Wollongong City Council is to continue the trial of Food Organics Garden Organics—or FOGO—for about 1600 households in three suburbs.
The move comes as initial analysis of the trial data shows about 130 tonnes of organic material has been diverted from landfill since September and that the contamination rate—or the wrong items being placed in the green-lidded bins—is below the NSW state average.
Council launched the trial in selected areas of Austinmer, Cordeaux Heights and Warrawong at the start of Spring. As part of the trial program households were invited to participate and those who did received an information kit, a kitchen caddy and compostable bin liners.
Participants were encouraged to place food scraps and other organic materials into their green-lidded organics bin. The bins were collected as normal, but the contents were processed differently undergoing tunnel composting and were turned into recycled compost.
“I would like to say thank you to all those households who got behind this trial and have worked with Council and Remondis staff over the past three months,” Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.
“Waste management is a significant challenge for everyone and each year we have some 40,000 tonnes of residential waste going to our landfill site at Whytes Gully. This site also contributes to 86 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions attributed to Council. This trial is an opportunity for us to continue our work looking at alternative options and treatments for our waste.
“This is a key part of a broader range of work like our Urban Greening Strategy and our involvement in the Global Covenant of Mayors, which Council is undertaking to minimise the impact of climate change in our community.”
Council has extended the trial and is writing to residents who have participated in the program to provide them with a project update. We’re also asking them to fill in an online survey that’ll be used as part of ongoing research and analysis into FOGO.
“Our kerbside bin audits have shown more than 50 per cent of food waste is going into the FOGO bins and this is a really positive step,” Cr Bradbery said.
“Over the coming months, our waste team along with Remondis staff are looking to work with residents on ways to increase this percentage even more. What we learn through this process will benefit our community as a whole.
“And for those who aren’t in the trial but are keen to do more to reduce their environmental footprint, we’ve a lot of information on sustainable living on Council’s website. This includes opportunities to participate in workshops on composting and worm farming.”