11 September 2019

FOGO - the Bega Valley's bold step in the "War on Waste"

| Ian Campbell
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Bega Valley Shire Council's Waste Management Coordinator, Joley Vidau with a FOGO kitchen caddy. . Photo: BVSC

Bega Valley Shire Council’s Waste Management Coordinator, Joley Vidau with a FOGO kitchen caddy. Photo: BVSC

The Bega Valley is on the verge of reshaping its definition of garbage.

The Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) bin collection that will start later this year will divert around 1000 tonnes of household waste from the shire’s landfill and turn it into high-quality compost. Garbage won’t be garbage anymore but the building blocks of healthy soil and a good garden.

On average, 53% of the contents in your red bin is compostable, but at the moment that ends up in a big hole at Wolumla producing methane.

Essentially anything that once lived can go in your FOGO bin – garden trimmings, clippings, and prunings, meat, dairy, egg shells, seafood, take away food, vegetable, and fruit scraps. Plus, tissues, paper towels, shredded paper, kitty litter, and animal droppings.

ABC TV Gardening and recycling guru, Costa Georgiadis toured the Merimbula Waste and Recycling Depot late last year, expressing his delight at the food and organics collection technology that Bega Valley Shire Council has been trialing over the past two years.

“To turn waste into organic compost and make it available for local gardens, schools, community groups, and sporting projects is such a win,” Costa says.

When the time comes, your green bin becomes your FOGO bin and your red bin takes what is left, or better yet – your yellow recycling bin.

Currently, green bins take garden and lawn clippings only and are collected once a month from residents on the urban garbo run; while red bins are collected weekly. That turns upside down with the introduction of FOGO later this year.

Green bins and their bigger, broader mix of organic contents will be picked up weekly, red and yellow bins will be collected fortnightly. Council is still working out when the new routine will take effect.

Homes on the FOGO collection run will also receive a bench top caddy for their kitchen scraps.

Young families or people with health issues needing to continue a weekly red bin pick up, just need to ask.

If you live on a rural garbo run and currently don’t have a green bin – nothing changes, your red bin will still be collected weekly. No FOGO for you – which includes me.

A significant change is brewing in the months ahead; led by the passion of Waste Management Coordinator, Joley Vidau, Council seems determined to help residents embrace and manage the transition.

The Bega Valley is about to take a bold step in the “War on Waste”, no doubt they’ll be teething problems, but there is a genuine excitement in the air that I think will see us through.

More FOGO info is available from your local library, Council’s waste website, or the Bega Valley Waste and Recycling Facebook page.

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We would love to have this here in Bermagui
Is there any hope for us to get this ?

Ian Campbell12:34 am 09 Mar 18

Hi Maureen – if you have a green bin now FOGO is coming to you, including Bermagui. Cheers Ian

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