Reduce Waste

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Six Easy Steps to Reduce Waste

Refuse → Reduce → Reuse → Repurpose → Recycle → Dispose

We all generate waste, but you can help reduce the impact of what you buy and consume, by following some simple steps.

Read on to find out more about each step and to get some useful tips to manage your own waste.

1. Refuse

  • If you don’t need it, don’t buy it
  • Say NO to single-use items (such as plastic bags, takeaway bottles, disposable coffee cups and straws) and overly packaged goods
  • Cancel the delivery of phone books, if you have no need for them

2. Reduce

  • Buy items with less packaging
  • Buy items that have a long life
  • Put a ‘no advertising’ sign on your letter box

3. Reuse

  • Choose reusable/refillable items over disposable items (e.g. reusable drink bottles, coffee cups, bags, menstrual pads/cups and nappies)
  • Repair rather than replace so that you can reuse more
  • Donate, sell or give away your unwanted household goods or clothes so others can reuse them (e.g. to family / friends, a charity shop or online through Buy Swap Sell, Ebay, Gumtree or Ziilch)
  • Buy pre-loved items (e.g. from the Treasure Chest Shop at the Frankston Regional Recycling and Recovery Centre, from charity shops, at garage sales or online)

4. Repurpose

  • Make unwanted used or broken items into new things
  • Gift cards and wrapping paper can be used to make new gift cards and in art and craft activities
  • Old sheets beyond repair can be cut up and used as rags or dish cloths

5. Recycle

  • Recycling materials into new products typically uses less energy and fewer resources than manufacturing equivalent products from raw materials
  • Use the kerbside recycling system (i.e. your yellow-lidded bin) and make sure there are no recyclable items in your garbage bin (visit Council’s Bin Information page for information on what can and can’t go in your household recycling bin)
  • Choose items made from recycled materials, such as copy paper and toilet paper
  • Visit the A-Z Waste and Recycling Directory to find out how to dispose of items that cannot be accepted in your household recycling bin
  • Use a compost bin, worm farm or bokashi bucket to recycle food scraps into nourishment for your garden (details below)

6. Disposal

  • Disposal should be the last resort

Avoiding Packaging Waste

Packaging can be easily avoided by following these tips:

  • Be prepared - start your day with a reusable coffee cup, drink bottle and shopping bag
  • Rethink your fruit and vegie shopping - do you really need to put those items in a plastic bag? Reusable produce bags are available or keep them loose
  • Buy unpackaged foods in your own clean container where appropriate, i.e. at a bulk food shop, market or deli  
  • Buy in bulk where possible

Bringing your own reusable container instead of purchasing food and drink in disposable packaging

Food safety regulations in Victoria do not prohibit a registered food business from serving food or drink in a container provided by a customer. You can therefore request for your reusable containers be used instead of disposables.

It is reasonable for a business to assess the cleanliness and condition of the container before putting food in it.

The business can decide whether or not to use a customer’s container.

To find local cafes, restaurants, butchers, delicatessens, fishmongers and poulterers which are happy for customers to bring their own clean container, visit:

Businesses can also register to be listed on the above website.

For more information, please contact our Environmental Health Team on 1300 322 322

Reducing Waste at Events

Keep waste to a minimum at your next party: 

  • Use real plates, cups and cutlery; rather than disposable plastics. If you don’t have enough, friends and family are often happy to also bring some along  
  • Replace paper napkins with reusable cloth napkins  
  • Avoid disposable straws, as well as balloons 

For other tips, view out Waste Wise Events Guide (under Related Documents).

Other Waste Saving Initiatives

Responsible Cafes

The Responsible Cafes initiative encourages cafes to offer a discount to customers who bring their own reusable cup.

To find a Responsible Café near you or find out how to encourage your favourite café to get involved, visit:

Choose Tap App

Carry a reusable water bottle and download the free Choose Tap app to help you find your nearest water refill station.

The Last Straw

Plastic straws can’t be recycled and are a common source of litter. Next time you order a drink in a café or bar, just say ‘no straw thanks’. It’s one of the easiest ways to reduce waste. 

Food Waste Avoidance

Did you know?

  • Almost half of what we throw into the garbage bin is food and garden waste!
  • The average Victorian household throws out $41 worth of food each week, that’s $2,136 a year! (Love Food Hate Waste, 2019)

The Victorian Government’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign provides some handy shopping, storage and cooking tips to help households avoid food waste. To find out more and for delicious recipe ideas for using up leftovers, visit:

Recipe suggestions for leftover ingredients can also be found using the Do Something! Foodwise recipe finder.

Composting, Worm Farming and Bokashi Buckets

Reduce food waste going to landfill to the benefit of your garden and/or pot plants, by composting, worm farming or using a bokashi bucket.

Compost Bin Composting

Composting is a natural process where food and garden waste is broken down into rich organic material and soil conditioners, using aerobic decomposition.

Composting is easy. You can compost a large range of food waste and other material types. Compost bins can handle much greater volumes than worm farms and are particularly suited to larger households with gardens.



  • Compost can improve soil structure and add nutrients
  • Compost and mulch help retain moisture in the soil, saving you water
  • Composting can reduce greenhouse gas (including methane) emissions produced by rotting food waste in landfills
  • Composting saves landfill space
  • Composting reduces the cost of waste disposal to the community 

Some things to consider

  • You need to turn the materials regularly in your compost (e.g. weekly)
  • You need to have somewhere to use your compost
  • You need to have space on bare earth to put the compost bin


Compost and Worm Farms Worm Farming

Worm farming is the use of specialised compost worms to break down food waste into rich solid and liquid matter (worm castings and “juice”) that is great for your garden soil. Worm farming is easy and works by the worms and other micro-organisms eating the food scraps you put in the worm farm.




  • Don’t have to use any garden materials (just food waste is fine)
  • Don’t need access to any bare earth
  • Worm juice and castings from your worm farm can be used on your garden and/or pot plants
  • You can keep your worm farm in a garage, courtyard, on a balcony or even inside (great for small areas)     


Some things to consider

  • Worm farms need to be kept out of the sun, as they can die if they overheat too much
  • If you go away for longer than 2 weeks, you will need to get someone to look after them for you
  • They can take a while to get through all your food scraps
  • You don’t get as much material to use on your garden (compared with composting)


Bokashi Buckets Bokashi Buckets

Bokashi buckets are a great way to create nutrient rich soil conditioner from food waste. They break down food waste anaerobically via a fermentation process. They can take a variety of food waste types, including meat and dairy, which are typically not suitable for compost bins or worm farms. Bokashi buckets are also suitable for smaller homes and apartments, where composting is not an option.

More Information

Where do I Purchase a Compost Bin, Worm Farm or Bokashi Bucket?

To purchase a compost bin or worm farm locally, search for suppliers online or contact your local garden centre, plant nursery or hardware store.

Learn More and Stay Informed

Council runs free environmental events for households, including workshops on composting and worm-farming from time to time. To stay informed about these events, and for more tips on avoiding, reducing, recycling and managing waste, sign up to Council’s Halve Our Waste e-Newsletter. You will receive the newsletter approximately 3-4 times each year. In addition to tips for managing your waste, we hope that you will be inspired with stories from waste wise locals, as well as Council and community initiatives that address the waste issue.

Contact Us

Frankston City Council
30 Davey Street
Frankston 3199
P. 1300 322 322

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