Inner West

SYDNEY: A new food recycling service is about to be rolled out to every Inner West home in a reform that will massively reduce carbon emissions and save ratepayers millions of dollars in landfill fees. 

From October 9, all Inner West residents will be able to recycle all their food scraps and leftover food as well as garden waste in their green bin, which will be collected weekly.

Food waste currently makes up approximately 40% of the general waste in garbage bins. When food waste rots at landfill it releases potent methane contributing enormously to carbon emissions.

The NSW Government has mandated that all Councils introduce food recycling by 2030. The Inner West is one of the first councils in Sydney to implement this because we understand our community wants to act now to help combat climate change.

Mayor Darcy Byrne said universal food recycling will have big environmental and financial benefits for the whole community.

“Making food recycling universal is a necessary reform that will massively reduce our community’s carbon emissions and save ratepayers millions of dollars in landfill fees over time,” Byrne said.

“Diverting food and garden organics from landfill is the single biggest thing we can do as a community to reduce our carbon footprint and combat climate change.

“Through food recycling every Inner West resident can contribute directly to combating climate change.

“We know that changing the way we dispose of waste will be a challenge at first and we are ready to work with and support our community to make this improvement.”

Why are we making this improvement?

  • Food waste that rots in landfill produces potent methane that contributes enormously to climate change.
  • The carbon emissions saved by diverting food scraps from landfill across the Inner West will be equivalent to taking 8,360 cars off the road for a year.
  • By introducing food recycling, we will save Inner West ratepayers more than $370,000 per year in landfill fees.
  • Food recycling is already available to all Inner West apartments and is working well.
  • Food recycling already covers approximately 30% of Australian homes and is operating successfully in Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, and most regional councils in NSW.

Change in bin collections schedule.

The NSW Environmental Protection Agency has identified best practice from other councils that have implemented food recycling.

They found that weekly food and garden waste collection and fortnightly collection of red lid garbage bins is the best configuration to maximise food recycling.

From late September through to mid-November, Council will be delivering a benchtop bin and compostable bin liners to every home in the Inner West.

From 9 October, green lid FOGO food recycling bins will be collected weekly and the red lid garbage bins will be collected fortnightly.

Evidence from other Councils who have implemented Food Recycling shows that with food scraps being transferred to the green lid FOGO bin, red lid bins will have enough capacity. Based on our current collected tonnages of waste we estimate the average red lid garbage bin will be 80% full every fortnight, if residents recycle food and garden waste in their green lid bin.

The average Inner West garbage bin is made up of 37% food, 3% garden and 10% recycling – by using their existing bins residents can halve what’s in their red lid garbage and manage fortnightly collections.

Assistance for residents.

  • Residents can also book an extra red lid garbage bin collection whilst they get used to fortnightly collection.
  • Residents can request a larger 240L red lid bin which be provided for free. These will be rolled out after the initial implementation of food recycling.
  • Council’s website has tips and information on how to free up space in red lid bins if residents are finding it challenging.
  • A new Waste Busters team has been formed to visit residents at home and provide advice, assistance, and tips for reducing their red bin waste.

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