Fight food waste
Did you know? According to OzHarvest, one out of every five bags of groceries purchased by Australian households is wasted.
No one means to waste food but if we’re not careful, our grocery purchases can become food waste. In fact, according to the National Food Waste Strategy, food waste costs households $2,200 to $3,800 each year.
So imagine if there was a way that you could avoid food waste and divert organics away from landfill?
Here are some good food saving habits to get you started!
Minimising food waste!
There is lots we can do to fight food waste.
- Check what you already have in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Do some meal planning and make a list of any additional ingredients you might need.
- Purchase only what you need by taking your shopping list or using a saved list as you place an online order. Remember to bring your own shopping bags and containers and don’t fall for ‘deals’ requiring multiple purchases of perishable items that exceed your needs.
- Keep food fresh by storing food correctly. Use clear, airtight, reusable containers so the contents are visible and freeze food nearing it’s expiry date if possible.
- Love your leftovers by using up older fruit and vegetables in smoothies, soups and stocks, and use leftover dinner as lunches.
Scraps can join the compost conga line!
Around 50% of the average general waste wheelie bin is made up of organics and garden clippings. Put your wheelie bin on a diet and divert organics away from landfill. Your kitchen scraps can be put to good use as compost! Compost can reduce weeds, improve soil quality, help soil retain moisture, and reduce the need for chemical fertilisers in your garden. Start composting at home!
- Pick a composting style that fits your household. Choose from a kitchen bench bucket, in ground/compost bin/heap/worm farm in the yard, or chickens (remember to check Council requirements for keeping chickens before purchasing any feathered friends).
- Start your daily kitchen collection system habits (a container under your sink or kept in the bottom of the fridge) and add 'take scraps to compost' to your 'to do' list.
- Include worms' favourite foods like vegetable and food scraps, leaves, tea leaves and coffee grounds, vacuum cleaner dust, egg shells, some grass and small garden cuttings and used potting mix. Remember worms have dietary requirements - no meat, dairy, diseased plants, animal manure, magazines and chemicals.
- Check out the Party Planner's Guide to Composting on how to discourage unwelcome guests such as ants, cockroaches and rodents by getting the right mix of air, layers and moisture to allow the composting organic matter to breathe.
What’s the go with FOGO?
Rockhampton Regional Council and the Queensland Government launched a trial food and/or garden collection service to pre-determined households across the Rockhampton Region in October 2021. The roll-out of the Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) / Garden Organics (GO) trial is an action outlined in the Australian Government’s National Waste Policy. The Queensland Government’s Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy also supports the diversion of organic material from landfill.
- As part of this trial, 750 selected households across three areas in North Rockhampton, South Rockhampton and Gracemere received either a new Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) bin or Garden Organics (GO) bin.
- The FOGO and GO services were trialled for a 12-month period and the service has been continued to maintain participation within the existing trial areas.
- Council is preparing a business case in support of a community wide roll-out of a kerbside organics collection service. For more information contact the Rockhampton Regional Waste and Recycling team.
- FOGO Trial (2021-2022) Facts:
- 282 tonnes of organic waste were diverted from landfill
- Households with the GO service diverted 41% of their total household waste from landfill
- Households with the FOGO service diverted 67% of their total household waste from landfill
There are so many more helpful resources available to assist you to learn more about household organics. Check out some of them below.