How to manage your food and garden waste

Around half of the waste produced by the average City of Melbourne household is made up of food and garden organics.

That’s why we’re working hard to divert this nutrient-rich material from landfill, where it would produce harmful gases and contribute to climate change.

Since we launched our Food and Garden Organics Service in June 2021, we’ve collected 164,000 bin-loads from 23,000 households, diverting 1165 tonnes from landfill.

All residential properties in the municipality of up to five storeys now have a food and garden organic collection. A pilot to explore collection options for taller buildings is underway.

Here are some of the items that can and can’t go in the new green-lidded bins.


  • Council-approved kitchen caddy liners
  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Bread, rice and pasta
  • Leftover food scraps
  • Spoiled or rotten food
  • Solid dairy products (butter, cheese)
  • Meat, fish and bones
  • Soft-shell seafood (prawns, shrimps, crayfish, lobsters, small crabs)
  • Loose coffee grounds and tea leaves
  • Eggshells
  • Garden, grass cuttings and weeds
  • Cut flowers and leaves
  • Straw and hay
  • Wooden icy pole sticks, wooden chopsticks, toothpicks, skewers
  • Human hair and animal hair
  • Dryer lint


  • Biodegradable and compostable bags and packaging (only use council-approved caddy liners)
  • Recyclables and hard plastic
  • Soft plastics (bags, cling wrap, chip packets)
  • Tea bags
  • Coffee pods, compostable cups and coffee cups (including items marked as biodegradable)
  • Liquids (including cooking oil)
  • Hard seafood shells (mussels, oysters, pipis and large crabs)
  • String, twine, ties, rope and metal wire
  • Cotton wool balls and buds
  • Pet poo and litter
  • Vacuum dust
  • Fireplace ash

Did you know?

We are trialling the use of the processed organic compost on trees in Kensington with the view to using it more broadly across Melbourne.

For more information, visit Food and garden waste.