Food Organic and Garden Organic Waste
Too much waste such as Food Organic and Garden Organics are sent to landfills and not enough of a push towards recycling and re-use. For example, Loddon Mallee spends 988 trillion dollars a year on FOGO compared to Barwon South West who spends 66 trillion dollars. Barwon has trash pickups every week compared to Loddon and is able to use the FOGO resources effectively. Both areas have similar sized population, but the difference in spending is dramatic. Food waste recycling is challenged by limited access to suitable collection services (especially for retail premises), confusion or hesitation about using available services, and contamination from plastics and other materials that reduce demand for processed product and are costly to remove. Education, incentives and engagement are needed to encourage appropriate and responsible use of services. When FOGO is not picked up often, it goes bad, and causes more contamination making it useless. Contaminated FOGO uses more energy to dispose of compared to reusing them for energy.
A push in businesses to move from elective recycling to compulsory waste management. Enacting change to recycling and waste pickups in communities to encourage a change to recycling. Victoria is projected to produce 17 million tonnes of waste by 2025 and will continue to grow. If we, as a state, do not implement changes now, in just two years we will find ourselves with more waste than ever before. The State Government plan is for all households getting access to services with four waste and recycling streams, including:
- Food organics and garden organics
- Mixed recyclables
- Household rubbish.
Streams of Separation
Consistent separation of household waste and these four streams will increase recycling. It will also increase the quality of recycled material produced for reuse. Separating materials at the source allows us to get the most value from our resources. Victorian householders currently send four million tonnes to landfill each year. This new system will significantly reduce this unsustainable amount of waste, create green energy, and help produce soil for crops that will ultimately help the agriculture industry.
Kerbside Collection & Consumer Behaviour
For areas with kerbside collection services, and where possible, households will move to the four-bin system. Bin sizes and collection frequency will vary, depending on local circumstances. With the goal of changing consumer behaviour and encouraging recycling.
We also need to educate locals about the importance of the new system for recycling by teaching children at school about the new system while informing adults through information ads and having detailed instructions on each bin.
By pushing for compulsory waste management, creating consistent streams of separations, changing consumer behaviour through kerbside collection and education, we will help Victoria recycle more, creating new green energy, soil diversification, and a more eco friendly educated population.
We are 3 years into the 10 year plan proposed by the government and yet the level of waste continues to climb. While FOGO has had success in many council areas in Victoria, there needs to be a bigger push.