Council focus on food and organics waste

Council focus on food and organics waste

By Brendan Rees

The City of Melbourne will roll out a new food and organics bin service in a bid to reduce the amount of waste heading to landfill.

Kitchen caddies for collecting food scraps and a new lime-green wheelie bin will be delivered to 9000 homes as part of the new service starting in June.

Under the plan, all food and organic waste will be placed in the green waste bin. Once collected it will be diverted from landfill and turned into mulch to use in parks and gardens.

The new $1 million service will be provided at no additional cost to residents with the 120-litre food and garden organics and 120-litre landfill bins to be collected weekly.

To reduce odours and amenity issues, participating properties will move to a fortnightly collection of 240-litre recycling bins.

Residents will also be given a roll of 52 compostable bin liners to help keep their new bin free of odours, which will be supplied for free on an ongoing basis.

Those living in houses and single-storey apartment blocks will be part of the initial phase of the roll-out, while multi-storey buildings will be included in the next stage.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the initial 9000 properties will help council gather data on how to address the challenge of organic collection in high-rise apartments from 2022.

She said the roll-out was a practical way to encourage residents to become more sustainable.

“Food and garden waste make 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.

The council has allocated $5.2 million in the draft Annual Plan and Budget 2021–22 as part of the next stage of the project.

This includes expanding to other low-rise apartment buildings while it investigates options for high-rise buildings.

The council’s environment portfolio chair Cr Rohan Leppert welcomed the initiative, saying food waste would be put “to good use”

“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.”

“We’re transforming garbage into greenery, with the food scraps used to help our local vegetation flourish,” Cr Leppert said.

He said the council had found households with 240-litre recycling bins were only 50 per cent full when collected weekly and a lot of recycling was incorrectly placed in rubbish bins.

“Most people in our community want to do their part by reducing waste but we need everyone to play their part and reduce contamination of recycling,” he said.

“We are offering households with smaller recycling bins a free upgrade to a 240-litre bin, to make sure they have enough room to recycle.”

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