Reducing Waste

How to recycle food waste

Results from a recent audit show Unley residents have increased the amount of organic material being composted through the green bin system.

We still have room for improvement though, currently over 37% of food waste in our blue bins could be going into our organics bins instead of going to landfill.

To reduce food waste, consider ways you can make the most of every meal and leftover foods. Try the Recipe Finder

Kitchen caddy

Prevent your leftovers and food scraps becoming landfill waste by using a kitchen caddy system.

The kitchen caddy takes all kinds of food scraps, including bread, meat scraps and bones, egg and oyster shells, cheese, seafood and even tissues, paper towel and hair. The container is sealed to minimise smells or liquids and can sit on your bench top or under the sink. Once the kitchen caddy is full, both the compostable bag and contents can be placed directly into your green organics bin. 

Every City of Unley household recently received a free ventilated kitchen caddy, a roll of 150 compostable liners and a how-to guide. Learn more about this program on our Kitchen caddy roll-out page.

BYO Coffee Cups

Join the war on waste and BYO a Coffee Cup to reduce your waste footprint by ditching the takeaway cup for a reusable cup. Local cafes are signing up to the Responsible Cafes initiative and offering a discount if you BYO coffee cup! Visit Responsible Cafes for a list of local cafes.

If you do use a disposable coffee cup, recycling is a better option than sending it to landfill. 

The 3 R's 

When trying to minimise your waste, remember the 3Rs, first reduce, then reuse and finally recycle what is left.

Avoid waste in the first place

  • Refuse junk mail if you don't want to read it

  • Share magazines and newspapers or access them free at the library

  • Store food in reusable containers

  • Avoid packaging that won’t go into your recycling bin, like styrofoam.

Reduce what you throw away

Reduce simply means to make less waste. Reducing the amount of waste you produce, is the best way to help the environment.

There are a number of ways to reduce your waste:

  • Reduce the use of ‘single use’ plastic bags (use cloth bags or reusable shopping bags)

  • Buy products in bulk with minimal packaging

  • Maintain and repair products, like clothing, tyres and appliances so they won’t have to be thrown out and replaced as frequently

  • Use both sides of paper

  • Minimise food waste and compost any scraps

  • Avoid purchasing non-recyclable materials

  • Borrow, rent or share items that are used infrequently.

You could also try to choose products that eliminate new waste from being generated or with minimal packaging.

Reuse materials in an innovative way

When purchasing products, look for items that can be refilled or reused. Try and repair items instead of replacing them or purchase items that can be used more than once. Even if you don’t want to use them, you can always donate them to charities.

There are a number of ways to reuse materials:

  • Reuse glass and plastic containers

  • Reuse gift wrapping paper and ribbon

  • Buy refillable containers where possible

  • Use rechargeable batteries

  • Refill your own drink bottle

  • Donate unwanted clothing, furniture and whitegoods.

Recycle and compost to save natural resources

This enables the materials you throw away to be used again by making them into new products. If you can, compost your garden waste and vegetable peelings.

By recycling products, you will cause less waste to be sent to landfill.

There are a number of ways to recycle materials:

  • Buy products made from recycled materials

  • Get a compost bin or worm farm for food scraps

  • Recycle suitable containers

  • Paper and cardboard

  • Buy products with packaging that can be recycled.

Recovery of energy from waste

Energy recovery from waste is the conversion of non-recyclable waste materials into useable heat, electricity, or fuel through a variety of processes, including combustion and landfill gas recovery.

Thermally treating waste is an opportunity to recover the energy stored within these materials. Using waste to produce energy can offset the community's use of other, non-renewable energy sources. Using waste as fuel is also a way to avoid the methane emissions that can result when waste is disposed of to landfill.

Behind the scene tours

Have you ever wondered what happens to your waste, recyclables and organic materials after they are collected from your kerb?

You can find out on one of our FREE community tours for the City of Unley residents.

Sites visited may include but are not limited to Jeffries Group composting / Peats Soil and Composting, Adelaide Resource Recovery, VISY Recycling and Electronic Recycling Australia.

These full-day tours are scheduled twice each year in April/May and October/November and are conducted by KESAB Environmental Solutions on behalf of the City of Unley.

To register your interest in joining the next available tour please contact KESAB Environmental Solutions on (08) 8234 7255.


What goes in which bin

Visit the What to put in your 3 bins webpage for a list of common items. 

Do you have an item that is not listed? Visit the Which Bin website, type in your suburb and the item for disposal. You’ll find out which bin to use or alternative disposal methods.

Search on Which Bin