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If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact one of our OK Organics Kiama team members by phone: (02) 4232 0444 or email:
Yes, you can. Simply fill out and return an application form for a change in your bin size. You can also collect this form from our administration centre at 11 Manning Street, Kiama.
As we want to reward you for downsizing and producing less landfill waste we will not charge the standard administration fee.
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Yes, you can upsize your red lid garbage bin. You will need to fill out and return an application form for a change in your bin size. You can also collect this form from our administration centre at 11 Manning Street, Kiama.
Note that there are costs involved in upsizing your bin.
Based on our statistics, an average of around 64% of what is currently in your red lid garbage bin is either compostable or recyclable. So if you transfer that waste into your green lid organics and yellow lid recycling bins, you should have plenty of space in your current red lid garbage bin for the rest and can save yourself the money of upsizing!
If you live in a zone eligible for a green waste service and have never had a green lid organics bin, please contact us and we can discuss your situation and the possibility of you obtaining a green lid organics bin.
If your green lid organics bin is broken, or lost, you will need to fill out and return an application for a replacement bin. You can also collect this form from our administration centre at 11 Manning Street, Kiama
If you live in a multi-unit dwelling which does not currently have green lid organic bins we will be liaising with your Body Corporate or Strata Management to facilitate the supply of green-lid organic bins for your complex prior to the OK Organics Kiama service commencing in your zone.
There are bags available which are fully compostable and would be accepted in our system. You must be careful to purchase the right ones, or they will be treated as contamination and sent to landfill. There are many different terms used by manufacturers of bags, which can make it confusing. Generally:
Compostable bags are made of organic substances like corn or potato starch. They will fully break down like paper will in a composting system within 12 weeks with no toxic residue. These are the only types of bags which are acceptable in our green lid organics bins. To identify them, look for the Australian Standard for compostability – AS4736 or the seedling logo. It is best to buy bright green bags so that they are easily identifiable as compostable and not removed from the compost as contamination.
Biodegradable plastic just means that it is a substance that will break down over time given the right conditions (which vary depending on the substance). Unfortunately, this term is often misused, so is not an indication that it is suitable for composting.
Degradable or Oxo-degradable plastic is still a conventional plastic (made from a petrochemical) which has a substance added to help it to break down a bit faster than regular plastics. This could still take up to two years, and it only breaks down into microplastics which exist indefinitely in the environment. It is definitely not suitable for composting. If it is labelled EPI, it is also one of these type of plastics.
You can buy compostable liners which meet the Australian Standard AS4736 from the following retailers:
At this stage, we will be providing a year’s supply of compostable caddy liners only to residents of multi-unit dwellings who share a green lid organics bin in order to reduce potential issues with bin cleanliness and odour in those situations. Production, transport and supply of liners to all residents across the municipality would negate the financial and environmental benefits of the OK Organics Kiama service.
After we have rolled out the OK Organics Kiama service to a particular waste zone, we run a ‘Bin Recognition’ program. This involves visual bin checks of every green lid organics bin to see how well residents have adapted to the new service and provide education if there is any confusion about what goes into that bin. Common types of contamination are soft plastic food packaging, plastic wrap and plastic bags. These do not decompose and can cause a lot of problems for the quality of the finished compost. We are required to stay below set contamination rates by our organics processor. Excess costs to remove and dispose of contamination from the organic material will be passed on to Council and ultimately our ratepayers. Keeping our organics bins contamination free helps to keep our waste disposal costs as low as possible.
If no contamination is seen in the organics bin during our checks, we attach a yellow tag and enter that household into a draw to win a prize as recognition of their efforts to separate their waste correctly. If contamination is found, we attach a grey tag with details of the items in the bin that cannot be composted to encourage the household to check which items can be accepted. Grey tagged bins are re-checked, and if contamination is found on a third occasion, the bin is not serviced that week. Details of this process can be found in our OK Organics Kiama Bin Contamination Monitoring Fact Sheet. You can also get a quick snapshot of the facts on how and why we do the bin checks in this Bin Check Mythbusters Infographic.
After we have rolled out the OK Organics Kiama service to a particular waste zone, we follow up with contamination monitoring of the recycling bins. Improving recycling rates is also an aim of the OK Organics Kiama service, and it is important that the right things are put in the recycling bin to maximise the amount that can be recycled. We are required to stay below set contamination rates by our recycling processor. Excess costs to remove and dispose of contamination from the recylable material will be passed on to Council and ultimately our ratepayers. Keeping our recycling bins contamination free helps to keep our waste disposal costs as low as possible. We carry out visual bin checks of every yellow lid recycling bin in each zone. If contamination is found, we attach a grey tag with details of the items in the bin that cannot be accepted for recycling. Grey tag bins are re-checked, and if contamination is found on a third occasion, the bin is not serviced that week. Details of this process can be found in our OK Organics Kiama Bin Contamination Monitoring Fact Sheet. You can get a snapshot of the facts around how and why we do the bin contamination checks in this Bin Check Mythbusters Inforgraphic.
