How to use your green bin

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Use your green bin to turn your food and garden waste into something valuable – compost.

Using the green bin for food and garden waste will divert 8,000 tonnes of waste per year from landfill and instead make compost.

Prior to Recycling 2.0, more than 40 per cent of material in our rubbish bins was garden and food waste, with most of this being food waste. By simply putting food waste in the green bin, instead of the rubbish bin, you can make a big difference.

Many Hobsons Bay residents already have compost bins. They’re a great way to deal with your food and garden waste and improve your garden soil. Residents can receive a 50 per cent discount on a home compost bin. Click here for details.

Residents can wrap their food waste in one or two sheets of newspaper or paper towel before placing it in the food and garden waste bin. Please do not put plastic bags in the green bin. Council's recycling partner, Veolia, advises that better recycling outcomes are achieved without plastic, including compostable bags. Click here to read why, or scroll down.

Food and garden materials from the green bin are composted. Composting decomposes the food and garden waste using oxygen, which prevents the release of harmful gases and creates useful material, like compost and mulch, to put back into the earth.       

Residents are reminded to only use Council-provided green bins, with the Hobsons Bay logo on the front and the light-green lid. This helps the right truck collect the right bin every time.

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Your green bin is collected weekly.

Items accepted in your food and garden light green bin:
(To search a full list of items and find which bin it goes in, click here.)

Meat and bones (cooked and raw)




Dairy (such as butter, cheese, yoghurt – no packaging)


Vegetables (cooked and raw)

Onions, garlic





Tea, loose

Coffee grounds, no pods

NB: Food waste includes any raw or cooked produce you can eat. Food waste can be wrapped in a single sheet of newspaper or paper towel (newspaper or paper towels on their own CANNOT go in this bin).

Garden clippings (including branches & twigs)

Grass cuttings (including weeds and flowers)


Small branches (under 30cm)

Why can’t we use compostable bags in our green bin?

We realise that many of your friends or family in other council areas can use bin liners and some councils supply them to their residents. While we would like to do this, different councils use different contractors with different processes.

Bin liners are not accepted in our food and garden waste system in Hobsons Bay. Our food and garden waste contractor VEOLIA advises us that better outcomes for food and garden waste are generated when bags are not used.

We are confident most of our community would do the right thing but there are a couple of challenges with using compostable or biodegradable plastic bags, including:

● There is no standard as to what a compostable bag must look like making them difficult to identify during the sorting process.

● People may place contamination inside the bag that cannot be seen. If there is a plastic wrapper, glass bottle, (or worse) piece of asbestos or a syringe in that bag it would go through to the end product.

● Different bags break down at different rates which can disrupt the processing of the material inside

● If a knot is tied in the bag, the knot will take an exceedingly long time to break down (in some cases more than one year).

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Tips for recycling food scraps:

  1. Keep your kitchen caddy on the bench top or in a cupboard. Use it daily: put food-preparation offcuts, such as peels and cores in it, and scrape leftover food from plates after meals into the caddy.

  2. Regularly empty the contents of your kitchen caddy straight into your green bin. Do not put bin liners, even biodegradable or compostable ones, in the green bin.

  3. Give your kitchen caddy a rinse after you’ve emptied it.

How to avoid food waste in the first place

More than half the food waste produced by an average household can be avoided by planning meals, properly storing food and leftovers, and perhaps washing but not peeling some vegetables (like potatoes and carrots).

Avoiding food waste could save a household up to $2,000 a year.

More information:

For more information on how to avoid food waste, visit Love Food Hate Waste and Zero Waste Victoria.

For more information about Council’s subsidised compost bin program, see Compost & Worm Farms

Worried about bad smells?

  • Keep the lid on your caddy and green bin shut.
  • Sprinkle bicarbonate soda on top of food scraps in your kitchen caddy.
  • Some people like to freeze food waste (particularly any meat or fish scraps) before placing in the green bin the day before it’s collected, especially in warmer months.
  • Where possible, layer food waste between garden waste in your green bin.
  • Try to store your green bin in the shade.
  • Pet waste cannot go in the green bin.

What happens to your green waste?

All collected green waste is recycled into compost. Composting decomposes the waste using oxygen, which prevents the release of harmful substances and creates useful material to put back into the earth.

Your green waste becomes high quality soil conditioners to help grow food and gardens for the Victorian community.  

To find out more about this process, check out the detailed explanation on The Back to Earth website.

Missed collection?

If your bin has not been emptied, please contact Council on 9932 1000 or complete the Missed bin collection online form.

Lost, damaged and stolen bins

Council will replace or repair your recycling bin if it has undergone normal wear and tear, or if it has been stolen. A Statutory Declaration may be required.

If you have lost your bin or it's has been stolen or damaged, please contact Council on 9932 1000 or Report a damaged or missing bin.