VINCENT council may grab headlines for being progressive and green, but Bayswater has being quietly making strides in environmentalism for years.
It was one of the first councils to introduce a three-bin collection in 1997, has recently stopped using single-use plastics like balloons and water bottles at city events, and is trialling compostable dog poo bags at Riverside Gardens.
Bayswater’s latest initiative is a home composting trial that will help households reduce their organic waste.
When sent to landfill the organic waste produces methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide and contributes to global warming.
Cr Giorgia Johnson says the city must make it as easy as possible for residents to be environmentally friendly and the trial is another step in the right direction.
“Participants are currently trialling a compost bin, worm farm or Bokashi bin at home, and sharing their experiences through regular surveys over the next six months,” she says.
“I’m excited to see the difference this program will make.”
Cr Johnson, a green entrepreneur, is so committed to the environment she recently stopped selling bottled water at her Cool Breeze coffee van at Riverside Gardens.
“This was a really tough decision because it is a popularly requested item, especially in summer,” she says.
“But I had to make a call; we are lucky in Australia to have perfectly good drinking water and there is just no reason to cart water around in such extravagant single use packaging which just ends up in landfill, or worse – filthy incinerators.”
Ms Johnson says her coffee truck already uses recyclable cups, diverting 15,000 cups from landfill, compostable packaging and has a recycle bin.
She’d like to see Bayswater council go a step further and incorporate the Food Organics Garden Organics system into their three-bin collection.
The FOGO system, recently introduced by other councils like Melville, combines food and garden waste in the same bin to create a high quality compost; previously the food ended up in landfill where it can produce methane gases.
Bayswater mayor Dan Bull says they are “currently investigating the use of FOGO”.
“Practicing environmentally friendly methods is a priority to both the city and our community, and that’s why we run a range of free programs arming people the tools and knowledge they need to get greener,” he says.
“We’ve recently offered a series of free home composting workshops, we’ve partnered up with local schools to educate kids on recycling methods and we also work with Environment House to offer over 50 sustainability workshops each year.”