Kitchen Caddy

Compost-A-Pak’s Summer

We are all back from holidays, and although we look a little more tanned, and have some great stories to tell, that holiday feeling left very quickly.

As a team we came back to a crazy day, with two weeks of online orders to get out in one day. It’s actually a great introduction back to the team, with everyone pitching in, regardless of role, to ensure every order is processed, packed and dispatched, whilst sharing many holiday stories.

Our family holiday was just amazing. We had a lovely family Christmas in which I cooked far too much, including favourites like Pickled Cucumbers and Chilli Jam. We then spent days with our guests relaxing outdoors and eating leftovers. Christmas food always seems to taste better over the next few days!

We then took off camping beside a remote lake, drifting around the shoreline with family and friends. There is so much to love about these days. The storage restrictions result in fresh simple food with little prep. The missing connectivity means there is no games or social media, and instead we got to really connect with the kids, with slow chats about their friends, school, and life’s pressures.  Compost-A-Pak Summer

There are many lessons I always try to bring back from holidays.

  • Simple, fresh meals. My Peach, Rocket and Goats Cheese Salad was a holiday favourite this year.
  • Less device time. Studies consistently show the happiest people are those with an active social life and a sense of community. Devices can easily get in the way of this. We work hard to get the right balance, although sometimes I do fall into the bad habit of checking social media at bedtime. To break habits, I find it best to delete apps completely from my phone for a period. We usually have no TV during weekdays, which encourages longer dinner chats, games, and earlier bedtimes. We also deliberately have no gaming devices in our house, which prevents the stress of managing time restrictions. I do get the ‘everyone has one’ comment sometimes, however it’s an important lesson to learn that the way we choose to live can be different to other families.
  • Time outdoors. When I’m on holidays surrounded by nature, I really do feel a lightness which I see relaxes everyone. We are blessed with such beautiful weather in Australia, and getting outdoors daily is so good for our entire family. It’s what I most love bout my daily watering of our veggie patch, an excuse to be outdoors most days. I need to deliberately plan more time outdoors with our entire family.

Running a business or building a career does require dedication and sacrifice. Christmas is particularly precious for us as it’s usually the only time we can take off. Research suggests taking several shorter holidays tricks you into feeling you have more time off. I’m taking that advice this year, and have already booked a few weekends away back in nature. Something to look forward to.Kitchen CaddyThese weekends will be needed as out team continues to expand and distribution projects are set to run all year. We will be back in Melbourne shortly, and also introducing FOGO with our Compost-A-Pak Liners and Caddies to several Sydney Councils. Depending on the community, both our conventional 7 Litre Caddies and new slimline 5 Litre Compact Caddies are being used. As usual, these caddies are being made in Melbourne, usually with up to 100% Post Consumer Recycled Content. It’s so great to be contributing towards Australia’s circular economy.

If you aren’t sure about FOGO in your local community, I would encourage you to reach out to your local Council, with many programs now in place, being trialled, or being planned.

Happy Composting and Thank You to those customers who did order over our break and patiently waited so our team could enjoy some time off.


Peach & Rocket Summer Salad – Lazy Holiday Cooking

Inspired by lazy holiday cooking, this fresh summer salad is a family favourite. It’s perfect to accompany a BBQ, and you can delegate the key cooked ingredient to the BBQ Chef. Perfect!

IngredientsSummer Holiday Cooking

Approx. 60g Rocket*

2 Peaches

Marinated Goats Cheese (to taste)

Macadamias Nuts (Approx. 30 grams)

1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (A little extra for cooking)

½ tsp salt and pepper


Slice and cook the Peaches on a BBQ or grill plate over hot heat for approx. 5 minutes per side

Mix the Balsamic, Oil and salt and Pepper to make dressing.

Lay all ingredients onto the plate, breaking up the goats cheese.

Dress and serve.


This recipe is best served fresh.

A note about ingredients

*Rocket is best fresh from the garden if possible. It’s my favourite food to grow, as it’s just so easy, thriving in pots or the garden. In fact, it has even self-sown and grows between our stepping-stones on the way to our raised garden beds!

Need more motivation to plant fresh Rocket? Many of the store-bought lettuce bags can be weeks old, so most nutrients are lost. Bagged lettuces and greens also score highly on the EWG’s annual ranking of pesticide residues, as well as often testing high for levels of bacteria. The bagged variety is often placed into a fossil fuel based plastic bag, which will last forever, however even more environmentally concerning, the leaves are triple washed resulting in a staggering use of water during production.

