Macca’s gets onboard with FOGO: Bega Valley

Food waste and FOGO combine for better outcomes at Merimbula's Macca's restaurant. Restaurant Manager, Ryan Fraser and FOGO for Business Project Officer, Rechelle Fisher.
Food waste and FOGO combine for better outcomes at Merimbula’s Macca’s restaurant. Restaurant Manager, Ryan Fraser and FOGO for Business Project Officer, Rechelle Fisher.

Merimbula McDonald’s has committed to divert its food waste from landfill through Bega Valley Shire Council’s FOGO (Food Organics and Garden Organics) for Business scheme.

The Merimbula franchise is the first McDonald’s restaurant in NSW to adopt the FOGO scheme, adding to a growing number of local businesses pushing for better food waste management.

Council’s FOGO for Business Project Officer, Rechelle Fisher said the quick service restaurant’s decision shows a commitment to explore the commercial and environmental benefits of diverting food waste to Council’s composting facility.

“This is an established local business showing that responsible food waste management can be a commercially made decision with great social and environmental outcomes,” Ms Fisher said.

“It’s the bottom line that often dictates choosing one path over another, and Merimbula Macca’s plus a growing number of other local businesses now realise that saving on costs and making positive environmental changes go hand-in-hand.

“Another positive is the collaboration between Council staff and Merimbula McDonald’s management in overcoming challenges that may have otherwise resulted in FOGO not working for their business.

“Initially, the restaurant jumped on board in 2019 as an early adopter of commercial FOGO in the Bega Valley. Their first go at this wasn’t so successful due to implementing different disposal methods with staff.

“The Restaurant Manager flagged these issues with the FOGO team, and we were able to work with them to overcome any challenges.”

Restaurant Manager, Ryan Fraser said the restaurant reintroduced the FOGO bins late last year and the service is now running smoothly.

“Thanks to help from Council’s FOGO team we are now keeping food waste out of landfill and saving money on our disposal costs. It’s a win for everyone.

“Food businesses in particular have a lot to gain from this scheme, particularly with more customers asking businesses to be more environmentally aware.

“This has led us to look at diverting certain non-food products straight to the green bin. For example, we recently started using compostable coffee knock tube liners that are FOGO friendly.

“I would recommend other local businesses consider FOGO. We’ve found working with Council’s FOGO team to be really valuable in helping us to iron out any initial problems.”

This project was supported with $153,883 from the Environmental Trust as part of the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.

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