The servicing frequency of the kerbside will change for all urban residential areas of Kiama Municipality as they receive the new service. As the red lid garbage bin will be collected fortnightly, separating out compostable and recycling waste to be collected weekly will be the preferable options for most households. We are all responsible for generating waste and as such all residents are encouraged to participate as this is an easy way to help protect the environment, reduce waste to landfill, reduce greenhouse emissions and potentially save the community money.
Each resident in participating zones will be provided with a 7 litre kitchen caddy. This kitchen caddy includes a durable one-piece handle, which forms a locking lid. The hinged snap fitting lid and locking mechanism, ensures that spillage is avoided and retains moisture to keep odours locked away.
The curved design ensures easy cleaning and the unit is dishwasher safe.
A comprehensive communication program is undertaken as the service is introduced to each zone to ensure residents are kept informed on what is involved. This includes:
More information about the OK Organics Kiama - Kitchen to Compost Revolution is available here.
The OK Organics Kiama team members are available to answer your questions by phone (02) 4232 0444 or email
To secure your kitchen caddy to the inside of a cabinet door, attach a flat metal bar with screws or double sided tape then "hook" the back of the caddy to this metal bar.
Dane from Gerringong suggests:
"I obtained a piece of aluminium channel (12mm x 12mm x 1.5mm) - I bought a 1m length for $3.99 from the Gerringong Hardware store, which is actually enough to make about 8 brackets!
A piece needs to be cut with ‘mitred’ ends (ie about 45˚) to allow for screws to be inserted. The ‘front’ (ie narrow side) of the bracket should be 95mm long to fit the caddy neatly. I had some 12mm stainless steel self-tapping screws already, so it was only a matter of drilling a suitable sized hole in each end.
Of course, this only works if you have enough shelf space inside the cupboard - ours had a clearance of about 10mm above and below, but others may have smaller shelves."
(Image shown is representative only).
We provide the following waste and recycling services to residents of participating zones:
Service days remain the same.
Check out the new collection schedule on your waste and recycling calendars:
It doesn’t matter how much or how little you have, your bin does not have to be full for collection. We will empty your green lid organics bin weekly as long as you place it out for collection. Keep in mind that every little bit helps.
Collaboratively, your little bit, along with the rest of the municipality will drastically reduce organic waste to landfill and ensure it is recycled.
If your Council issue 7L
kitchen caddy breaks, you can bring in your broken caddy and replace it with a
new one at Council’s Administration Building, 11 Manning Street, Kiama during
business hours. You must bring in your broken Council issue caddy to
enable the replacement.
We support home composting and encourage you to continue to do so. This is the most effective and environmentally friendly way to manage your organic waste. Any food that you do not currently compost can alternatively be placed into your green lid organics bin. In addition, garden refuse is not essential for this collection. Your food scraps are the most important part as we are trying to reduce this waste to landfill. We still encourage the use of your green lid organics bin for food scraps even if you have little or no garden organics.
It’s easy! All you need to do is place food scraps into your existing green lid garden bin (with lime green lid). This way all your organics will be in the one bin ready for transport to the recycling facility. Food scraps can be wrapped in newspaper or placed loosely into the green garden bin. Layering with garden waste or freezing scraps will minimise odours. Please do not place plastic bags in your green lid organics bin. Plastic bags do not break down and contaminate the compost process.
Food and garden organics collected form the green lid organics bins are processed by Soilco at their licensed facility at Kembla Grange. Here the material is screened and shredded into smaller pieces. The shredded load is processed on site for a 3-4 month period where it is constantly tested to ensure it meets Australian Standards. The high nitrogen content from your food scraps makes this particular compost even more nutritious for the soil, establishing a base for trees and plants to grow bigger, faster and stronger. The compost also increases water holding capacity of the soil and maintains soil structure.
As you can see, unlike landfill, this is a sustainable waste management alternative which results in more positive, long term environmental outcomes for our community and environment.
Through the experience of other councils, and in our trial zone, the following methods have been shown to minimise nappy odour:
If you have a large amount of nappies, you may want to use a nappy disposal unit. They are lined with a continuous bag which seals in the odour. Search for nappy disposal units on the internet – they are readily available through department stores, etc.
More information about managing your nappy waste effectively can be found in our nappy information brochure.