Our Family’s Spring Commitment

Spring cooking

Our native hibiscus has started to renew, our Spring Herbs are thriving, and the bees are buzzing around the lavender… just like that spring has arrived!

Our family is in that brief lull between winter and summer sporting activities, and so for a change weekend activities are at my discretion. Hats on, we are hitting the garden.

I’ve been inspired by my neighbour who has recently given me a few of her mini cabbages. Simply steamed with a little butter, salt and pepper, it was delicious! The mini cabbages are such a convenient serving size, so it’s straight from the garden, steamed and onto our plates. Perfect convenience food! I’m hoping they will thrive in my garden as well and in a few months, we will be feasting on our own cabbages. I just hope the white moths don’t find out!

Compostapak Caddy

Hopefully many of you now have access to FOGO. Approximately 30% of Australian households can now place their food in their Kitchen Caddy for composting. For the larger cities, it’s coming soon, with new processing facilities being built all over Australia. This small change in so many households is making a real difference, reducing emissions and our contribution to global warming. But we need to do more.

I’m on a mission this season to try to further reduce our food waste. Although we compost, food is scarce, as are the resources used in the production, packaging, and transportation of food. Australian research has identified our top wasted food items, and I’m sorry to say our family is not unique. Bread, Bananas, Bagged Lettuce/ Salad, and meat. Milk does also appear in the research, however with my kids, it’s definitely not a problem.

So here are my go-to tips to reduce our three most wasted food items.


Australia’s most commonly wasted food
#1 Bread
I’ve reduced how many loaves of bread I buy, swapping to wraps for the kids once my first loaf runs out, given their much longer shelf life. I also have fruit loaf in the freezer for toast. The kids love it, and the toaster defrosts and toasts it, so it’s just as convenient.

My favourite recipe when I do have stale bread is Italian breadcrumbs. Perfect as a garnish on pasta, meat or roasted veggies. Amazing on a cheese platter with my favourite goat’s cheese or hummus. It’s so good you will be buying extra bread just to replenish!

Italian Breadcrumbs


Australia’s most commonly wasted food
#2 Banana

It’s common to find really ripe bananas in our pantry which the kids refuse to eat, so we have our banana bread recipe down to a fine art. I actually premix the dry items, so all the kids need to do is mash bananas, melt butter and add eggs and Milk. So easy. Once cooled, I then add it to our ‘recess drawer’ in the freezer, and the kids choose each morning what they are going to take for the day.

Fruit bread


Australia’s most commonly wasted food
#3 Bagged Lettuce and Salad

I rarely buy lettuce. I find it often smells out of date from when you even open the bag. Instead, it’s always sown in our garden. For the times of the year when it might be more difficult to grow, my rocket always gets me through. When I started our small garden I purchased lots of different lettuce seeds, to see what worked best for our location. Now we have a few options which thrive and so as one garden bed is coming to maturity, I start to plant the next. Growing greens is so easy, even in pots all you need is sunshine and a relaxing daily watering routine and you will be eating fresh greens within weeks.Growing lettuce


Enjoy the sunshine and natural spectacle which is spring,



How to make breadcrumbs

Toasted Italian Breadcrumbs

Bread is Australia’s most commonly wasted food item, however this Italian Breadcrumb recipe may change all that. In fact, it’s so amazing as an ingredient alternative or garnish you may find yourself buying bread just to keep your stock up!

Traditionally breadcrumbs are made by simply blending dried ingredients. This is a really easy option if you prefer, however, if you are a garlic lover like our family, and have an abundance of fresh herbs, I believe the extra step of lightly toasting the ingredients with fresh garlic and oil is well worth the effort.



½ loaf of Stale Bread*- Saved from our FOGO Caddy 🙂

Garden herbs6 cloves Australian Garlic**

1 Tablespoon Fresh Oregano***

1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme***

½ Tablespoon Fresh Basil***

½ Tablespoon Onion Powder****

Salt and Pepper to taste. (Be generous)

Splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Approx. 1 Tablespoon)



Peel the garlic, crush each clove, and then mince using the side of your knife until it’s blended into a paste like texture. Adding some sea salt will help    breakdown the garlic. This method will release the oils, maximising your flavour.

Blend the herbs and bread to your preferred consistently. I like a little texture.

Add the Olive Oil to the pan over medium heat to coat the pan.

