New figures released by not-for-profit organisation Compost Connect and BioPak have uncovered that 25% of Australian Councils allow their residents to dispose of food waste in household green bin collection.
As part of a nationwide project where all 538 councils across the country were contacted, 133 confirmed they accepted food waste in green bin collection, with 75% of Australian residents having no option but to send their food waste to landfill unless having independently invested in home composting.
In response to these figures, a new campaign and nationwide petition has been launched urging councils to act and take significant steps to achieving the National Waste Policy Action Plan target by 2023.
Compost Connect realised a huge opportunity to support and encourage councils who aren’t currently composting by sharing how other councils have successfully implemented FOGO/composting programs.
Everyday consumers can head to the Compost Connect website to check if their council is composting and see what they accept in their bins, whether it’s just garden waste, food waste or even compostable packaging. If they find their council is not composting, they can sign a petition to let their council know it’s important to them.
Compost Connect is constantly striving to expand the composting infrastructure across the country so that every Australian can divert their food scraps and compostable packaging from landfill. Together, we can make a difference by diverting all of our organic waste from landfill and instead turn it into nutrient-rich soil.
A thin layer of compost can mitigate climate change by improving the soil’s ability to stabilise carbon and by increasing plant growth, which pulls more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the use of single-use packaging has increased significantly, providing a further incentive for green/FOGO bins to accommodate compostable packaging – at present, 80 councils nationwide accept this type of waste.
One LGA leading the fight for change by composting food and packaging waste is Randwick City Council, who implemented its FOGO waste collection service for all 156,000+ residents in March, 2021.
To assist residents in their composting journey, they provided households with a lime green FOGO bin and an optional kitchen caddy with compostable liners to collect food scraps.
In just three months, Randwick City Council reported a 70% increase in the amount of organic waste collected in the FOGO bins and a 28% decline in waste collected in red-lid rubbish bins – from a monthly average of 2,374 tonnes, down to 1,715 tonnes.
Bega Valley Shire also launched a FOGO program in October 2018 and since then the volume of food waste, garden waste and certified compostable packaging collected via the FOGO service has more than tripled. In the first year alone, residents of Bega Valley Shire diverted 5,000 tonnes of FOGO waste away from landfill – around five times more than initial targets.
Australian households throw away 2.5 million tonnes of edible food each year – that equates to nearly 300 kilograms per person. The average Australian household sends roughly 4.9 kilograms of food waste to landfill each week. (Source: www.foodbank.org.au).
To sign the petition and to get involved with the campaign to increase composting rates in Australia, please visit: Compost Connect.