The Importance of Getting Your Council Ready
Although the implementation of Food Organics Green Organics (FOGO) has now been officially delayed from 2023 to 2030, Biotuff examines the importance for councils to become prepared early. Not only for the benefit of the planet but also for the people living in their communities.
All Australian businesses and homes were understood to have FOGO collection available in 2023. However, the 2019 National Waste Policy Action Plan has now been pushed back to 2030 and will only include metropolitan areas. This was claimed to be because the ambitious recycling targets at a Commonwealth level would unlikely be met. However, regardless of the push-back dates, the Federal Government is adamant that more effort is needed from territory governments and councils to drastically improve kerbside collection of food and organic waste.
For all councils, the benefits of offering the FOGO service for their residents are enormous. Not only from an environmental standpoint but also to help tackle the rising cost of living. FOGO has vast benefits, allowing consumers to monitor the amount of food they discard and allowing homeowners to transform their kitchen waste into nutrient-rich soil.
“Cost of living is affecting many across the nation, and it doesn’t seem to be easing anytime soon,” Nadia Crighton Biotuff, Spokesperson, says. “If people are aware of how much food they are throwing away weekly, they are much more likely to take steps to reduce food wastage. FOGO is a wonderful way for homeowners to see first-hand how much food they are discarding while also allowing a massive reduction of this waste ending up in landfill.”
Composting – Promoting Regenerative Agriculture
Biotuff is passionate about endorsing the importance of soil quality and biodiversity. These practises not only rehabilitate the land we use for farming, but they can also promote carbon sequestration and help endorse a positive drive on climate change. Biotuff material, alongside strong council-driven eco-friendly practices, allows many Australians to see the importance on a larger scale. This also includes our farming practices. Improving land quality by boosting carbon in soils, water retention, soil quality, and biodiversity.
Biotuff is encouraging councils to get proactive in this space by getting organised early and promoting the benefits of FOGO to their residents, while also increasing their eco-friendly approach to rubbish collections. Many councils are making the transition super easy for their communities by handing out certified compostable bin bags for FOGO collections also offering compostable 8 litre liners with a bench top kitchen caddy for organic waste pickups.
“The wonderful news is that these bin liners are more durable than ever,” Crighton says. “Allowing your communities to have strong, leakproof bin liners that are environmentally friendly while also making that all-important sustainable statement that your council cares about the health of the planet and our children’s future.”
With compost in hot demand nationwide, transforming home and business food waste into soil is undoubtedly a way of the future. The benefits of composting are enormous when you consider that the typical household can reuse more than 300 kilograms of waste each year if they choose to compost – either at home or through a council-run commercial composting facility.
“That’s a huge amount of waste that is not going into landfills,” Crighton says. “Not to mention, when the food scraps and garden waste are put into landfills, they create methane gas.”
According to the 2021 Rabobank Food Waste Report, the national food waste bill is approximately 10.3 billion dollars, enough to feed around 1.1 million households. With the average Australian household wastes around 11% of the food they buy.
“That is a lot of money and a lot of food ending up in council-run landfills each year,” Crighton states. “FOGO is the way of the future, and accelerating the implementation is more important than ever for your local environment and community.”
What Is Circular Economy?
Biotuff strongly believes in encouraging the circular economy and abolishing the current throwaway system. The circular economy is a framework solution that targets climate change, waste, pollution, and biodiversity by addressing important social aspects. It can help create employment, cut emissions, and reduce waste and pollution for our global environment.
Biotuff is a leading Australian owned commercial compostable bin liner manufacturer. Offering councils, Australian Standards accredited certified compostable AS4736 and AS5810 quality products for their communities. From FOGO caddy liners and regular bin liners to full-sized skip bins, dog waste dispensers, and bags. Being 100% eco-friendly and reliable, they are fast becoming the go-to brand for many councils across Australia.
“Similar to switching to reusable shopping bags, your community will quickly adapt to utilising certified compostable products,” Crighton says. “Correctly sorting and collecting waste for compost will become second nature, and the sooner your community begins, the easier it will become.”
Taking Environmentally Friendly Steps - What Can Your Council Do?
FOGO is estimated to be able to divert as much as 3.4 million tonnes of organic waste and food, ending up in a landfill. Offering this service to your community is more important than ever before. However, councils can also consider other aspects to become more eco-friendly.
- Consider increasing your organic collection to weekly.
- Offer quality certified compostable bin liners, skip liners, and FOGO caddy liners.
- Promote the composting benefits to your communities.
- Only utilise certified compostable dog waste bags in your local parks.
- Educate your communities on FOGO and green waste.
Corangamite Council – All Go for FOGO
Jessica Maxwell Waste and Sustainability Officer Corangamite Shire Council
The Corangamite Shire Council has been offering FOGO collection for the past 10 years and introduced kitchen caddies and compostable liners 5 years ago.
“Compostable Kitchen Caddy Liners are a key part of our kerbside FOGO service.”
The waste and sustainability team had to really encourage residents to put their food in the FOGO bin, but found an easy solution to the problem.
“The supply of Kitchen Caddies and an annual delivery of rolls of compostable liners has helped our community to divert kitchen organics from landfill by making it a quick and easy process. The annual supply of compostable liners allows us to remind the community what materials can go into the FOGO bin and also brings new residents onboard to the service.”
West Australia City of Vincent Council
Anna Budde, Coordinator Waste and Recycling Strategy
The City of Vincent implemented FOGO in November 2021 with exceptional results.
“The Community feedback has been very positive. Our FOGO material recovery rate currently sits at over 97%, which is a great outcome and shows that the community is using the system correctly.”
Anna Budde states that it is imperative for councils to get prepared for FOGO early while also implementing a detailed communications and project plan.
“Know your audience and have data available - tailored education campaign based on demographics etc.,” Budde says. “Start early with the marketing campaign and keep the community updated and have sufficient customer service in place.”
She also advises that once FOGO is implemented, have a follow-up and keep up the momentum.
Going to the Dogs – Certified Compostable Options for Dog Parks
Offering your communities reliable dog waste bags at your local dog-friendly space is imperative for the use of the ground and to keep the area clean. Councils across Australia have understood the importance of this addition for many years. However, now is the time to consider taking this one step further.
“Offering certified compostable dog waste bags is allowing councils to make a clear and green statement with all aspects of waste collection,” Crighton says. “Most quality dispensers can also come in eco-friendly options, such as recycled plastics while offering earth friendly compostable bags.”
Composting is the way of the future. As industrial composting becomes more and more popular in Australia, and the complete abolishment of traditional plastics. Councils can generate more interest in promoting eco-friendly living with their choice of dog waste bags in their off-leash and dog-friendly areas. They can also lead the way in their State on the importance of an eco-friendly council.
“It is more important than any time in history that those in authority make these important green steps to improve our environment,” Crighton says. “Not only for the benefit of our natural environment but also for our future generations and the communities they live in.”