Add all ingredients and continue to stir. It will only take between 5 – 10 minutes. Once you see the breadcrumbs start to go the colour of golden toast, you  can remove from heat. It’s better to pull it off earlier than later, as it will continue to cook for as long as it remains in the hot pan.

Cool and then store in reused glass jars.



Crumbed Haloumi

I prefer to store these in reused glass jars in the fridge. They will last about two weeks. Alternatively, in an airtight container they will last a few months in the fridge.

Then enjoy, the options are endless….

  • Use as a Garnish to add texture to a simple pasta, baked vegetables, or even over marinated goats’ cheese on a platter.
  • Use as a substitute to breadcrumbs on a chicken schnitzel or crumbed Haloumi.
  • Use as a substitute for Croutons in a salad.

A note about ingredients


If you have non-crust eaters like me, a great tip is to freeze all your loaf ends, and then once you have accumulated enough, simply make a batch of breadcrumbs.

**Italian HerbsQuick pasta receipe

I find many of these herbs thrive in the garden. Ours are simply planted in huge pots with our citrus trees. As a result, I’m lucky to be able to grab these herbs fresh from the garden. You can certainly swap these out for dried herbs however, you will lose some of the flavour intensity.


Once you have made this base recipe, get creative and play around with the herbs. Depending on what’s available, I sometimes swap out some of the herbs for Paprika, Sage and Parsley.

***Australian Garlic

We are lucky enough to often have Garlic fresh from Poppy’s Farm Garden, however when we do purchase, I always buy Australian Garlic.

Of course, it’s fresher and supports local farming families, however there are other benefits.

Imported garlic travels long distances, and so needs to be fumigated to control pest and pathogens. It’s commonly treated with Methyl Bromide which is an odourless and colourless gas you can’t detect. It’s toxic when inhaled or indigested, and causes irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. In fact, it’s banned in Australia apart from its use as a fumigant for quarantine purposes. It’s definitely not the type of thing I like on ingredients my family are eating.

****Onion Powder

Powder is an important part of this recipe as it adds lots of flavour and given it’s dry, it stores well. However, it’s also super easy to make from fresh if you have a dehydrator. Simply cut your onions up into thin slices (rings), spread onto racks and dehydrate at approx. 60 degrees Celsius for around 10 hours, or until they ‘snap’ rather than ’bend’. Blend and store. It’s another pantry item you will always reach for!

Italian Toasted Breadcrumbs


Autumn Sauce Making and a visit to our local FOGO facility

I’m already sleeping better with the soft chill of Autumn coming through our window.

In simpler terms, this Autumn breeze signaled the start of the harvesting season, when the community prepared for the colder winder months ahead. It was a season to celebrate so much fresh produce ‘available’. We now live in a world modified by globalisation and technology where everything is ‘available’ all the time, however there is nothing better than eating fresh local produce which has been naturally grown during the season in which it thrives. You can taste the goodness.


We have been doing our own harvesting and preserving, to mark the start of the season, with a full weekend dedicated to making Grandma’s Tomato Sauce. Pete grew up helping and then indulging in this sauce during school holiday visits to Grandmas.

Our kids have now been involved in this ritual since they were tiny, and so it’s now built into the traditions of our family. Peter even inherited Grandma’s wooden sauce spoon. I’ve been told that’s because he used it the most, however there is a lot of speculation that this was because he needed more discipline than his other cousins. Grandma used to shake the spoon drawer whenever anyone was cheeky.

Be warned, this recipe is certainly a time commitment, however the process is fun, and the resulting sauce lasts for months. (Fresh tomatoes stored for winter). It also gives the gift of a slow family day at home where we can reminisce about Pete’s childhood and his gorgeous Grandma.

Of course the best thing to eat with this is Grandma’s pasties, however I can never get the pastry quite as good as hers. She did have a lot of practice. These were always made to be sent for lunch with the working men, who would have dirty hands, so could eat the pastie and then throw away the end corner. Convenient fast food without the plastic wrap… what an innovative modern idea!


On a different topic entirely, recently our team were fortunate to get an insider’s tour of our local FOGO compost processing facility. It was absolutely inspiring! The team arrived back at the office feeling even more motivated having seen the scale of difference FOGO is making in our community alone. It’s genuinely exciting to be a part of.

Whilst the technology is impressive, with finely tuned inputs and scientific monitoring, the processing plant is essentially allowing nature to take charge and do its magic, just like it has for millions of years.

The first step is a manual one in which contamination is removed. Be kind and check your FOGO bin for plastic bags and contamination, as there is a person like Larry at the other end who manually searches through and removes contamination. If in doubt about an item being compostable, choose the landfill bin.

