By Jason Head
Important changes are shaping the way Australia handles its recycling problem.
The City of Melville is leading the way, becoming the first council to complete a
trial of the so-called food organics garden organics (FOGO) bin system.
The three-bin system uses a green top bin for food and garden organic waste, a yellow top bin for recyclable material and a red top bin for general waste.
“The product of the red bin content, the contaminated waste that you could not imagine being recycled will no longer go to landfill it will go to waste to energy,” said City of Melville mayor Russell Aubrey.
Aubrey said when it comes to correctly using the bins and effective recycling, education plays an important role.
“No one’s been fined on this, and we hope that no one will ever be fined for this because we all try to pull together for the benefit of the earth,” he said.
Aubrey said home owners will be the key to successfully implementing the FOGO system by putting the right waste in the right bin.
Maya Deacock is an environmental consultant at MRA Consulting Group, one of Australia’s leading environmental consulting agencies. She said that food and garden organics contaminated with hard plastics or glass cannot be composted and are instead sent to landfill.
“We want organics out of landfill, not only to reduce amounts of methane being produced, but also because the organics can be recycled into a usable fertiliser product,” she said.
Aubrey was also positive about the mulching of food and organic waste. He said that by selling the mulch produced this way, the South Metropolitan Regional Council can reduce its costs and in turn leave more money in ratepayers’ pockets.
“You’ve got a feel good-situation, win win win on this one,” he said.
Ratepayers paid nothing for the trial, and Aubrey assured that there will not be any cost to ratepayers for the full roll out.
“There is a cost involved, but it’s going to be done from reserves, so we’re not going to hit the ratepayers with that,” Aubrey said.
Information about the FOGO system, what can and can’t be recycled and results of the trial can be found on the City of Melville’s website at www.melvillecity.com.au/FOGO.