Reducing food scraps at home

Why it's important

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. Our last residential waste bin audit revealed over 39% of the content in our bins are compostable food scraps.

How to 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:

  1. Plan your weekly meals to save time and money.
  2. Write a shopping list and check the fridge and cupboard before you go.
  3. Measure serving sizes - visit Love Food Hate Waste for their handy portion planner.
  4. Store your food correctly - air tight containers help keep food fresher for longer. Label meals so you can find them easily in your fridge and freezer. 
  5. Use your leftovers for an easy weeknight 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.

Food swap 

Food swaps run on the first Friday of every month at the Dougherty Centre

Household food scrap collection

In 2022, Willoughby City Council participated in a food scraps recycling service trial for sections of the community. Utilising the results of this trial and learnings from other local government municipalities, Council is determining the best method for delivering a service that maximises food scrap recovery from our red general waste bin, to ensure it meets the diverse needs of our community.

Whilst research is being conducted on our future food and organics collection service, our general waste processor, Veolia’s Woodlawn facility, currently provides some recovery of organic material from the red general waste bin. At this facility the organic material is turned into compost that rehabilitates a former mine site. There is also an extensive gas capture network on its landfill site which produces the energy to operate the facility.