Then after just one week in the tunnel, which accelerates the composting process, there was hardly any sign of the huge volumes of Compost-A-Pak bags which entered, nor many evident food products, apart from a few pieces of bone and sticks. After another 6 weeks finishing in rows, rich luscious compost is ready for farming and local community spaces. Nature really is magic!

Enjoy Autumn. I hope you get to enjoy a few slower days enjoying fresh seasonal produce.



Spring Herbs

Spring Update

It’s spring! I’m always tempted to say it’s my favourite season, but the truth is, I love most the promise of change that each season brings, with new things to look forward to.

As the weather changes, so to does our family’s lifestyle with the shift from being rugged up on the soccer field cheering, to enjoying the fresh breeze as the kids learn to sail on the lake. Spring also brings the promise of entertaining, and a shift in cooking to fresher salads with raw ingredients.

This year I’m feeling particularly inspired by the herbs which are thriving in the spring garden. After hanging over the pot last year, our oregano has now escaped into the garden, with the mint and thyme not far behind. We even have basil re-emerging out of the compost where it flourished last year, and rosemary elegantly stretching down our rock retaining walls.


Spring Herbs Climbing in the Garden


If you are limited on space, or time, herbs are my favourite plants, with the biggest reward. I love cooking, and a few fresh herbs can transform the look and taste of simple produce.

My current seasonal favourites…

  • Fresh Minted Peas. Mint transforms frozen peas into a delicious bed for roasts.
  • Roast Pumpkin with Rosemary and Dukka. Amazing in salads, this even sneaks into kids’ salad wraps for school.
  • Creamy Thyme Chicken. A midweek favourite with the kids because of the flavour, and with me, because it’s so quick, I can help them with homework before bed.

Shallots… I just put this on everything. Peter jokes that nothing can leave the kitchen without “the green”. It just makes everything look and taste better!

You can read the full recipes here.


FOGO Kitchen Caddy and Liners


Speaking of change, it’s been a turbulent time for the compostable and FOGO (Food Organics Garden Organics) industry over the last couple of months. The NSW EPA has recently banned all food packaging from FOGO Programs, limited programs to Garden Waste, Food Scraps and Compostable Bags only. This surprisingly quick decision came as a result of testing which found elevated levels of PFAS and contaminants in compost in many commercial facilities. Contamination is perhaps not surprising when you consider how many green-washed products have flooded the market, often containing harmful chemicals and micro-plastics.

If you are composting at home, you can be a little more flexible with your included products, however I would recommend always checking for the Australian Certified compostable logos. In addition, even if items seem to be made of organic material, such as cardboard, avoid products with lots of colour and dye, or if they feel waxy. For now, those pizza boxes may be best in the Landfill Bin, as protecting your compost from contaminants will protect your precious garden soil.

Enjoy spring and happy composting as the weather warms up!


PS. Thank you to everyone who recommends our products. We have many new customers supporting our Australian Family Business, which has meant we have even employed two new trainees. Don’t forget, if you are recommending Compost-A-Pak, the code ‘friends’ provides a small discount to anyone who hasn’t ordered before.


Compost-A-Pak Herbs in Spring

Our Kitchen Caddy is now made of Recycled Bottles and Food packaging

Placing items such as milk bottles and food packaging into the recycling bin is something nearly all households now do in Australia, however I wonder how many people consider where their items will go next…

It is an important question, and one that our team, and family, are passionate about. The idea of treating our ‘waste’ as a ‘resource’ seems quite logical, particularly when you consider the impact sourcing virgin materials has on our environment. Purchasing mindfully, reusing and recycling is critical.

After significant investment, trials (and errors) and hours of research, we are really excited to announce that we are now contributing towards Australia’s Circular Economy, by making our Kitchen Caddies from our old milk bottles and food packaging.

Our new caddy is now made in Melbourne from 100% Post-Consumer Recycled content.

We have always used a proportion of recycled material, however like many businesses, the material often came from commercial sources and was mixed with virgin material. The traditional thinking was that this mix was required to ensure quality.

With deliberate sourcing through council MRFs (Material Recovery Facilities), we are now diverting items such as milk bottles and food packaging which are collected in roadside yellow bins in Melbourne, processing the material, and then using this material to manufacture new Kitchen Caddies. Saved from an endless life in Landfill, these products now have a second life helping people divert their food waste to compost, as FOGO (Food Organics + Garden Organics) rolls out across Australia.

