City of Melbourne to introduce new FOGO service

The City of Melbourne is introducing a new food and organics collection service to help local residents reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said more than 9000 homes will receive the initial service, before the rollout continues more widely across the municipality in 2022.

“Food and garden waste makes up almost 50 per cent of the waste sent to landfill by our residents – and that creates emissions that contribute to climate change,” she said.

“Every tonne of food waste we can prevent from ending up in landfill is better for the environment and also reduces cost of dumping into our landfills.”

Capp added that the city is investing $1 million in establishing the new service, which will create five jobs.

“This is a practical way that we can encourage residents to become more sustainable by providing a food and organics collection service,” she said.

According to Capp, the initial stage of the rollout will help determine the demand and requirements of any future rollout across the municipality.

“Capital city councils have a greater diversity of property types than most regional and suburban councils, so these initial 9000 properties will help us gather data on how to address the challenge of organic collection in high-rise apartments from 2022,” she said.

Environment Lead Rohan Leppert said that after collected scraps are diverted from landfill, they will be repurposed.

“Locals taking up the program will be putting their food waste to good use. We’re transforming garbage into greenery, with the food scraps used to help our local vegetation flourish,” he said.

After extensive research into how to reduce odours and amenity issues, properties participating in the food and garden waste service will move to a fortnightly collection of 240 litre comingled recycling bins.

The 120 litre food and garden organics and 120 litre landfill bins will be collected weekly.

The new service will be provided at no additional cost to residents, and is part of council’s wider plan to reduce landfill and improve waste and recycling services across the municipality as outlined in the city’s Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030.

The City of Melbourne has already invested in the next stage of the project, with $5.2 million allocated in the draft Annual Plan and Budget 2021–22.

This stage will expand the service to other low-rise apartment buildings and investigate options for high-rise buildings.

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