Organic Waste Disposal and Recycling in Australia

Organic waste is the “good” waste.

Because it’s biodegradable, it’s easily recyclable. It should never go into landfills. However, according to the Department of the Environment and Energy, in 2010-2011, 6.6 million tonnes, 47%, did wind up in a landfill. Australia still depends heavily on landfill for waste disposal. Most waste that is not either re-used or recycled goes into landfills.

However, organic wastes in landfills produce methane, contributing to global warming. Water flowing through landfills forms leachate, which contaminates ground and surface water with hazardous substances. That’s a tremendous misuse of a potentially useful resource.

Organic waste is “good” because it’s not a substance such as plastic, discarded electronics or aluminium that will last thousands of years. However, because it begin degrading as soon as it’s produced, it’s the messiest type of waste to dispose of.

Organic waste includes: biosolids, green waste, grass clippings, food waste, timber, cardboard and newspapers. Recycled, organic wastes are useful. Cardboard and newspapers are easily recycled into new paper products. The other organic wastes make composted soil conditioner, raw mulch, composted mulch, manufactured soil and potting soil. Organic waste can also produce energy.

According to the Bureau of Statistics, 35% of Australians recycle garden waste and 23% recycle kitchen waste.

Despite that, half of all household waste was organic. And from 1997 to 2012, waste generation in Australia increased 145% even though the population increased by just 22%.

By better managing organic waste, Australian businesses reduce the release of methane and leachates from landfills, and save money.

Making Money From Organic Waste Picture

Australians Waste Too Much Food

Despite the above estimates of Australians who compost food, on the whole the country throws away three million tonnes of food per year. That’s 145 kilograms per person, costing $6 billion. That’s enough to food to feed us all for three weeks.

The Food Processing Industry and Restaurants

Some food waste is inevitable. However, the current practice of half of it winding up in landfills is inefficient. It’s better to return it to the soil as compost and mulch. The food service industry is getting better at managing their food waste but still much more could be done. Food donations and food waste collection services are excellent ways of improving efficiency and helping others.

Food Waste Collections

Organic, especially food, waste is a tremendous opportunity to reduce the volume of Municipal Solid Waste going into landfills. Councils and waste collection businesses increasingly offer kerbside collection of food wastes. It is then recycled by alternative waste treatment plants.

That study indicates not all small and medium-sized businesses have access to waste management services that recycle food waste instead of just dumping it into a landfill, but this is changing.

A 2013 study found a lot of food waste occurs in the retail industry and the food servicing sector. But wasting food costs the food service industry a lot of money. They spend $8.2 billion on sending food waste to landfills, but recycling it would cost just $2.3 billion.

Food waste collections are available in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and we are currently trialing a food waste collection service in Noosa,

Worm Farms

Given enough time, all organic wastes, including food, eventually break down into useful organic matter ready to use as compost or fertilizer. However, worm farms accelerate and improve the process. In one day, a worm eats its own body weight. Therefore, worm farms are a terrific way to take food waste otherwise destined for landfills and turn it into a useful way to improve soil for food crops and flower gardens.

Worm farms now come in wheelie plastic bins that are perfect for households and small restaurants or shops that produce a lot of food waste. Use red wrigglers and tiger worms, not earthworms.

Worms feed on all kinds of food, but don’t give them meat, dairy, bones, oil, grease, citrus or bread. Those might attract vermin. Worms do like fruit and veggie scraps, crushed eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags and pasta. They make the minerals in these foods more bio-available in soil.

Worms farms are a great way to deal with your food waste either at home or at your business. They provide a perfect organic compost and fertiliser for your garden.

We can supply a range of worm habitats from small domestic units to large commercial containers.

Key Features

  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Australia-made
  • UV stable and robust construction
  • Vents for good air flow
  • Ventilated false floor
  • Easy opening castings access points
  • High-quality, durable tap
  • Lid-latch – worms in/vermin out
  • Continuous Flow Design – no trays
  • Large surface area for maximum waste processing
  • Bedding black and manual included

Worm Farm Habitat Range

  • Worm Farm Habitat Junior – Great for 2-3 people and early learning centres
  • Worm Farm Habitat for Dogs – Processes dog poo with no mess or odours!
  • Worm Farm Habitat 240 Ltr Bin – Perfect for offices, larger households and schools
  • Worm Farm Habitat 360 Ltr Bin – Ideal for cafe’s, restaurant food waste, gardeners and large families
  • Worm Farm Habitat Grande – Our largest worm farm suitable for kennels, landscape companies, large restaurants and hotels

Worms and Accessories

We can supply a range of worms and accessories:

  • 1000, 2000 and 4000 Composting Worms
  • Food Covers
  • Super-Size-Me Worm Fattener
  • Dolomite
  • Cocopeat
  • Worm Farm Menu Stickers
  • Garden Conditioning Products
  • High Quality Worms Casting
  • Organic Worm Juice Concentrate


This is the process of using your food and garden waste to produce humus to enrich top soil for organic gardens and farms. You can restore nutrients to improve your own topsoil or help local gardeners. This is the process worms in worm farms accelerate.

Add the same kinds of food waste you give to worm farms. However, also throw in plenty of garden wastes such as grass clippings, dead flowers, weeds and dry leaves. When you properly care for your compost heap, you allow organic wastes to break down with oxygen, keeping the nutrition available to go into garden soil. It’s only when organic wastes break down without oxygen that they form the greenhouse gas methane.

When they use compost, farmers grow higher quality, more nutritious organic fruits and vegetables. Gardeners grow more beautiful flowers.

Organic Waste Composters

Many people create compost just by piling the wastes into an enclosed heap on the ground. However, any form of container that allows the organic material to remain moist and be open to the air works.

There are many compost bins on the market, many of them plastic. Remember the compost needs aeration. There are some that you can turn mechanically and others allow for it without labor on your part. Also, you need a bin that guards against vermin such as rats.

A well-maintained compost bin should not smell or draw flies or other pests. You can also add worms to your compost.

Although it’s commonly disposed of in landfills, food waste is far more valuable when it’s converted back into compost, mulch or potting soil. This allows for increased food production and lower food production costs, as well as the reduced release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, relieving global warming.

We help businesses dispose of their waste, including organic and food waste, and you can order online.?Contact us now and explore how to handle food waste more efficiently and less expensively.

Please contact us now for more information about how we can reduce your business waste collection costs

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