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Randwick food and garden collection almost doubles year after new waste program launch

Food and garden organic waste in Randwick has been in place for one year. Photo: Reddit.

By DANIEL LO SURDO

Randwick Mayor Dylan Parker has lauded residents for embracing a new household food waste program, with a recent waste audit showing that the collection of food and garden organics has nearly doubled during its first year of operation.

Randwick Council launched its food organics and garden organics (FOGO) waste collection program in March last year, following the neighbouring Woollahra Council to become the second inner-city council to adopt the program in all of its residences.

Since its inception, over 14,000 tonnes of food and garden waste has been diverted from landfill, where it would otherwise go to and release methane into the atmosphere, with Cr Parker congratulating the Randwick community on a “tremendous effort” during the past year.

“The content of red bins, which goes straight to landfill, has been reduced by 25 per cent and the contamination rate in the green bins is an incredibly low 1.5 per cent,” Cr Parker added.

Food and garden organics collection in the past year has increased 97 per cent from the previous period, with a monthly average of 1,211 tonnes being collected from Randwick residents, while there has been a 26 per cent reduction in garbage collection during the same period.

Cr Parker said that the results showed how “making a small change in lifestyle can make a big difference for our environment”, adding that “every single person who has used our FOGO service has made a difference”.

Following reports last year from residents finding the kitchen caddies poorly constructed and the liners difficult to use, Randwick Council delivered a larger size of caddy liners to residences in July, while also encouraging people to use “whatever storage device works best for them”.

Inner-city FOGO

During a February meeting, Inner West councillors unanimously supported a motion to extend their FOGO program from multi-unit dwellings to all residences, with the item committing the council to implement the new program during its current term, as well as requesting staff to provide a progress report, including its place in the 2022/23 budget, in April.

Waverley Council, the only eastern suburbs council without a FOGO service, recently announced a new subsidy that residents were eligible to receive for a compost bin or worm farm to divert food scraps from landfill.

The City of Sydney began a trial involving the separate collection and recycling of food scraps from residential properties in July 2019, with the project expanding the following year. All apartment buildings are eligible for the trial, as are houses and terraces in the residential areas of the city. Currently, the trial comprises 17,000 households, including over 1,000 houses and 210 apartment buildings.

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