After thousands of production runs for council FOGO programs, we are excited to say that the quality of our products is as fabulous as usual, and the only disadvantage is that depending on the batch, we can’t always achieve the bright white finish. With a gorgeous new Woodland Grey Caddy now available that hardly seems a concern. Let’s hope more businesses make the switch to Post Consumer recycled content, allowing Australia’s circular economy to continue to expand.

You can purchase the new Woodland Grey Compost-A-Pak Caddy on this link.

How our family minimise waste at home

We often get asked about our waste routines at home, and as you can probably guess, we are obsessed with recycling!

At home we have four bins all set up for unique streams, which makes it really easy for the kids, and even visitors to recycle correctly. We built our kitchen around a convenient pull-out drawer system, to which we added Source Separation SystemsSlide and Sort lids for Recycling and Organics. These convenient lids are perfect for visitors, ensuring we don’t end up with contamination in our streams. Everyone always stops to read the label and instructions before using.

We line both these bins with Compost-A-Pak 60 litre liners, and when emptied, the liner goes in with the food waste either into our Home Compost, or Council FOGO bin. The Recyclables are tipped out of the liner, which is reused a few times, then composted.

We then complement this with two smaller under sink MURFE units, one for Soft Plastics, and one for any remaining Landfill, which is normally the odd visitor’s coffee cup, and small things like meat tray satchels, band aids and broken drinking glasses.

However, whilst it is great to be in an effective recycling routine, we passionately believe the most important part of living sustainably is consistently reviewing what we are purchasing and bringing into our home. You can read more about how we minimise waste when out of the house here.


81,110 FOGO Deliveries with only 78 Community Enquires

Our team recently hit the steep hills of Wollongong, working in partnership with the fabulous team from Remondis to deliver new FOGO (Food Organics, Garden Organics) kits to the residents of Wollongong.  Whilst it was a great way to get fit before Christmas, there were also some interesting learnings.

Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM visiting our distribution facility

Wollongong’s FOGO roll out commenced in November 2020 with a strong community communication strategy outlining the benefits of the program.

In this region alone, the team expect to divert a staggering 6,000 tonnes of food waste from their landfill site at Whytes Gully each year. In results similar to other Australian communities, the Wollongong team had found that residents were filling up to 40% of their red general waste bins with food scraps, which equates to approx. 150kg of food waste per household annually. The environmental and financial benefits of implementing a FOGO Program as quickly as possible were compelling, particularly in the context of rising Landfill costs.

During the rollout, each registered property received a FOGO kit comprising of a roll of Compost-A-Pak liners, Education Pack and a Source Separation Systems Kitchen Caddy. This Kitchen Caddy was made in Australian in a customised colour with the base and handle made of Post Consumer Recycled content. The recycled content for this production run was sourced from material originally deposited in council roadside collection bins in Melbourne. As a result, by simply choosing this solution, and so using Post-Consumer recycled content, the council contributed to Australia’s emerging circular economy which is imperative for an effective recycling industry in Australia.

Customised Wollongong Kitchen Caddy

After initial trials, the caddy was designed with simple and effective symbol-based imagery within the in-mould label, providing a permanent reminder for resident of the items accepted through the FOGO program. This was also reinforced across the other communication channels.

As Christmas loomed, the team set a very ambitious program to have the full distribution of 81,110 FOGO Kits in place within four weeks. Leveraging our unique distribution software in which many of the complexities of distribution are managed proactively in our preparation phase, the Source Separation Systems team successfully visited over 4,000 households on average everyday and met the timeframe. Which such large numbers, the risk of gaps and duplications obviously increase, however with our unique software, this risk is effectively mitigated. This is most powerfully reflected in the number of enquiries received into the council team, with only 78 Community Enquiries lodged during the distributing. That’s a call rate of  0.009%, which for anyone familiar with delivery logistics is quite remarkable!

As a result of the successful distribution the new program was effectively up and running in time for the Christmas period in which food waste tends to peak. As Wollongong City Acting Lord Mayor Councillor Tania Brown explained to local media ahead of the program, this type of FOGO strategy is really a win-win for the environment and residents.

“The big problem is that food waste in a landfill decomposes and creates the greenhouse gas methane. Diverting food scraps is a win-win as it reduces the amount of waste going to landfill, saving valuable landfill space and reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emitted into our atmosphere,” Cr Brown said

To find out more about our custom products, distribution program and how we can have you up and running for FOGO, simply contact us here.