What can you put in your organics bin?
- Food Scraps: fruit, vegetable, meat, bread, pasta, rice (food can be wrapped in newspaper)
- Garden Waste: grass clippings, leaves, flowers, weeds, twigs, small branches
- Soiled paper and cardboard
- Small timber off-cuts (untreated)
What can't you put in your organics bin?
- Plastic, 'degradable or 'biodegradable' bags
- Treated timber
- 'Biodegradable' coffee cups
- Soil (large amounts)
- Nappies (even compostable) place these in your mixed waste bin.
- Store food waste in freezer until the night before pick up
- Wrap food waste in newspaper
- Line the bottom of your 240L bin with newspaper to prevent food and garden waste sticking to the bin
- Keep bin in a shady and well ventilated area – especially over summer
- Try layering your food waste then garden waste in your bin
Compostable Bags (must be Australian standard: AS 4736) - Australasian Bioplastics Association This means they break down within a 12 week composting period. Compostable bags are available at the following retail outlets:
- Richies IGA Ballina
- Nourish Bulk Health Organic (Wigmore Arcade, River St, Ballina)
- Envirogreen Australia (North Creek Rd, Ballina)
- Lennox Head IGA
- Wollongbar IGA
- West Ballina Spar
Alternatively you can buy compost bags online or from suppliers directly.
Where does it go?
Currently everything you put in your green lidded bin goes to a composting facility in Lismore.
This is what happens:
- Removing Contaminants First it is dumped in a pile where someone sorts out any contaminants that should not have been thrown in the organic bin such as plastic bags or treated wood.
- Open Row Composting The organic waste is shredded before being pushed into large piles to compost for a minimum of 12 weeks. These piles are turned once a week for the first four weeks, then fortnightly for the next month and once during the last month. The temperature and moisture content are checked weekly and samples are sent to the laboratory to ensure the compost meets Australian Standards
- Trommel Screen The compost is then fed through a trommel screen to produce three different products based on size; mulch, soil conditioning compost and fertilising compost
- Fertilizing Compost The finest of the finished products produced at the plant.
Ballina Shire Council conducts random quarterly audits on our urban domestic organic bins. This is to assist us in developing appropriate communication and education strategies designed to reduce contamination.