Recycle: Food Waste Part 4

20 May 2018
Some food waste is inevitable. Even if it's just the bits of your food that you can't eat and can't reuse for another purpose. Realistically though, things get lost in the back of the fridge, plans change and our best intentions are just that.

Once you get to this point of the life cycle of your food you can still reduce waste. Personally I think food has only gone to waste if it ends up in the garbage bin. There are plenty of ways that you can use the resource that is inedible food.

Hello ladies.

Pets and Chickens

Feeding food scraps to your (or your neighbour's) backyard chooks has got to be the ultimate in recycling or at least produces the tastiest end product. Dogs of course love any tasty kitchen treats too.


  • Compost is probably the first thing that springs to mind for most people. You can go the traditional bins or bays or you can simply bury your scraps in a hole or trench. When we moved recently my compost bins were slow to arrive so I simply buried all my scraps - too easy (except of digging holes in rock hard clay - good workout though!).
  • Worm farm or worm tower.
  • Instant fertiliser - a great option to get rid of the scraps fast and get the benefit on the garden straight away. Simply blitz your scraps in a blender with a little water, dilute like a 'tea' and water directly on your plants. Also a good one if you don't have much space for compost bins.
  • Bokashi - excellent option for small spaces or to speed up the composting process. When I lived in an apartment I used the bokashi system and then handed the fermented goodness onto a friend to add to their compost pile.

Bench top compost pot - hmmm I probably could have reused those peels...

But what if you have neither pets nor a garden? Or if you haven't got your compost system up and running?

  • Easiest step would be to find someone close by to pass your goodies onto - friend, family member or neighbour.
  • If you don't have anyone in your direct circle it's time to make some new friends. Here are a few ideas:
    • Check out Share waste - what an amazing resource.
    • Local school with a kitchen garden program or chooks
    • Community garden
    • Use social media - freecylce, facebook gardening group - get creative.
  • Investigate options through your council. Some councils will accept food scraps in the organic waste bins.

Food doesn't have to go to waste. If we can make conscious choices and put in place strategies at each stage of the food cycle there is no reason for food to end up in the bin. 

Did you pick up any tips over the series?
If you've been inspired to take some action let us know your plans in the comments below.

Food waste series
Intro: Part 1
Reduce: Part 2
Reuse: Part 3
Food waste: the Australian picture


  1. If you're fortunate enough to have a backyard, no matter how large or small, I like to view every square metre, as having the potential for food recycling. There's a whole eco-system in our backyards, and it's all geared towards turning organic matter into recycled nutrients, for plants and animals.

    Native animals are great at disposing organic matter - reptiles, amphibians, mammals and especially birds, love to forage through decomposing matter. We have magpies, kurrawongs, butcher birds, peewees, crows and brush turkeys, constantly pecking out the backdoor, to find the tidbits I throw out there. Once they know it's there, they come on a daily basis. Even ants are attracted.

    Who wants ants though, right? Well, if you live in an area with termites, ants are a natural predator. So I like to view my backyard as an eco-system, seeking a balance. Putting my food scraps outside, sees them devoured relatively quickly. I get eggs from my chickens when I feed them our food scraps, but the native animals fertilse my garden and often keep the predator load, in balance - way more, than chickens alone.

  2. These are great points Chris. I think much of what you've mentioned can be overlooked - I even forgot myself that some of our leftovers head out the back door to our resident Magpies.
    It's a great point about the ants. Often we can seek to 'rid' ourselves of so called pests when in fact they are all part of a bigger ecosystem that we sometimes fail to see. I really love the different angles that you've come at over these posts so thank you so much for adding to the comments.


Thanks for taking the time to comment. It's so great to hear from people who stop by and to know I'm not just talking to myself!

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