Gardening, waste and recycling
Last published 10 Nov 2017
Tips for getting the most out of your garden and reducing waste at home
Saving water in your garden
If you have space for a garden it can be a great way to relax, get outdoors and keep active. We encourage tenants to use and improve their gardens.
To save water and get the most out of your garden, we recommend:
- watering early in the morning or late in the afternoon
- watering the base of the plant, instead of overhead
- adding mulch to your garden to keep moisture in the soil
- planting native varieties that need less water and care
- collecting rainwater in buckets and drums for your garden
- sweeping paths or driveways instead of hosing
- leaving lawn 3cm tall or more so it needs less water
- washing your car on the lawn using buckets instead of the hose
Gardens account for around 25% of all household water consumption. Remember to check if there are any local water restrictions that limit your garden water use.
If you live in an apartment building and have neighbours who are interested in gardening, consider starting or joining a community garden.
Worm farms and composting
Worm farming and composting are fantastic ways to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill while feeding your garden with organic fertiliser.
Worm farms are great for people with limited space as they are compact and produce lovely liquid organic fertiliser which you can use on your garden or give away to friends. Worms can eat away food scraps in a matter of days when in the right conditions.
Compost bins are great for those with bigger gardens and lawns. A healthy compost bin likes a combination of food scraps, lawn clippings and leaves.
Many local councils offer free worm farming and composting workshops and will often provide discounts or free products to participants. Contact your local council to see if workshops are available in your area.
Compost Revolution have partnered with 40 local councils across Australia to offer discounts on home composting products and provide free online tutorials to help you set up and manage a worm farm, compost bin or bokashi bucket.
Some FACS Housing apartment buildings are located near community gardens or have common area gardens where worm farming or composting is available. If you and your neighbours are interested in communal worm farming, composting or a community garden in your area contact your client service team to find out if it is possible.
Waste and recycling
If you have a missing, stolen or damaged bin, contact your local council to request a repair or replacement. You can also check your collection dates for waste, recycling and green waste on your local council’s website.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority has useful tips for reducing your household waste.
Illegal dumping is a serious problem, costing thousands of dollars every year. Illegal dumping is where unwanted items are placed on public or private property. People caught dumping illegally can be fined $750 on the spot. It’s important to report illegal dumping, especially if the waste is a threat to the environment or your health.
FACS Housing spends thousands of dollars paying for the clean up of illegal dumping; money which could otherwise be spent on maintenance or housing upgrades.
Your council may offer free clean up services to remove large household items that you no longer want. If you live in a house, contact your local council to find out about clean up services available to you. Clean up services are usually on a roster or can be booked in on request.
For residents living in apartments and townhouses, FACS Housing may be able to assist in organising a clean up for your whole building. If you and your neighbours need help to organise a clean up, contact your client service officer.