Food waste collection service to rollout through Bega Valley in 2018

Costa Georgiadis talks organic waste with Bega Valley Shire Council’s Mick Jarochowicz during a visit to the Merimbula Waste and Recycling Depot.

Costa Georgiadis talks organic waste with Bega Valley Shire Council’s Mick Jarochowicz during a visit to the Merimbula Waste and Recycling Depot.

The Bega Valley’s “War on Waste” has been turned up a notch with a new household food scraps collection service to start next year.

Councillors last week voted unanimously to implementing a Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) program, joining 34 other councils already using it, with the first pick up in July 2018.

What is currently being thrown into landfill – by those residents without their own compost bins – will be turned into high quality compost instead.

ABC TV gardening and recycling guru Costa Georgiadis toured the Merimbula Waste and Recycling Depot earlier this month, expressing his delight at the food and organics collection technology BVSC has been trialling over the past two years.

“The progress you have already made is impressive, but with the introduction of household FOGO the production will just explode. I can’t wait to come back and see it,” Mr Georgiadis said.

“To turn waste into organic compost and make it available for local gardens, schools, community groups and sporting projects is such a win.”

According to the council, on average up to 53 per cent of the contents of your red bin is compostable.

Once FOGO is introduced next year, residents will be asked to change their habits and “embrace this positive response to waste”.

Chief among the habits needing to change will be the regularity of kerbside bin collections. 

The new FOGO collection service will be introduced to all residents who currently have a residential compost (green bin) collection service. 

Essentially anything that once lived will be able to go in your FOGO bin. Garden waste including trimmings, clippings and prunings will be joined by meat and dairy, egg shells, seafood, take away food, vegetable and fruit scraps. Additionally, tissues, paper towels, shredded paper, kitty litter and animal droppings.

As a result, green bins will move to a weekly collection cycle, while red and yellow bins will be collected fortnightly. 

“To know that our waste is doing something good for the community instead of going into landfill is a great thing,” Mayor Kristy McBain said.

“Producing high quality compost from what is now waste opens up all sorts of possibilities, whether it’s for your backyard vegetable patch or your local sporting field.

“FOGO will also result in less methane escaping into our atmosphere, reducing our greenhouse emissions.”

BVSC said a significant education and awareness campaign will begin in the coming months, but in the meantime, further information is available at www.begavalley.nsw.gov.au/waste.

COMMENT: Not just reducing waste, but redirecting it