FOGO trial will be considered in 2019/20 Budget

Kerbside collection of Food Organic and Garden Organic (FOGO) waste is one step closer to being implemented with Council agreeing to list a trial program for consideration in the 2019/20 Budget deliberations.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said collecting FOGO waste would be a win-win for everyone.

“We know our community wants us to take action on reducing waste,” he said.

“With recycling and waste modelling suggesting that up to 48% of the rubbish in our bins is made up of FOGO waste this would be the sensible place to start.

“If we can prevent almost half of our bin contents going to landfill we would prolong the use of our existing pit, and Cell 5 currently under construction, which would reduce long-term waste disposal costs.

“Collecting and turning this waste into quality compost that can be sold not only helps recover some of the costs involved in providing a second bin, it is something we can do ourselves, giving us complete control over the entire process which means external forces will have little to no impact on the viability of our program.”

Recent changes in the global recycling sector brought about by China’s crackdown on foreign waste has caused a national recycling crisis.

“Cities across Australia that have introduced recycling schemes are struggling to cope with their waste since China began restricting the import of plastics, textiles and mixed paper early last year due to high contamination rates,” Mayor Van Styn said.

“Some Councils in Melbourne and regional Victoria are now dumping their recyclables into landfill as there is no longer a market for them and stockpiling combustible materials can be dangerous and bad for the environment.

“This crisis requires a national strategy that resolves our waste problem here in Australia as shipping it off to other countries is clearly not the solution.”

The FOGO waste collection trial will be the first step the City could take towards meeting Western Australia State Strategy waste recovery target set to increase Municipal Solid Waste material recovery by 50% in major regional centres by 2020.

The small-scale FOGO trial would involve providing 500 randomly selected houses across City suburbs with a second bin for FOGO waste over a 12-month period.

The trial will also provide the City with an opportunity to gather realistic data regarding waste portions in our bins, residential participation uptake, local FOGO processing and to identify a local market for the end product.

FOGO is considered any food waste including fruit and vegetable scraps, processed food and leftovers from meals such as meat, fish, chicken, bread, egg, egg shells, dairy products, rice, pasta, coffee grounds and tea bags. Garden waste can include grass clippings, flowers, weeds, herbs, small branches and leaves. Paper towel, compostable plates, compostable bags and pizza boxes.