Like most Inner City residents, you’re probably already recycling and taking reusable shopping bags to the supermarket.

But if you’re really serious about reducing waste, then it’s time to stop throwing food in the bin.

According to Planet Ark, half of the Australian household garbage is made up of food and garden waste. Food scraps are also one of the top contaminants in our recycling bins. Not only is this waste avoidable, but when organic material ends up in a sealed landfill, it breaks down and creates greenhouse gases. So if you live in the Inner City or Inner West and you’d like to live more sustainably, here’s how to cut down on food waste in your home.

Put food in the right bin

Both the Inner West Council and the City of Sydney Council are currently trialling a food scraps recycling program in certain areas. Eligible households are provided with a free additional bin for organic waste, plus a kitchen caddy and compostable bin liners to make saving food scraps easier. The councils then collect the waste and use it to create fertiliser and generate renewable energy.

If rolled out across the entire council area, these programs could one day divert 30-40% of household waste from landfill. Find out whether your residence or apartment complex is eligible for the collection service at your Council’s website.

Start composting

If your home is not currently part of the Council trial, you can still recycle your food scraps through a worm farm or compost system. The council will even help you out by offering heavily discounted gear through the Compost Revolution website, which also has information and tutorials to help you choose and set up the best system for your home. Remember: any home can recycle food scraps, whether you have a garden, a small balcony, a courtyard or no outdoor space at all.

If you live in an apartment complex, you can start a composting collective or worm farm for the building so that your neighbours can also take part (you will need to consult strata). Visit the Inner West Council or City of Sydney Council website for support on starting a community composting project, including gear, advice and troubleshooting help.

Alternatively, you may be able to drop your food scraps in someone else’s compost bin. Check whether your local community garden accepts organic waste, or join an online network such as Share Waste or Positive Waste – both help you locate shared compost bins in your area.

Get savvier in the kitchen

Recycling your food scraps is great, but reducing your food waste is even better. The NSW government’s Love Food Hate Waste website is a great resource with tips on how homes and businesses can cut down on food waste. Find out how you can shop and cook more sustainably, as well as store and preserve food to make it last longer. Saving money and the planet is a win-win for everyone.

Contact my team for more tips on living in Sydney’s Inner City and Inner West.

Brad Gillespie - Property Partner

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