Is that 'green' bin bag really green?
DO YOU know what you can put in a household green organics bin?
Are you sure?
Plastic and glass have been found in the green waste collected by Lismore City Council and it has forced a temporary halt in the sale of the compost created from the household waste.
Lismore City Council now collects green organic waste from Richmond Valley, Ballina and Byron Local Government areas and they ask all residents in those areas to to be more careful about what they put in their bins.
The council's Commercial Services Business manager Danielle Hanigan said: "We want to remind all Northern Rivers residents to only put food and garden waste into green organics bins. The effect of putting other materials into green bins is quite serious and impacts the whole composting process, as we must reprocess and retest the material".
One contributing factor is the use of the wrong kind of bags in kitchen caddies used to collect compost.
A number of new products are hitting the supermarket shelves labelled "green", "biodegradeable" or "degradeable".
This alone does not mean the bags are free of plastic and suitable to go in the compost bin.
Certified compostable bags are usually plant based and break down using heat and moisture to decompose. The bi-product of this is water, sugar and carbon dioxide.
Degradable bags do not break down by composting, needing sunlight to decompose. Without it, the bags can take a long time to decompose.
There are a few things to look out for when shopping for the right bags.
The correct bags will bear the word "compostable" and bear the Australian Standard Certified Compostable logo - look for AS 4736 and a seedling logo.
Products such as the Compost-A-Pak bags and the Multix Greener Compostable bags are safe to put in the organics bin.
Compostable bags are available at the council's corporate centre in Goonellabah, Lismore Resolve Shop, the Lismore and Nimbin Visitor Information Centre, as well as various supermarkets and outlets.
You can also use newspaper to line your bins or throw your green waste straight into the bin.