Wastewise Tips for Healthy Bins
Inside Your Home – Use Your Kitchen Caddy for Food Waste
- Remember that all food waste should be placed in the green bin which is collected weekly. Use the free kitchen caddy to make this easier.
- Sort and separate food waste, recyclables and general waste at the source. As well as using your free kitchen caddy for food scraps, consider having two small bins - one for recyclables and one for general waste.
- Keep the lids on all your bins tightly closed, especially the kitchen food waste bin. This prevents flies and pests getting into your waste and laying eggs.
- Keep all food covered and put scraps in the kitchen food waste bin straight away. Leaving food waste exposed allows flies to lay eggs.
- Double-wrap meat, bones and unwanted pet food as this will help reduce the smell and stop flies.
- Place left-over meat, prawn shells and similar food scraps in the freezer until collection day.
- Drain or wash excess liquids from food scraps before putting them in your kitchen bin. Line your food waste caddy with paper towel to soak up wet residues.
- Keep your kitchen food waste bin out of direct sunlight, preferably in a cupboard to prevent flies.
- Empty your kitchen food waste bin frequently, either every day or every second day.
- Wipe up spills inside your kitchen bin and wash or disinfect regularly both inside and out.
- You can continue to compost at home. Council’s food and garden waste green bin can take many things you can’t compost at home such as citrus, bread, bones, seafood, chicken and meat, tea bags and paper products.
- Wash hands and work surfaces after contact with waste.
- Rinse all solid food packaging (recyclable and non-recyclable) before putting it in the yellow and red bins. Rinsing yoghurt pots, meat trays and other packaging will help reduce smells.
- Try not to buy, prepare or throw away more food than you need to. Plan your food menus and use your leftovers – there are many internet sites that can show you how.
- Visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au or tips on how to cut down your food wastage, save money and reduce your impact on the environment.
Lime Green Lid - Food and Garden Waste
- Put ALL food waste in your green food and garden waste bin which is collected weekly.
- Put your green bin out for collection every week even if it is not full.
- Keep your green bin as dry as possible. Line with newspaper, cardboard or lawn clippings before adding food scraps to soak up any moisture and prevent any loose food waste from sticking to the bottom of the bin.
- Alternate food scraps with a layer of leaves or lawn clippings or weeds to reduce odours and prevent flies form accessing food waste.
- Allow grass clippings to dry before placing them in the bin.
- Cut down oversized garden waste to ensure the lid of the bin can always be closed.
Yellow Bins - Recycling
- Rinse recyclable food packaging, bottles and cans to remove any excess food residue and allow them to drain thoroughly before putting them in the recycling bin.
- Put newspaper, junk mail or paper towel in the bin first to help absorb any moisture and keep the bin clean.
Red Bins – General Waste
- By sorting your waste properly you could potentially reduce your red bin rubbish by more than half. A waste audit found that 60% of rubbish found in red bins should be put in green bins, and a further 20% should be put in yellow bins.
- Bag or wrap your general rubbish before putting it in the red bin. Old plastic shopping bags can be used to tie up your rubbish if you do not have black bags or bin liners.
- Pet waste can be buried in your garden. If you decide to throw it away, bag or double-bag it securely to prevent smells and flies.
- Wrap, bag or double-bag nappies and sanitary items to reduce smells. There are products available such as odour neutralising nappy bags and bin deodorisers that can help.
- Consider using washable cloth nappies to reduce waste.
Tips for Outside Bins
- Keep your bin lids closed at all times. This prevents flies from laying their eggs in your waste. It also stops smells spreading. If your bin is broken, contact JR Richards on 1300 725 415 to arrange a replacement.
- Store your outside bins in a well-ventilated, shady and convenient location. Keeping your bins out of direct sunlight will help slow general decomposition, reduce smells and stop or slow the development of maggots.
- Keep your bins clean by cleaning up any spillages on the outside or lip of your bin. These spillages could attract flies and vermin.
- Some private companies offer bin cleaning services if you do not wish to clean it yourself. Details of cleaning contractors in your area can be found in the yellow pages.
- Do not overfill your bins. If you need extra bin capacity, contact Council for additional service options and costs. For example, you can order an additional green or yellow bin for a fee.
Preventing Pests in and around bins
- If a fly settles on your food waste it may lay eggs. Maggots only exist if flies have been allowed to have access to your rubbish.
- A fly is more likely to lay eggs in your waste BEFORE it is placed in the bin. Therefore, it is important to keep your waste covered and place it in the bin as soon as possible.
- Do not leave food waste exposed in the kitchen where it could attract flies.
- Do not leave pet food out uncovered.
- Ensure pet excrement is removed from your yard regularly and buried or placed in the red bin. Remember to bag or double-bag pet waste. Fly eggs may be laid in pet excrement before it is placed in the bin.
- Pay attention to tell-tale signs of vermin such as cockroaches or mice and take appropriate steps to ensure effective pest control in bin areas.
- If you do have an incident of maggots, most will go when your bin is emptied, however it is also a good idea to clean and disinfect your bin once it has been emptied to kill eggs.
- Eliminate maggots by putting salt or vinegar on them. There are products available for this purpose. Always read the label and use as directed.
- Consider hanging insecticidal strips, available from hardware stores, inside your bin, or use fly spray or crawling insect powder. Fly spray will kill flies, but not work on maggots.
- Spray the rim of the bins with insect surface spray.
- Capture fruit flies with a bowl of apple cider vinegar covered with plastic wrap, with several small holes in the plastic.
- Although maggots are unpleasant, they are not a health hazard.