A dedicated food and garden organics kerbside collection service will be launched in the Moreton Bay Region within the next three years.
Moreton Bay Regional Council is conducting a business study for an action plan to deliver the Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) recycling facility service from late 2025.
Mayor Peter Flannery says the plan is in response to demand from residents.
“From the many conversations I’ve had with residents across the region, there’s certainly growing support for a convenient, household-based green waste recycling service.
“This business case will lay a strong foundation for the new service and take it a step further - with the capture, collection and recycling of food waste to be included, instead of allowing this valuable resource to continue to make its way to landfill, where it creates greenhouse gas emissions.”
Mayor Flannery says Council will seek State and Federal Government funding to minimise costs to ratepayers.
“It will take a little time to establish a state-of-the-art FOGO recycling facility here in Moreton Bay that meets the needs of Australia’s third-largest local government area.
“We will be doing all we can to fast track this priority project and expect construction to be underway as soon as 2024.”
Among the waste that will be able to be disposed of in the FOGO bins once they launch will be food scraps including meat, bones and seafood, food scraps wrapped in newspaper, soiled paper towel and serviettes (but no nappies), garden clippings, twigs and small branches.
In the meantime, Mayor Flannery says people can boost their recycling efforts with free upgrades to recycling bins from 240-litres to 320-litres.
He says the FOGO service will be the biggest innovation to local waste collection since kerbside recycling was introduced 30 years ago.
“Since those services started in the 1990s - with Pine Rivers introducing the first door-to-door service in Queensland - our community has enthusiastically embraced recycling and played a huge role in its success,” he says.
“When you consider around 58 percent of our general waste bin is made up of garden (27 percent) or food waste (31 percent) - materials that can be transformed into quality compost or even energy - this is the obvious next chapter in Moreton Bay’s waste management story.”
Mayor Flannery expects the new service will divert between 80,000 and 120,000 tonnes of organic waste from landfill each year.
“This simple change to the way we treat our green and food waste will greatly reduce current demands on our landfill sites, as well as associated waste levy costs and the amount of greenhouse gases being produced.”
Mayor Flannery says introducing the service is not simply a case of giving households a new FOGO bin.
“The new service requires the construction of a dedicated recycling facility for processing and repurposing garden and food waste.
“ That’s something that can’t just happen overnight and will require support from other levels of government,” he says.
Until the service starts, Mayor Flannery says people can continue to take green waste to Council’s waste facilities and compost food waste at home.
“Council already receives and processes roughly 61,000 tonnes of garden materials annually at its waste management facilities,” he says.
“There are some very easy things we can all do to reduce the organic waste we currently send to landfill.”