Bega Valley’s Food Organics, Garden Organics (FOGO) service had a stellar 2018 earning a nod in the Australian Organic Recycling Association (AORA) awards.
The council’s FOGO program won the major organics recycling industry award for ‘local government initiative in organics collection, processing and marketing,’ due to its composting project in conjunction with the Merimbula Organics Processing facility.
The FOGO process aims to reduce the on average 38 per cent of food waste that ends up in rubbish bins by transferring that waste into a more regularly collected garden organics bin and then further processed into composts and top soils.
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With the New South Wales EPA aiming to divert 75 per cent of waste generated away from landfill, FOGO projects like this help councils meet these targets and assist places like the Pambula-Merimbula Golf Club to avoid buying synthetic top soils in favour of the FOGO compost.
General manager of the Bega Valley Shire Council Leanne Barnes said the FOGO team had ensured the transition to a new bin collection service for the community was as smooth as possible and that it’s an outstanding example for other communities to follow.
“This is resulting in some outstanding results, with a decrease of 27 percent in household waste going to landfill in the past six weeks and among the lowest contamination rates in Australia of less than 1%,” Ms Barnes said.
While the program began in October 2017, it’s part of the Bega Valley’s 10-year Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy ‘Recycling the Future,’ which incorporates landfill strategies and water resource management.