The Mirror News

Food waste on the agenda

SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council will decide on whether to upgrade its kerbside rubbish collection to include food scraps.
The current contract with Kleenaway will end in January 2020, and talks will focus on whether to recycle it or put it out to tender.

According to Council’s Waste Management Officer Peter Roberts, who made a presentation to Councillors on the issue last week, of the 4000 tons of waste that went into landfill per year, about 44 per cent came from food scraps.

Bin audits have shown that since the introduction of the kerbside green waste collection service in 2015, the proportion of green waste in kerbside garbage bins has dropped from around 20 per cent of the total kerbside garbage sent to landfill to 1.3 per cent.
“Currently we deliver waste and recycling services to about 12,000 properties – and green waste services to over 7000 properties,” Mr Roberts said.

Mr Roberts said a lot of Councils, including Bass Coast had embraced FOGO (Food Organics Garden Organics) Collection Service, which would see people able to place their compostable food scraps in their green bins.

“Back when we negotiated our last contract there was only one council in Victoria that did it and there was very limited scope to process it,” he said.

Mr Roberts said if Council kept its current waste collection model it was “at the ceiling” of what it could achieve.

“The food waste that is currently going into landfill has viable options for processing,” he said.

Mr Roberts said the FOGO service would be a more expensive option, but did not say exactly how much more expensive.
“It would require a fair bit of behavioural change from people to actually sort the food waste in their kitchens and not put it in their garbage bins,” he said.

“In an ideal world we could achieve 2000 ton of diversion, but it really depends on people doing the right thing. The councils who’ve switched to a FOGO collection have put a lot or resources into the education side of things.

“It would require a lot of doorknocking and face to face contact with residents. Bin inspections would have to be done too: people out early morning checking bins before the truck actually empties them. Just making sure there are no bins that are clearly contaminated.”

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