Maximise Your Green Bin: Tips for using Auckland’s Food Scrap Collection Bins

Don’t be fooled by its size. The unassuming little green bin that landed on your doorstep last year is a silent hero in Auckland’s waste management revolution.

Auckland Council rolled out the Food Scraps Collection Bins late last year to most ratepayers in the region. They’re aiming for zero waste by 2040, and keeping your food scraps out of the rubbish is a great way you can help.

Unfortunately, a lot of these bins are gathering dust in garages all over Auckland, so we’ve put together some tips on how you can easily incorporate these bins into your day-to-day routine.

Store your green bin somewhere shaded. By keeping your green bin out of the sun, it will help reduce smells.

Line your little white bin with pink bags. Along with your green waste bin, you should have received three lots of pink compostable bags to help you start on your waste-saving journey. We like to pre-line our bins with these bags so as we remove scraps from the bin, we can easily replace the pink bags. If you’ve run out of bags, don’t worry; you can grab more for only a few dollars at your local supermarket or use paper bags!

Keep the small white bin beside your kitchen rubbish bin. By having the bin easily in sight, it’s a lot easier to remember to throw food scraps into the food waste bin instead of the rubbish.

Don’t let food scraps stack up in your kitchen. At the end of each day we recommend moving your food scraps from the smaller bin into the larger green bin outside.

Freeze smelly scraps. If you’ve got some extra stinky scraps from your cooking, like meat, it can pay to put them into their own pink bag and pop them in the freezer until trash collection day.

Wash your green bin regularly. Since these bins mainly store food scraps, they can start to smell after a while. We suggest that every few weeks you rinse your bin out with soapy water and leave it to dry upside down.  

Put your green bin out every week. Each week on your trash collection day the council will come to empty these bins so make sure you take advantage of this to avoid your bin starting to smell or become too full.

Keep it in sight. When putting your bin out on collection day make sure it isn’t tucked behind your garbage bin so that the council collection workers can easily spot it.

What you can put in your food scraps bin:

Fruit and vegetable scraps, including peelings, cores, stalks and skin.

Bread, pasta and rice.

Dairy products.

Meat bones and scraps, including fat trimmings.

Fish bones and scraps, including shellfish shells.

Egg shells, nut shells and coconut husks.

Coffee grounds and tea leaves.

Fats/oils – solidified (if possible).

Indoor cut flowers.

Auckland Council compostable bin liners – for more information, including availability, see Food scraps collection bins and bin liners.

Any type of certified home compostable bin liner.

Paper to line your kitchen caddy to help soak up any liquids.

What you cannot put in your food scraps bin:

Plastic bags.

Disposable food containers (including compostable items).

Food wrapping, including cling film, waxed paper or aluminium foil.  

Cloth and clothing.

Nappies and sanitary products.

Pet waste.

Liquids or chemicals.

Cigarette butts.

Soil or rocks.

Garden waste like weeds, lawn clippings or hedge trimmings.

Tea/coffee bags (as these may contain plastic).

For more information about food scrap bins visit the Auckland councils website here.

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