Recycle and Reduce in the kitchen.

Mark Austin


  • Reduce needless consumption and the generation of waste.
  • Reuse any item that can be reused or give it to a person or charity that can reuse it.
  • Recycle whatever discards remain if you can and only dispose what you must.
  • Buy food in large quantities or in bulk. Grains and cereal are especially easy to purchase this way. Avoiding small individual packages of any product or consumable greatly reduces the amount of paper or boxboard that you buy and throw away. Of course, don't buy large quantities if the food would spoil before it is used.
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Food waste is a growing area of concern with many costs to our community in terms of waste collection, disposal and greenhouse gases. When your rotting food ends up in landfill it turns into methane, a greenhouse gas that is particularly damaging to the environment. Food waste costs you money and also wastes the valuable water and energy resources used to produce the food.

Kitchen and food waste

Storage in the fridge-Keep your food fresh and avoid wasting energy by having your fridge set at the right temperature—between 3 and 4 degrees Celsius for the fridge and between minus 15 and minus 18 degrees Celsius for the freezer. Use a fridge thermometer to check.

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Shopping and planning

reduce the waste your household generates from food and packaging. Much of the food waste in our kitchens comes from inadequate planning or simply buying too much food.

It's important to plan meals around what food is left in your fridge, as a large proportion of food waste comes from food that's past its use-by date. Plan your shopping too—having a list will help keep you on track and save you money.

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The majority of packaging that comes with your food can be avoided or recycled. Fresh food doesn't need packaging and can be placed in your own re-usable bags. Rigid hard plastics, tins, paper, foil and pie trays, cardboard and drink containers can all go in your home recycle bin. Check our recycling information and make sure you know what your local council will and won't collect.
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Compost and worm farms

Even though food waste is organic and will generally decompose, when it mixes with other waste in landfill it can contribute to the production and release of dangerous gases, like methane, which is harmful to the environment.

Food waste can also easily be recycled into compost. Composted mulch applied to your garden helps capture carbon in the soil, which means you improve the health of your soil and assist water retention.

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Backyard chickens

If you have the space, keeping a few chickens in your backyard is a great way to get back to basics. It's not just their egg-laying capacity that makes chooks great pets; they're also a valuable asset around the garden and can help you reduce waste.

Keeping chickens can help you to:

  • get rid of household scraps and reduce the amount of food wastegoing to landfill
  • maintain a regular supply of low-cost, fresh, better tasting, organic eggs
  • create a great source of organic fertilizer and natural pest control for your garden
  • reap health benefits by eating organically grown produce
  • enjoy observing your flock—chickens have lots of personality
  • educate children about caring for animals and where food comes from—they'll love feeding the hens and collecting the eggs too
  • reduce food transport kilometres by growing your own produce.
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