FOGO back on schedule

AFTER a corona-related delay Bayswater’s new FOGO three-bin system is back on the to-do list.

The new bins are due on verges around March 2021. The “Food Organics, Garden Organics” system was originally scheduled to be in place by now but was delayed because the “community education program” couldn’t go ahead under the pandemic restrictions.

The three bin system (one for non-recoverable landfill waste, one for food and compostable organics, one for recycling) is intended to send less waste to landfill where it festers and gives off climate-warming gasses. The WA government wants all councils to bring in the new system and is offering grants to cover the cost for early adopters.

Not everyone’s welcoming the roll-out: Bayswater Residents and Ratepayers Association president Tony Green was at the July council meeting to roast council for deciding to bring in FOGO before consulting the community on it. 

“Why does council seek to ‘educate ratepayers’ to use the FOGO system without first asking them if they wanted bins containing rotting foodstuffs stinking out their kitchens, and another stinking out their yards?” Mr Green asked.

“On top of this are you seriously expecting us to pay at least $10 extra to generate all these antisocial odours?”

Festering

The FOGO bin for old food is collected weekly, but it can’t take plastic bags. Other councils already doing FOGO have been handing out little “kitchen caddy” bins and distributing biodegradeable liners.

But the general waste bin only gets collected every fortnight, giving plenty of time for nappies, wet wipes and plastic dog-poo bags to fester.

Council works and infrastructure director Doug Pearson responded that FOGO was a WA government imperative.

“Education is an important component of ensuring that any FOGO system that’s introduced is effective. In terms of whether we should be consulting residents around FOGO, the bottom line is the state waste strategy says the FOGO waste collection has to be implemented, so we have to comply with that,” 

Mr Green isn’t confident about the system: “It’s going to have quite wide social impacts and I doubt very much that it’ll be successful.”

Mayor Dan Bull says he’s proud Bayswater’s at the forefront of waste management and FOGO is in line with a commitment to tackle climate change. 

Vincent council was initially due to roll out FOGO in October 2020, but delayed the rollout by a year due to coronavirus. It spent three months consulting residents in 2019, finding out that 86 per cent of residents supported the move, but 44 per cent still had concerns like a lack of space for three bins and worries over the collection frequency. http://www.perthvoice.com

By DAVID BELL

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