Recycling Benefits

Reduce food waste— don't let great taste go to waste

Each year Victorian households throw away 250,000 tonnes of edible food – enough to fill Melbourne’s Eureka Tower. That costs the average household about $2,136 a year in wasted food. Almost two thirds of the food we throw away could have been eaten.

Planning meals, shopping smart, cooking waste free and storing food correctly reduces food waste and saves money.

Sustainability Victoria has lots of quick and easy tips to help you reduce food waste.


Why is reducing food and green waste to landfill so important?

If you do create food waste, recycle or compost it rather than putting it in your rubbish bin.

If food and green waste is added to your household rubbish bin, it is dumped in landfill. In landfill it decomposes without oxygen (anaerobically). This process produces odorous gases and methane, which has a global warming potential 25 times greater than carbon dioxide.

Food and green waste in landfill also produces leachate, a liquid that’s created as material decomposes. This leachate must be carefully managed as it contains harmful substances that can pollute groundwater and waterways if not contained.

By recycling your food and green waste you prevent it going to landfill, which helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and odour and leachate production. Find out if your local council collects food waste in your green waste bin. If your council doesn’t, why not set up a compost bin at home or find a neighbour who has one already?


Composting is better for the environment

Composting is a natural process of decomposition using oxygen (aerobically) that is better for the environment. It produces useful materials that can be put back into the earth to improve soil.

Composting turns food and green waste into a range of high quality, natural soil conditioning products such as mulches, composts, blended soils and potting mixes used in landscaping, horticulture and agriculture. These products take food and green waste back to earth, enriching the soil and helping to grow healthy crops and pastures that produce food for everyone. Today’s food and green waste can grow tomorrow’s lunch!


Everyone benefits, including the earth!

Whichever way you look at it, when you recycle your food and green waste correctly everyone wins.


How food and green waste recycling benefits the environment:

  • Creation of high quality compost
  • Reduced waste in landfill
  • Reduced greenhouse gases and leachate generation
  • Reduced odours


How the compost helps gardens and farms bloom:

  • Improves the structure of soil, helping it to better retain water and nutrients
  • Improves crop yields and pastures for grazing
  • Supports beneficial soil organisms which helps plants grow
  • Encourages plants to develop deeper root systems making them stronger
  • Reduces the potential for soil borne diseases to develop in plants 
  • Reduces pesticide and synthetic fertiliser use

Still got questions? Read our answers to some of the most commonly asked food and green waste recycling questions.

Watch how compost, collected through the Back to Earth Initiative, is helping Victorian farmers.