In 2013 Sustainability Victoria undertook bin audits throughout Victoria to take a look at the sorts of things thrown into household bins. Below is an infographic representing the garbage bin composition by weight as percentage:
So by the looks of things nearly half of the contents of our home bins could be recycled or throwing them away could have been avoided! Let’s take a closer look at these and cover off ways to deal with the things that make up so much of our bins.
Food waste makes up 35.6% of the bin composition, and this includes things like fruit and vegetables (whole and skins/peels), bakery items and dairy products.
Much of this food waste is preventable at home with some organisation (making shopping lists, menu planning etc reusing leftovers, and correct storage (to avoid having to throw away food and to help it last longer) and the introduction of a compost/worm farm for necessary (unavoidable) food waste (coffee grounds etc).
Things like bottles, cans, paper and recyclable plastics are taking up just over 10% of our household bins! Throwing away recyclable items into general waste is unnecessary and 100% avoidable. Click here for a list of the things that are generally acceptable to go into your household recycling. It’s always best to check with your local council if you’re unsure as there are some variations across council borders.
Accounting for 2% of the household bin are chemicals such as alkaline batteries, car batteries, paint and pharmaceuticals. Instead of throwing away batteries (which end up in landill) landfill check out battery recycling schemes at your local Aldi supermarket or Officeworks.
For paint, pharmaceuticals and other items there is a great program run by Sustainability Victoria called ‘Detox Your Home’ whereby Victorian households are able to safely dispose of household chemicals. Check out their website.