Residents prepare for Austinmer food waste recycling trial


WITH just over a month to go until the start of the Food Organics Garden Organics – or FOGO – trial, letters have been sent to participating Austinmer households.

Selected households in Austinmer have been sent letters inviting them to participate in the three-month trial that starts in September.

During the trial residents will be asked collect their food scraps such as raw and cooked meat, fruit and vegetable scraps and bread into the provided kitchen caddy and empty into their green-lidded bin for normal organics collection.

The green-lidded organics bins will still be collected fortnightly, as normal, but the contents will be taken to a Council contractor’s site at Kembla Grange for controlled composting.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the trial will change the way about 1600 households within the trial areas of Austinmer, Cordeaux Heights and Warrawong dispose of waste, but have no effect on bin collection days or frequencies.

“Since announcing our FOGO trial, we have had some residents raise concerns about bin collection frequencies. I’d like to emphasise there will be no change to red bin collections for anyone within the Wollongong local government area. This will remain weekly,” Cr Bradbery said.

“What we are doing is simply asking residents who have been invited to participate in the trial to get behind the initiative and dispose of all food organic material from their kitchen along with the garden organics.”

As the FOGO collections undergo a different treatment process to the general organic garden waste collections, Council is asking only those on the FOGO collection routes use their green-bins for household organic material.

“We know our community is keen to see Wollongong embrace FOGO as a way to reduce our environmental impact and keep organics from landfill and I applaud those outside the trial area for their enthusiasm,” Cr Bradbery said.

“However, while the trial is underway we’re asking those who aren’t supplied a caddy to continue to dispose of their waste as normal or to explore other ways, such as composting, to reduce their organic waste output.”

Director Infrastructure and Works Andrew Carfield said waste management was a significant challenge for the city with close to 40,000 tonnes of residential waste going into the landfill site at Whyte’s Gully each year.

“Our landfill site at Whyte’s Gully contributes to 86 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions attributed to Council,’’ he said.

“We already offer and support a range of ways people can recycle items and dispose of environmentally harmful items, such as car batteries and paint, to keep them out of landfill. This is the next step to explore a way to keep organic matter out of our landfill.’’

Residents who are in the trial zones have been notified by letter and soon deliveries of the benchtop caddies and liners will start. The trial will take place for three months starting in September.

For more information please visit Council’s website or call Customer Service on (02) 4227 7111.

About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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