At home


Turn your kitchen waste back into food, via your garden.

Nearly half of what we throw into the garbage bin is food and garden vegetation and it's not just peelings.  On average each NSW household wastes around $1000 worth of edible food a year.

For more information on avoiding this waste of money, energy and packaging materials, visit Love Food Hate Waste.

Compost is natural, inexpensive and good for the environment. By using food scraps and garden vegetation as compost, you:

  • improve soil quality and garden vitality
  • use less water in the garden
  • recycle valuable nutrients and reduce the use of artificial fertilisers
  • prevent carbon emissions and increases in landfill from food and garden waste.

Types of home-composters to buy or make

  • plastic bins with ventilation holes or slits
  • plastic bins without ventilation
  • metal drums with holes punched in the side and the base removed
  • rotating drum units (tumblers)
  • enclosures made from timber (planks or sleepers), bricks or chicken wire.

Tips for composting

  • Choose a shady spot in the garden to start your compost heap or to position your compost bin.
  • Add to your compost in layers of food scraps, garden clippings and paper.
  • Keep your compost moist, but not wet, and aerate it about once a week
  • Dig it into your garden or spread it on top as mulch. Your compost should be ready when it is dark and crumbly, after about four months.

What to put in your compost

Compost needs a ratio of three 'brown' (carbon-rich) to approximately one ‘green’ (nitrogen-rich) amounts of material. You can also add egg shells, tea bags and even dust from the vacuum cleaner to your compost.

  • Brown: leaves, twigs, sawdust, shredded paper.
  • Green: fruit and vegetable peelings, grass clippings, soft prunings and leaves.

Do not add:

  • diseased plant material
  • meat scraps and bones
  • dairy products
  • bread
  • cake 
  • pet droppings.

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Page last updated: 29 January 2016