Green Bins go back to basics for better compost: Ballina Shire

New green bin rules mean it’s easier than ever for Northern Rivers residents to sort out their waste.

Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) bins should now only be used for food scraps and garden waste. This means fibre-based materials are no longer accepted, including paper, cardboard and teabags.

North East Waste Education Coordinator Linda Tohver said the advice takes 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 eliminate that confusion,” she said. “Food scraps and garden waste are all that belong in the green bin.”

The only exceptions are compostable kitchen caddy liners that comply with Australian standard AS 4736-2006 or when paper is used to wrap food scraps in.

“Small amounts of newspaper should only end up in green bins if it has been used as a kitchen caddy liner,” Ms Tohver said. “If in doubt, go liner-free and rinse caddies between uses.”

The advice aims to improve the quality of compost made from green waste collected from households across the Northern Rivers.

“Too many fibre-based products claim to be compostable but contain chemicals and substances that can harm the environment and our health,” Ms Tohver said.

“Keeping those potentially harmful items out of our green bins means that we can create high-quality commercial compost to support food production and soil health.”

What CAN go in your green bin

What should NOT go in your green bin

Fruit and vegetable scraps

Fibre-based products (bamboo, cardboard, paper etc)

Meat and bones

Paper towels, serviettes, tissues, napkins

Seafood and shells

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

Pasta, bread, rice and cereal

Vacuum cleaner dust

Eggs and Dairy products

Washing machine and dryer lint

Loose tea leaves and coffee grinds

Pet poo and poo bags

Garden waste (leaves, clippings, weeds etc)

Tea and coffee bags

Council approved compostable kitchen caddy liners that comply with AS 4736-2006 and paper used to wrap food scraps.

Treated wood and timber

The guidelines are supported by the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Position Statement on FOGO best practice.

Mulchy appreciated.

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