Council will introduce a third, compulsory kerbside service for Food and Garden Organic Waste (FOGO) for Southern Grampians Shire residents from July 2020.
At its September meeting, Council resolved to introduce the compulsory service to all townships currently in the compulsory waste service zones, which will include a weekly spring collection.
The new bins will be rolled out in the last quarter of the 2019-2020 financial year, with Council also resolving to seek funding support from Sustainability Victoria to offset the cost of purchasing the bins and pass this saving onto those residents who need to purchase a bin.
Bin audits conducted in 2018 and prior to that in 2014, 2010 and 2009 consistently showed that kerbside garbage bins on average contain at least 50% (by weight) food and garden waste. These materials not only add significant weight to the bin, but increase costs to Council for landfill fees and EPA landfill levy. Now that Council has shelved the Hamilton landfill and is transporting residual waste to an external landfill, the importance of diverting organic waste is even more significant so that in addition to the landfill fees and EPA levy, transport costs may also be reduced.
Food and organic waste decomposes in landfill, adding to Council’s greenhouse gas emissions. If diverted correctly, these materials can readily be composted and the nutrients returned to the soil.
Southern Grampians Shire Council Mayor, Cr. Mary-Ann Brown said the decision makes sense for Council, with the move to compulsory FOGO kerbside collection happening across Australia including in neighbouring shires of Corangamite, Moyne and Warrnambool.
“We know that organic waste doesn’t compost in landfill. It breaks down without air and releases harmful greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. With the introduction of compulsory FOGO bin, this organic material will be composted and returned to farm land to improve soil health. Importantly, it also saves Council on costs associated with landfill levies, EPA levies and transport costs.
“These bins are are a win-win solution to organic waste. Southern Grampians Shire has had a successful optional FOGO bins for a number of years, with more than 1100 residents opting in. However, like many others across the Country, the time has come to make this collection mandatory,” Cr Brown said.
All garden waste including lawn clippings, weeds, small sticks and pruning; and food waste, including raw meat, cooked bones, egg shells, dairy products, processed foods, fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea leaves, meal scraps and food spoiled paper are able to be put into in the FOGO bin. Pet waste and pet hair can also be included.