Update on a separate food and garden organics service
Tuesday 12 April 2022
In 2020, the State Government announced that all Victorian councils would be required to provide a glass service by 2027 and a food and garden organics (FOGO) service by 2030.
In 2019, Yarra commenced a waste and recycling trial in Abbotsford, as part of our commitment to long-term reform of Victoria’s waste and recycling sector. New collection services for FOGO and recyclable glass and comingled paper, metals and plastics were successfully introduced as part of the trial, and these services are still in place.
As a result, Yarra introduced its purple-lid glass bin municipal wide in November 2020. This, coupled with the future introduction of FOGO, are important steps in moving Yarra towards a circular economy, where we work with our community to rethink, reduce, reuse and recycle their waste.
The intention was for these steps to be staged, with glass recycling being introduced first, and FOGO to follow. However, many Councils, especially those that already had a green waste service, have implemented a FOGO service before glass.
To accommodate the increase in organic material, local processors need time to develop and prepare for the changes introduced by the State Government. This includes increasing market capacity to meet growing demand.
The State Government have acknowledged potential shortfalls in capacity and issues with processing in the short term and are working with industry and the local government sector to address these matters.
In the meantime, Yarra has made a commitment to focus on glass and comingled (paper and plastic) recycling and continuing to explore options for FOGO as the industry grows and matures.
We are still committed to getting food and green waste out of landfill. We want to make this happen for our environment, residents, and our community, but it’s also important we get this right.
That’s why we’re assessing our options and taking the time to engage, plan and design a system that will work long-term.
We will be making further announcements about this in due course, but in the meantime, we will be taking steps to help our community dispose of their food waste sustainably. As part of this, we will be:
- developing a program to support and educate residents on ways to reduce their home’s food waste
- supporting and educating businesses on ways to reduce avoidable food waste
- investigating community drop off locations for food waste
- exploring, in partnership with Industry and other Councils, alternative means to separate FOGO and recycling materials from the waste stream
- supporting community composting through our Urban Agriculture program
- working with other Councils to explore joint solutions to local processing and how the local government sector can support market development and innovation.