Household waste production has spiked in South Australia, with more people staying home due to COVID-19.
According to Environment Minister David Speirs, preliminary data from the Australian Council of Recycling shows waste volumes are up by more than 10 per cent in the past two months.
“With increased purchasing and consumption due to COVID-19 restrictions, South Australian councils and the local compost industry are also reporting an increase in organics waste, a large portion of which is food scraps,” he said.
“To help reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfill, the state government is making $1.6 million funding available for councils to improve household food waste recycling programs.”
The Kerbside Performance Plus Food Organics Incentives Program, a Green Industries SA initiative, encourages councils to provide an effective food waste recycling service to residents by subsidising the cost of kitchen caddies, certified compostable bags and supporting education.
As it stands, as much as 40 per cent of the material in South Australian household waste bins sent to landfill is food and organics, which could be diverted through the green bin, Speirs said.
“With $1.6 million of funding now available, there is a great opportunity to stimulate a wider uptake of food waste recycling, particularly while householders are staying at home in response to COVID-19,” he added.
“Our aim is to ensure householders continue to recycle their food waste by reducing the cost of compostable bin liners provided by councils, and improving the accessibility of the bags.”
Only five South Australian councils currently provide an area-wide distribution of ventilated caddies lined with certified compostable bags.
“This funding will help councils improve their food waste collection and reduce their waste management costs,” Speirs said.
“To relieve pressure on council resources, Green Industries SA will pay the costs of delivering the certified compostable bags on request to housebound residents unable to access these due to closed council libraries and other distribution centres.”