Food is the most wasted commodity in Australian households. 1 in 5 grocery bags of food ends up in the bin, costing an average of $3,500 per household each year. That is equivalent to $5.3 billion of food wasted in Australia every year.
In 2022, Willoughby City Council participated in a trial food scraps recycling service for sections of the community. Utilising the results of this trial, Council is currently conducting extensive research and analysis to determine the best methods to divert food scraps from the general waste red-lidded bin for residents. Council aims to provide food and garden organics collection services as soon as possible.
In the meantime our general waste processor, Veolia’s Woodlawn facility, currently provides some recovery of organic material from the red-lidded bin which is used to produce compost that rehabilitates a former mine site. This facility also has an extensive gas capture network on its landfill site which produces the energy to operate the facility. So Willoughby City Council is reducing carbon emissions through our current system whilst research is being conducted on its future food and organics collection service.
Reduce food waste
One of the best things you can do to reduce the amount of food wasted in your home is to consider how you are buying, cooking and storing food. Here are 5 tips from Love food hate waste:
- Plan your weekly meals to save time and money.
- Write a shopping list and check the fridge and cupboard before you go.
- Measure serving sizes - visit Love food hate waste UK for their handy portion planner.
- Store your food correctly - air tight containers help keep food fresher for longer.
- Use your leftovers for an easy week night meal.
The War on Waste Action Toolkit (inspired by the ABC's popular TV series) also has some great ideas on ways to reduce food waste at home and in your workplace.
The best way to recycle your unavoidable food scraps is to use a compost bin or worm farm, which Willoughby residents can purchase at a subsidised price.
Donate and share
A surprising number of people in Sydney live below the poverty line and go hungry. We can all be part of the solution. You may have a glut of produce from your garden you want to donate. There are some great organisations rescuing and redistributing food around Sydney. Giving your time, money or food to organisations is often the most effective way to provide support, see how you can help.
Community food swap
Swap your excess produce - held on the first Friday of every month at The Dougherty Community Centre