Green bin changes mean less confusion and healthier soil

Tweed Shire Council

Changes to what can be put in green bins across the Tweed are now being rolled out, which will mean healthier soil and less confusion at the bin.

Following a directive from the NSW Environment Protection Agency (NSW EPA), fibre-based materials will no longer be able to be placed in residents’ green bins, including products such as paper, cardboard and teabags.

This means green Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) bins – the green-lid bins – will now be restricted only to food scraps and garden waste.

Council’s Waste Education Officer Yvette van Amstel said while the changes might take some time to get used to, they would ultimately improve the quality of compost made from green waste collected from thousands of households across the Tweed.

“Unfortunately, too many fibre-based products now claim to be compostable but in reality, they aren’t, and can contain harmful substances including chemicals that can damage our environment and affect our health,” Ms van Amstel said.

“Keeping these potentially harmful items out of our green bins means we can create high-quality commercial compost to support soil health and any fresh produced that grows from it, such as fruit and vegetables.”

Linda Tohver, from North East Waste, said the changes would take our green bins back to basics.

“If you’ve ever questioned whether or not you can put a soiled pizza box or paper towel in the green bin, these new guidelines will eliminate that confusion,” Ms Tohver said.

Council and North East Waste will be running education campaigns to help the community transition to these new changes. This will include updates across web and social media. People can visit either of the Council administration buildings for information about the changes.

Under the new guidelines, products that CAN go in your green organic bin include:

  • fruit and vegetable scraps

  • meat and bones

  • seafood and shells

  • pasta, bread, rice and cereal

  • eggs

  • dairy products

  • loose tea leaves and coffee grinds

  • garden waste (leaves, clippings, weeds etc).

Products that should NOT go in your green organic bin include:

  • fibre-based products (bamboo, cardboard, paper etc)

  • paper towels, serviettes, tissues, napkins

  • compostable or biodegradable products (excluding AS 4736-2006 kitchen caddy liners)

  • vacuum cleaner dust

  • washing machine and dryer lint

  • pet poo and poo bags

  • tea and coffee bags

  • treated wood and timber.

The only exceptions that will be allowed in the green bins include kitchen caddy liners made from newspaper or compostable liners that comply with Australian Standard AS 4736-2006.

/Public Release. View in full here.