What goes in the green bin?

It's a common misconception that putting your food and organic waste in your landfill bin is no different from putting it in your green organics bin, but that couldn't be farther from the truth.

When organic waste is sent to landfill, it rots and releases methane – a harmful greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon.

But when you put organic waste into your green bin, it's taken to a local composting facility to be recycled into nutrient-rich compost, soil and mulch products that go on to be used on South Australian farms and vineyards, and in household gardens as well.

You can do your bit to help reduce the emission of greenhouse gases simply by placing all of your organic materials into your green organics bin, or home compost system, for recycling.

To help, we’ve compiled a list of common organic materials you might have at home that can be placed in your green organics bin – check it out below.

And remember, as the saying goes – if it grows, it goes!

Garden organics

Anything that grows in your garden can go in your green bin. This includes flowers, weeds, lawn clippings, leaves, sticks, small logs, bark, and more.

Food organics

All food scraps and food waste is good to go in your green organics bin. And we mean all of it. That means citrus, onion, dairy, meat, bones, fish, fruit and vegetables. Cooked or uncooked, old and mouldy, into the green bin it goes.

But before you place it in the green bin, make sure you’ve removed all packaging first (unless it's compostable). That includes things like plastic packets, bags and containers, and glass jars.

Coffee grounds, tea bags and loose leaf tea

Coffee grounds, tea bags and loose leaf tea are filled with nutrients that help to make quality compost, and are a great addition to your green bin.

Just be aware that some tea bags do contain plastic, and will need to be placed into your landfill bin. These types of bags will have a glossy sheen and slippery feel

Paper and cardboard

Paper and cardboard items that are great for your green bin include:

These items are a great source of carbon, and have the added benefit of absorbing moisture and reducing smells in your green bin.

Pet poop

Pet waste, when mixed with food scraps, garden clippings and other organic materials, helps to make nutrient-rich compost.

To help keep your bin clean, wrap the waste in newspaper, or place it in a compostable bag before it goes in the bin.

Nail clippings, hair and pet fur

Nail clippings and hair – both your own and your pet’s – are great for the green bin as they’re a rich source of nitrogen.

Pencil and other wood shavings

Pencil and other wood shavings, like sawdust, are considered ‘brown’ composting material, and are a great source of carbon, making them a great addition to your green bin

And if you’re worried about the smell or the bugs that can sometimes come with use of your green bin, check out these tips.