Avoid food waste at home

Last updated: 18 January 2023

Each year in Victoria households throw out 250,000 tonnes worth of food – enough wasted food to fill Melbourne's Eureka Tower. The average Victorian household throws out approximately $2,200 worth of food each year.

The environmental impact

Food thrown into your garbage bin ends up in landfill. Food in landfill breaks down in a way that can create greenhouse gases, including methane, which affect air quality and public health. When we waste food, we also waste the resources used to grow our food (water, soils and energy) and all the energy used to process, package and transport food from markets to our homes.

Food waste in Victoria

  • Each year, Victorian households throw away 250,000 tonnes of edible food – enough to fill Melbourne’s Eureka Tower.
  • The average household in Victoria throws away $2,136 a year in wasted food.
  • Almost two thirds of the food Victorian households throw away could have been eaten.

Avoiding food waste

Avoiding food waste in the first place is the best way to ensure you are not wasting money or resources. There are many simple ways to avoid food waste. These include:

Planning, shopping and cooking.

Planning meals, shopping smart, cooking waste-free and storing food correctly to reduce food waste and save money.

  • The best way to reduce food waste is to avoid creating it in the first place. See our How to save food page.
  • You can plan your meals and write your shopping list using mobile apps.
  • Storing food correctly keeps it fresher for longer. You’ll waste less, save money and help the environment. See how to store fresh produce.

Make the most of your leftovers

Find out how to save money, time and the planet by making the most of your leftovers.

Eco-friendly kitchens

The kitchen is one place where we consume a lot of resources like food, water, oil, electricity and gas. Create an eco-friendly kitchen and lighten your home's footprint on the earth.

Composting kitchen waste

Once we've done everything we can to reduce food waste in the first place, composting is a good option for our food and garden scraps. Composting uses the natural process of decomposition to convert organic waste matter into a nutrient-rich soil you can use in your garden. Reduce landfill, conserve resources and minimise greenhouse gases by composting your kitchen waste.

Dealing with food waste

The best way to deal with food waste is to not create it in the first place through buying only what you need and using up what you’ve got. But even for unavoidable food waste like peels and offcuts, there are a range of ways you can put their nutrients to good use rather than in the rubbish bin:

  • Some councils have combined food and garden waste collections. See if your council offers one by checking your council website.
  • Set up your own compost, bokashi bin or worm farm. There's an option for every household type. Some councils even offer discounts on equipment.
  • Find a compost near you. Some councils offer community composting sites or you can sign up to sharing apps like ShareWaste.

What about food packaging?

Australians throw away around 1.9 million tonnes of packaging each year – enough to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground nine times over. Packaging takes a lot of energy, water and other natural resources to produce, and packaging waste pollutes our air, water and soil. Let's reduce, reuse and recycle packaging as much as possible.

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