Food Waste, Composting and Worm Farming

New program: From Garbage to Garden Home Composting
  • Do you want to reduce your waste to landfill, help the environment and improve your garden?
  • Starting a compost system at home is really easy once you have the tools and know-how!

Sign up to this six-month program and learn how to effectively turn your kitchen scraps into compost in your own backyard.

Register and receive:From Garbage to Garden program image

  • Rebate of 50% on the purchase of a compost bin or worm farm (up to $40)
  • Composting information kit
  • Free kitchen caddy
  • Free one-hour hands-on workshop
  • Post-workshop support

To register you must be a City of Marion resident who is not currently composting at home (but you may have tried it before).

We recommend choosing your preferred type of compost bin or worm farm prior to attending a workshop for maximum benefit from the session.

Post-workshop support includes seasonal tips and a phone call or email to check in with how your compost is going. We'll also be seeking regular feedback from you during the six months on how much food waste you are diverting from landfill to your compost.

Only one person needs to register for your household. Registrations are essential as places are limited.

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Home composting and worm farms - the benefits

Home composting and worm farming are some of the most natural and efficient ways of recycling. It is easy to do, cheap and provides many benefits:

  • Improves garden health and soil structure by adding nutrients.
  • Reduces water use in the garden.
  • Saves money spent on fertilisers and mulch.
  • Reduces the cost of waste disposal to the community.
  • Reduces greenhouse gases produced by rotting material in landfill.
  • Saves landfill space.

It's simple! All you need to do is put your kitchen scraps and other organic material into a compost bin or worm farm rather than your rubbish bin.

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Compost bins

What materials can go in a compost bin?

Any item that was once part of a living thing can be composted, listed below are some of the more common items that are suitable for home composting:

  • Bark
  • Bread
  • Cereals
  • Dairy products*
  • Eggshells
  • Flowers
  • Food scraps
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Garden waste
  • Grass clippings
  • Hair
  • Hay/Straw
  • Horse and chicken manure
  • Leaves
  • Meat*
  • Paper
  • Sawdust
  • Small twigs
  • Vacuum cleaner dust
  • Wood ash
  • Woodchips
  • Wool

* Avoid placing meat or dairy products in the compost until you are confident and experienced with composting methods and your compost heap is working well.

Compost Bin Tips for successful composting

  • To get your compost heap working well you need a mixture of ingredients as well as water and air.
  • If you add dry materials to your heap make sure you add a sprinkle of water; your compost heap should be as moist as a well wrung out sponge. 
  • Turn your compost heap, with a garden fork, every couple of weeks to make sure it is getting enough air. 

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Worm farms

What materials can go in a worm farm?

As a guide worms will eat any item that was once living thing, listed below are some of the more common items that are suitable for worm farms:

Worm Farm

  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg cartons (torn & soaked first)
  • Eggshells
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Hair clippings (including animal)
  • Manures - well aged horse and chicken manure
  • Newspapers (torn & soaked first)
  • Paper
  • Pizza boxes (torn & soaked first)
  • Tea bags and leaves
  • Vacuum cleaner dust

To increase the rate that worms eat your waste, we suggest mashing, blending or chopping the food into smaller pieces. Tips for successful worm farming:

  • A handful of lime or crushed oyster shells or eggshells or ashes from a fire will help to balance the acidity.
  • Pre-soak any dry materials such as paper, card and old manures to keep the moisture levels up in your worm farm.

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Why should I compost or use a worm farm?

Nearly half of the rubbish thrown in the red rubbish bin could be made into compost.

In the City of Marion alone, this equates to an average of 3kg per household per week or almost 5,500 tonnes across the entire council area per year of this material going straight to landfill.

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Where can I get a compost bin or worm farm?

For advice on home composting and worm farms, please contact City of Marion using the below details.

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Kitchen Caddies for food scraps
Download the latest 
Bin Collection Calendar

City of Marion residents can use a kitchen caddy to collect all food scraps in the kitchen for disposal into the green organics bin so it can be composted rather than wasted.

 

How do I get a Kitchen Caddy?

Kitchen Caddy Food Scraps

Residents with proof of identification and residence showing that they live in the Marion Council area, can collect a FREE kitchen caddy with a roll of compostable bags from the City of Marion Customer Service Centre, 245 Sturt Road, Sturt. 

You can fill out a Kitchen caddy collection form(280 kb) and bring it when collecting your kitchen caddy.

 

Where can I get more bags?

It is important to only use compostable bags in the caddy, never biodegradable or other plastic bags as these contaminate the organics and cause big problems for composting. The green bags that come with the caddy are made from corn starch, which is 100% compostable.

Replacement bags are available for sale from the Customer Service Centre and the Cove Civic for a cost of $12 per roll (a roll lasts about 1 year).

Remember, you don't need to use the corn starch bags, you can simply place your scraps loose in the bin or wrap them in newspaper.

 

What can I put in the Kitchen Caddy?

All food scraps such as:

  • All dairy including cheese and yoghurt
  • Cake, bread and biscuits
  • Meat, bones and seafood - raw and cooked
  • Seafood - raw and cooked
  • Shredded paper
  • Paper towel and tissues
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Tea bags
  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg shells
  • Hair
  • Take away foods
  • Cooked leftovers

What can’t I put in the Kitchen Caddy?

  • Plastic bags
  • Dishcloths and sponges
  • Cling film or glad wrap
  • Nappies
  • Vacuum dust
  • Cigarette butts and ash
  • Vacuum dust
  • Liquids
  • Sharps

For further information, download the  Kitchen Caddy Brochure(264 kb) and answers to common questions in the Recycling Food Scraps FAQs(81 kb).

 
Reducing food waste - Do Something! Foodwise

Visit the Foodwise website to find recipe suggestions for using up leftovers in the fridge and reducing the amount of food that goes to waste.

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Contact details

For further information, feel free to contact:

City of Marion
Phone: 8375 6600
Fax: 8375 6699
Email: waste@marion.sa.gov.au
Post: PO Box 21, Oaklands Park SA 5046
In person: 245 Sturt Road, Sturt SA 5047

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