. My neighbours have chooks so I give all scraps to them. I have a bush garden so all prunings etc are cut up and left to rot.I do put wandering jew and onion grass in bin. I get very angry when we have curb side collection and green waste is sorted on the curb but it all just goes into the same truck with rubbish to the dump. WHY BOTHER
  • Spandolin about 9 years ago
    I already compost most kitchen scraps, the exceptions being citrus peel, onions and meat trimmings. I also have a large garden shredder that I have been using for over 20 years and this handles most garden trimmings and timber offcuts unless they are too large, in which case they are kept for a bulk clean-up. (The downside off this is that my gardens have risen so much that they are now overflowing the paths and driveway, so I may not be able to do this much longer). The rubbish that ends in my general waste bin would be the above scraps plus plastics without a recycling symbol, blister packs, cling film, garage DIY rubbish and weeds (including grass clippings if it has weeds in seed). Kitchen rubbish for this bin is placed in plastic bags such as those used for fruit and vegetables, usually after they've been used for other purposes first. I used to put plastic bags in the Life Cycle collection but since the termination of this service I am not sure how to recycle them, As mentioned by other commentators, smells and vermin would be a problem with unwrapped putrescible rubbish; I would be prepared to use a biodegradeable plastic bag if these were readily available, but I doubt that other residents would be prepared to do this. If the 3 bin system were adopted with the organics bin collected weekly does this potentially mean 3 collections in some weeks? Or would the general rubbish bin become a less frequent collection (possibly resulting in greater contamination of the organics bin)? The additional collections would require more council trucks and the cost of these would have to be compared to the cost of onsite sorting and the lower returns from a lower quality compost. Perhaps an alternative would be to use a split bin such as that used for recyclables, with one part used for "green" waste and the other used for other rubbish. That would require only 2 bins, and the same number of collections as current, albeit with a different truck. Some sorting may be required on-site, but this is potentially a cheaper solution without compromising the compost quality.On the subject of compost quality, what is the compost to be used for? If it is for domestic use then a higher quality waste might be preferable, but if it is to be used for mine site or industrial rehabilitation, golf greens, etc then a lower quality compost might be acceptable. Even with enthusiastic recyclers there would still likely be some contamination - for example are painter timber and treated pine offcuts green waste or not?On balance I would be prepared to use a 3 bin system if that is the most cost effective solution, although I have concerns about unwrapped rubbish, the additional trucks required (and greenhouse gases produced), and where to store an additional bin in my small yard.
    • Project Leader about 9 years ago
      Collection frequency for a 3 bin system would not be decided until after that strategy was chosen, if it is selected at all. More than likely, the way a 3 system would work with food introduced to the 3rd bin, would be the general rubbish bin collected fortnightly so that the food and garden waste bin (3rd bin) would be collected weekly to contain odours and hygiene control. The recycling bin and general rubbish bin would be alternated on a weekly basis. So yes, it is quite possible that the 3rd bin could become somewhat redundant due to contamination from residents using the 3rd bin for their general rubbish as that bin would only be collected fortnightly. Again, these are all possibilities. The main point is a 3rd bin is dependant on the good will of residents to dispose of their waste correctly, where as a two bin system cuts out that risk by doing the sorting at the waste treatment plant. The two bin system would not need a divider as the technology that processes the waste in the general rubbish bin produces a compost that is suitable for different uses including mine site rehabilitation by extracting contaminants through different devices such as eddy currents to remove metals etc.
  • lornabee about 9 years ago
    I like to put my food waste in plastic bags or plastic containers from supermarket foods such as yogart or ice cream containers which helps to keep smells and creepy crawlies away. Should I not be allowed to do this I would like my food stuff picked up every day as I think leaving them for a week wrapped only in paper is not healthy most particularlly in the summer. I never leave food rubish in the kitchen unless contained in a plastic container with an air tight lid on for this reason.
  • Cecil about 9 years ago
    We already do...fruit and vegie peelings/ offcuts etc. go to compost.meat trimmings go to the dogsfish trimmings go to the catsuneaten plate scraps and old leftovers go to the dogs..(amazing what they'll eat if you chop it up into their dog food!.... no onion though - compost that!! )Kids uneaten school sandwiches go to the dogs (don't know why I bother packing them most days)about the only "food" that goes in the bin here are chicken and fish bones!... (how can I recycle them?)and our compost bin eats most of our green waste, and what it can't gets saved and put out for bulk collection (branches etc.)I can see the point in having a third "food" bin for those NOT living on a residential block and hence no room to recycle themselves. Perhaps if introduced it could be "optional"?....
  • Banjo about 9 years ago
    Our food scraps are small and most go to the dogs. Other stuff is composted. However a more frequent bin for green waste would be welcome. I hadn't realised, and am surprised, at the high percentage of food waste in the bins. Certainly some education is needed in this area and supermarkets are starting to alert us to food waste. It is noticable in pubs and clubs that food waste is large because of the extremely large helpings they give.