Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Council seeks community feedback on future of waste

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Sunshine Coast Council, Media Release, 8 February 2021

Buried deep in our household rubbish bin lies an opportunity that could see the Sunshine Coast divert more than half of our household bin waste from landfill, and instead turn it into a valuable resource.

Sunshine Coast Waste Survey

Council is seeking community feedback on a proposal to introduce an opt-out third bin for garden waste which could transition to a food organics and garden organics bin service, also known as a FOGO bin.

Residents are invited to complete a short online survey and have a say on the future of waste.

Service Delivery Portfolio Councillor Christian Dickson said this was another project which had the potential to put our Sunshine Coast on a path to achieving international, national and state greenhouse gas reduction targets, and another step towards becoming Australia’s most sustainable region, healthy, smart, creative.

“Council, State and Commonwealth governments have established waste strategies and policies which set targets to divert waste from landfill,” Cr Dickson said.  

“Our waste strategy sets the target to divert 55 per cent of household waste from landfill by 2025 – at the moment we sit at 34 per cent.

“Forty-three council’s in New South Wales have a FOGO service, and it makes sense because it means less waste is sent to landfill – potentially extending the life of our existing facilities by many years.

“Waste becomes a resource, we reduce our region’s greenhouse gas emissions and look after our environment for our children, and their children.

“To support a thriving community now and into the future it is critical that we manage our energy, waste and natural resources efficiently and sustainably.

“I encourage all of our community to have their say. Let us know the changes you’d be willing to make for a sustainable future.”

Service Delivery Portfolio Councillor Christian Dickson said the introduction of a compulsory garden waste and FOGO bin would be another step towards Sunshine Coast Council’s goal to transition to a circular economy for waste, in line with its Sunshine Coast Waste Strategy 2015 – 2025.

“Bones, lemon peels, out-of-date dairy products, lawn clippings and meat have more in common than you may think,” Cr Dickson said. 

“These items might seem like rubbish, but they could be converted into a valuable resource, like energy or compost, if recycled correctly.

“Council is undertaking a community survey to explore the possibility of introducing a third bin for lawn clippings and garden waste for every household as an option to improve waste management.

“At the moment, over 35,000 households have a garden waste bin.

“If all households used a garden waste bin, this could increase the total amount of material recycled by households to over 40 per cent, reducing the amount of organic waste in landfill and allow it to be recycled into mulch.

“Eventually this garden waste bin could transition to a Food Organics and Garden Organics or FOGO collection service, which means you’d put all your food scraps in the green bin along with your garden waste.

“Even foods you wouldn’t put in a home compost bin could go in because the processing of the waste occurs in a controlled environment.

He said our region’s organic waste could be turned into high quality compost which could be put to good use in parks, gardens and farms, instead of rotting in a landfill and producing methane – a greenhouse gas much more potent than carbon dioxide.

“Or it could be converted into a fuel to make electricity.

“Based on our research and conversations with other councils, we have some ideas on how we expect a FOGO bin service to work such as changing how frequently the bin is collected and using kitchen tidy bins with special bags to contain the smell.

“We want to hear the community’s feedback before any decision is made.”

Visit Caloundra, Nambour or Maroochydore Council Library or Council’s Have Your Say Page at haveyoursay.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/our-future-waste and complete the online survey before 5pm, Tuesday March 2, 2021.

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