Food scrap bin FAQs
Your Food Scrap Bin
Your green food scraps bin will be collected weekly. The food scaps bin is for items like fruit, vegetables, bread, uneaten leftovers, and coffee grounds. It will even take meat, bones, eggshells and fruit stones. The only compost-type products that you can't put in your bin are: feet, feathers, tea bags, paper towels, bin liners and "biodegradable products." These can all go in your red rubbish bin instead. For more details, see the FAQ section below, or get in touch and we'll be happy to answer any questions.
FAQs - food scraps bin
Home composting is great, and if you're already doing this, we encourage you to keep doing it!
The food scraps bin can still be used for things that don't go in your compost bin (like meat scraps, bones, eggs shells, bread crusts etc) and for things that don't compost well (like citrus scrap, fruit stones, corn cobs etc)
If you are still missing your food scrap bin, we are getting more delivered within the next couple of weeks. Our team will be delivering them to anyone who has advised us that they are missing. In the meantime, you could keep your scraps in the freezer, or use the red rubbish bin if necessary.
Apologies that this is taking longer than expected, there has been a delay due and we are working hard to get them all out as soon as possible. If you have let our team know already then sit tight, if you haven't notified us yet then please call 0800 746 467.
The best solution that many already using this service from around the country have found is making some space in your freezer and freezing the food scraps until pick up day each week. This minimises smell and clean up.
If you are putting food scraps directly into the bin make sure to store it somewhere cool and shady.
It's a good idea to give your bins a quick rinse after collection as well.
There are also some products available to deodorise your bins, including natural options like: cloves, borax, lemongrass and witch hazel. Just pour a capsule into your bin before putting in food scraps.
The food scaps bin is for items like fruit, vegetables, bread, uneaten leftovers, meat scraps, fish, coffee grounds etc.
You will receive an information booklet when your bin is supplied with more detailed information on what can go in the bin.
Please note if you do home kills that feet and feathers can not go in the food scraps bin.
No, only food scraps can go in your food scrap bin. Tissues, cardboard and paper towels would contaminate the end compost product.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS, including PFOA, PFOS) can be found in fibre-based products as well as in recycled paper and cardboard. Fibre-based products means products primarily made from wood fibre (paper or cardboard) or other types of biomass (bamboo, rice, sugarcane, potato starch, etc).
These PFAS can then accumulate in the soil, plants and consequently the food chain.
Newspaper and cardboard can also introduce contaminants such as inks that include heavy metals and/or microplastics.
Some paper and cardboard items can still be diverted from landfill through our kerbside recycling. This includes: pizza boxes with food scraps removed, cardboard (including egg cartons) and newspaper.
"Compostable" packaging (including compostable liners) cannot go in your food scraps bin, they do not break down at the same pace as food waste in the hot compost system we are using.
Some compostable materials also contain substances of concern (such as PFAS). Aotearoa currently has no standard for what can be labelled as compostable packaging.
Compostable packaging can leave microplastics or other contaminants to accumulate in compost, soil, plants and animals, in some cases negatively affecting their growth.
Any compostable packaging can be put into your red rubbish bin.
Your food scrap bin is collected every week.
The kerbside collection days are:
- Matamata (incl. Waharoa and Walton): Tuesday
- Morrinsville (incl. Tahuna): Wednesday
- Te Aroha (incl. Waitoa and Waihou): Thursday
Place your bins on the kerbside from smallest to largest, from the direction the driver approaches. This helps the drivers see the bins, for example, food scrap bin first, and other bins next. That way it’s easier for the driver to see it, rather than if it is tucked behind the wheelie bin.
The wider apart that you can place the bins, the easier it is for the trucks to collect them. We suggest at least 30cm between each bin to avoid any accidental damage.
Also, please keep bins away from poles, fences, gates etc. so the truck arms can reach them.
No, only food scraps can go in the food scrap bin.
Paper bags are often mixed with polyester to strengthen them and any in-organic material would contaminate the end compost product.
"Compostable" bin liners also contain plastic and pose a problem contaminating the hot compost. Some districts are using bin liners because their food scraps are not composted, but instead put into an anaerobic digester, which is quite different.
See below for more details on the individual productsand why they are excluded from collection.
If you are having trouble cleaning the food scraps bin, we recommend freezing the food scraps until collection day, or putting a small amount of water in the bottom of the bin to loosen your waste.
If the food scrap bin handle is not locking up, check that the lid is aligned properly. If your lid has gone askew, it may need to be physically readjusted to ensure your handle will stay up.
The waste management team have been flipping the bins over as it helps them see at a glance whether or not a street has been completed while they are learning their new routes.
We understand that this is creating a problem for some people, so they are going to make a change, and leave the bin lids open instead. Apologies for any mess that this may have caused.
If you only have a small amount of food scraps, then your bin may tip over more easily, especially in the wind. We recommend a few things in this situation:
- You can freeze the food scraps until you have bigger amount (bread bags are good for this)
- You don't need to put out your bin every week if you're only creating a small amount, try every 2-3 weeks
- If it's a really windy day, then it might be wise to skip your bin collection until the following week.
To wash out the food scrap bins, we would require a resource consent to discharge to the land. Any water would then have to be retained on board the truck, which can't be done on these trucks.
This may happen sometimes because the current trucks are equipped with different map technology. When they use different systems, it’s hard to get a complete picture of which streets have been missed. We know this is a problem and are actively working on a solution to improve this in the meantime (until the new trucks arrive).
If your bin, or whole street, gets missed then please use this form to notify us. As soon as we get these through, then we can notify the contractors and advise them to return and collect your bin.
No. Green waste can be taken to green waste collection at transfer stations.
Your food waste will go to Tirohia Energy Park, just outside Paeroa, where it will be processed for composting.
You can view the final destinations for most of the recycling that Waste Management collects here.