Whitehorse City Council

Compost Mates

Compost Mates is a community-run program that involves local residents, schools and community groups collecting food waste from local businesses to use as compost.

Collaborate with your local café, restaurant or greengrocer and help reduce the food waste from landfill.  

Compost Mates

Compost Mates FAQ

How much food waste would I collect as part of Compost Mates?
The food waste you would be collecting would be, on average, 1-2 buckets, once or twice a week, depending on your commitment level.

When do I collect the food waste?
This arrangement between you and your partner business (café, restaurant or greengrocer) is unique, but most people collect at the end of the working day.

Do I have to report on the volume of food waste I collect?
No, there is no reporting involved. On occasion, Council will call you to hear about your Compost Mates experience and collect any feedback/improvements, but that’s it.

What happens when I go on holidays?
Compost Mates is a community-run program that operates on roster system, so there are other local gardeners like yourself also collecting from the same café or greengrocer as you. When you go on holiday, you would need to contact one of the other local gardeners and politely ask them to take over your duties for a couple of weeks.

Please tell me more about the roster.
The roster for your partner business lists the day(s) you collect from the business, as well as the days that others collect from the same business. This roaster is only shared between you and the others collecting from the same business, and lists names* and daytime contact numbers so you can ‘phone a friend’ to take over your duties when you go on holiday.
* First name only. No home addresses.

Can I withdraw from the program?
You are able to commit/withdraw as you feel appropriate.

For more information on Compost Mates, phone Whitehorse City Council’s Sustainability Unit on 9262 6333 or email greenercity@whitehorse.vic.gov.au 

Responsibilities and Expectations

As part of the Compost Mates program, Council will maintain a secure database of registered local gardeners and businesses. In order to link gardeners and businesses for the purposes of food waste collection, Council will produce a 'collection roster' and distribute it only to registered gardeners and businesses.

When businesses join the program, Council will provide education materials (e.g. posters on what can/can’t be composted) and site visits* to the business to assist them in designing their kitchen collection system.

*Maximum of two site visits per business to help set up the kitchen to divert food waste from landfill bins and to assist staff in understanding what foods can be composted.

Council will not be providing specific education to gardeners as part of this program. Gardeners are welcome to attend any of Council's sustainability workshops held throughout the year.

What gardeners need to do/commit to:

  • Provide your details using the ‘Local Gardeners’ form
  • Have an existing composting system, or be willing to implement one (read about Council’s Home Composting Incentive Program here)
  • Collect food waste from a business on a weekly basis (one to two collections per week, depending on commitment level)
  • Compost the food waste collected
  • If unable to make a scheduled collection (e.g. sick, holidays), it is your responsibility to contact another gardener (from the collection roster) to collect for you

What businesses need to do/commit to:

  • Provide your details using the ‘Local Businesses’ form
  • You and everyone at your business must be willing to separate compostable food waste into a different bin from general waste/rubbish
    (Compostable food waste is: fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags and leaves, egg shells)
    (Compostable food waste is NOT: meat, fish, dairy products, grease and fat, bread, cafe, bones, coloured paper, toxic chemicals)
  • This food waste bin must be put to the side for collection by local gardeners
  • If there is no food waste (e.g. business closed for holidays), it is your responsibility to contact your local gardeners from the collection roster) to let them know not to come.

To register, please fill out your details in the relevant section below.

Fields marked with * are mandatory

Local Gardeners Registration Details
Local Businesses Registration Details
Privacy Statement

Personal information collected such as name and address details is collected for the purpose of registering applications, communication and promotion for the Compost Mates program. This personal information will not be used for any other purpose or disclosed excepted as may be required by law, or in the distribution of a food waste collection roster. You may access this information collected about you at any time by contacting Whitehorse City Council on 9262 6333.