Love Food Hate Waste

Did you know that based upon our recent 2022 bin audit data, in Townsville, 52% of the average waste bin weight is compostable organics?

This means we are throwing out over 100 kilograms of composable food each year. For Townsville as a whole, that’s over 10,000 tonnes of food waste from households alone.

That adds up! It is estimated that Australian households spend between $2,000–$2,500 per year on food that is wasted.

You can step up to fight food waste by making these simple changes at home that will also save you money:

Love your leftovers

  • Make it easy to find food that needs to be used up - create a shelf in your pantry and fridge for food that needs to be eaten first.
  • Get everyone in the household to use food on this shelf first or rotate food by moving the oldest items to the front.
  • Make it failproof by using transparent containers to easily see what’s inside.
  • Eat the oldest items first.
  • Freeze excess food.
  • Cook one meal each week that combines foods that need to be used up.
  • Use your leftovers as a tasty lunch.
  • Preserve any unused vegetables by pickling or preserving food.

Meal plan to shop smart


  • Check your pantry, then make a plan!
  • Use our free meal planner and plan meals to use up ingredients you already have.
  • Get the family to help choose the menu so you know they will eat up the food.
  • Avoid recipes that need a special ingredient that you may not have or use again, or substitute with something else.
  • Take stock before you shop. Check what ingredients are in your fridge, freezer and pantry to make sure you don’t buy more of the same.
  • Write a shopping list and stick to it when you shop. Don’t shop when you’re hungry or you might end up buying more than necessary.

Store food correctly

  • Keep food where you can see it. You know how it goes - out of sight out of mind. Use clear containers and keep labels facing forward.
  • Freeze food for later. Label what it is, date it and add it to your next menu plan.
  • Prevent ‘freezer burn’ by freezing food in airtight containers or wrapping foods tightly.
  • Remember to defrost frozen food in the fridge, especially meat and dairy.
  • Separate fresh produce – certain fruits and vegetables such as ripe bananas, apples and avocadoes let off high amounts of ethylene, which can accelerate the ripening of produce nearby.
  • Make sure your fruit bowl is not overcrowded, so ethylene gas can move around.
  • Use the crisper drawer in the fridge for fresh produce – it helps trap the humidity inside keeping them fresh for longer.
  • Ensure your fridge door seal is working and the temperature is not too hot or too cold. Your fridge should be between 1 - 5°C.
  • Keep fresh bread in a cool place – ideally wrap bread in a tea towel and place in a breadbox or freeze it.