Vincent goes FOGO

VINCENT residents could get a third bin for organic waste like food scraps and garden cuttings.

There’s still details and a business case to be worked out before councillors decide whether to go ahead, but this week they voted to support “in principle” the three-bin FOGO system (Food Organics/Garden Organics), as about 55 per cent of a typical Vincent rubbish bin is organic waste.

Currently it gets mixed in with other garbage and winds up at the Mindarie Regional Council tip, where it rots and produces methane gas. Under the FOGO system the organic waste will be separated and used as compost and mulch.

Southern suburbs mayors Russell Aubrey, Jim O’Neill and Brad Pettitt with former SMRC member Cameron Schuster when they rolled out their three-bin system. File photo

Cuttings

Some councils like Stirling and Bayswater already have a three-bin system, but the third bin only collects garden cuttings, and not foodstuffs which go into the regular bin.

This year Vincent council adopted a new strategy which aims to divert all waste from landfill by 2028.

The city currently diverts around 42 per cent from landfill, and FOGO will let them steer the organic waste away, boosting diversion rates to an estimated 62 per cent.

Melville council was among the first to try out the FOGO system, with a trial of 7000 households in 2017.

Their target was 65 per cent diversion by 2020; the trial area reached 66.5 per cent in the first six months and it was approved for full roll-out.

Under the proposed three-bin system, your regular sulo could only be collected every fortnight since there’ll be less stinky stuff in it.

Some councils collect the FOGO every week, some every fortnight.

Since you can’t put plastic bags in the FOGO, councils provide houses with a “kitchen caddy”; a little bin with compostable liners to collect the waste.

The three-bin system will cost Vincent about $1.1 million and increase annual costs by $44,000, but it’s currently spending $6.5 million a year, so its an increase of just 0.06 per cent.

Fremantle council had to increase its rates by two per cent to cover the conversion, and funding from the state government’s Better Bins program could offset Vincent’s costs.

Bayswater’s also investigating the FOGO system at the request of Cr Lorna Clarke. There’s some obstacles: They’ve got a contract requiring them to deliver all their garbage to the Red Hill facility, owned by the East Metro Regional Council. The EMRC hasn’t yet decided if they’ll update that facility to take FOGO waste.

by DAVID BELL

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