Many types of modern cloth nappies are available which can be used as an alternative or a supplement to reduce the volume of disposable nappy waste. Gone are the days of soaking, folding, pins and plastic pants. Modern cloth nappies have elasticised sides, waterproof layers, press studs or Velcro and generally do not require soaking. Search for modern cloth nappies on the internet to see the different options and where they can be purchased.
Food organics can create some odour as they decompose or if they are over exposed to heat. Therefore, it is a good idea to wrap all your food scraps in either newspaper, junk mail or paper towel. You could also consider placing all your very smelly food scraps, like prawn shells and meat scraps in a sealed container and place this in the fridge or freezer. Then on bin night, empty the contents of the container into your green lid organics bin and place it kerbside for collection.
Layering your food waste among garden green waste will also reduce odours and mess in your bin. You could line the bottom of your green lid organics bin with cardboard to avoid organic waste sticking to the base. Sprinkling bicarbonate of soda is a natural way to neutralize odours inside your bins or caddy.
There is also a deodorizer system that has been fitted to the service trucks. The deodorizer system dispenses a spray of diluted deodorizer into the green lid organics bin each time it is serviced.
Investigations done by other councils who have introduced a similar service have found that:
Further information about these investigations can be found at:
More information about managing your nappy waste effectively can be found in our nappy information brochure.
Come to our administration building at 11 Manning Street, Kiama, and we will provide you with an information kit including a kitchen caddy.
If you generate large amounts of non-recyclable medical waste, you can apply for a special medical needs waste service by filling out this form and having it verified by a medical practitioner. If approved, the special medical needs waste service will allow for weekly servicing of your red lid garbage bin. The continuation of this service will be individually reviewed annually.
The OK Organics Kiama service has been introduced to zone 1 (Gerroa/Kiama Heights) zones 3, 4 and 5 (Kiama Downs and Minnamurra), zones 6 (south east Kiama), zone 7 and 8 (Gerringong) and in zone 10 (Jamberoo and Kiama west of Spring Creek Road). The service will be phased into all households in green waste collection areas across the Municipality on a zone by zone basis by the end of June 2016.
The final zones to receive the OK Organics Kiama service are zones 2 and 9 (central Kiama areas) which will be roll out in July. Before it starts in this area, residents will receive a letter several weeks prior, with an invitation to attend a community information session. The week before it begins in the area, the OK Organics team hand deliver kitchen caddies and information packs, including waste and recycling services calendars to your door.
If the cat litter is an organic-based product, ie. made from paper, wood, rice or corn, then it can be put in the green lid organics bin. If the cat litter is based on a silica crystal product, clay or other non-organic material, then this must go in the red lid garbage bin.
Dog droppings can be disposed of in the green lid organics bin.
Note: Cat litter or dog droppings should be put in the green lid organics bin loosely, or wrapped in paper. Please do not dispose of them inside a plastic bag.
No. Cigarette filters are made from a synthetic substance which will not break down in our compost. Not only that, but cigarette butts contain many toxic chemicals which will be released into the compost. Please dispose of your cigarette butts in the red lid garbage bin.
The best option for unwanted clothes is to donate them to a charity clothing collection. Even if they are no longer wearable they can often be processed and sold as industrial rags. If you have fabric or yarn remnants that are 100% natural fibre (cotton, wool, etc.), then they will break down in our compost. Please bear in mind though that it can often be difficult to differentiate between natural and synthetic fibres in our contamination removal process.
Most commercial dishcloths, such as the Chux type, are made from synthetic fabrics and therefore are not compostable.
Yes! Any paper or cardboard food packaging that is too soiled to be recycled can now be put into your green lid organics bin.
Yes. All seafood remnants are organic and will break down in our composting process.
Unfortunately, most paper or cardboard cups are lined with a plastic film and therefore are not compostable, or recyclable. They need to be disposed of in the red lid garbage bin.
There are some paper coffee cups which are biodegradable, and you can compost those, but make sure they have the Australian Standard for compostability printed on them: AS4736. And remember, the most environmentally friendly way to drink your coffee is from a re-usable cup!
Your can recycle all your food scraps, spoils and leftovers such as:
DO NOT place plastic bags or plastic wrapping into the green lid organics bin. Plastic does not break down and contaminates the composting process.
With the implementation of the OK Organics Kiama service residents will notice their red lid garbage bin will be less full, resulting in less waste going to landfill. To assist you in determining what goes in the red lid garbage bin, there is information printed in the waste and recycling calendar.
To ensure you know what you can and cannot recycle, please refer to the information printed in your waste and recycling calendar.
Timber and branches must be less than 1 metre long and less than 15 cm thick. Please do not put treated or painted timber in.
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