FOGO trial off to impressive start

Date published: 22 October 2021

Over 20,000 kilograms, or 20 tonnes, of organic waste has been diverted from landfill in Townsville just two weeks into the Food Organic and Garden Organic (FOGO) trial.

This organic material will now be repurposed into products such as compost and soil conditioner.

Townsville Water and Waste Committee chairperson Russ Cook said this was a fantastic start to the program and a good indicator that the community was on board with reducing waste.

“We began FOGO in the first week of October and in the first two weeks we’ve had a presentation rate of around 60 per cent from eligible households with 20,400 kilograms of material collected,” Cr Cook said.

“It’s encouraging to see the community jumping on board with almost all bins being presented showing minimal contamination, we’re hoping that this will continue and that we’ll see an uptick in the households using the bins.

“If you are in one of the current trial areas, it’s important to double check what products can go in your lime-green lidded bin and what needs to go into the waste or recycling bins.

“Plastics, food packaging, and other general waste can contaminate the FOGO loads and mean that the whole truck goes to landfill instead of being mulched and reused.

“While we continue to track these results, Council is now asking the community to provide feedback on what they would like to see rolled out across the board.

“There is a Have Your Say survey live on our website now, and we’re hoping to get an idea on how residents currently manage their waste and if there is support for a widespread FOGO collection.”

Townsville’s FOGO trial received $220,000 in funding from the Queensland Government and has been implemented across 1,500 properties.

Cr Cook said the FOGO trial would provide crucial information for Council to adapt its waste management practices.

“Both the survey for the whole city and the trial are important because there is a need to transition to more sustainable waste management practices,” he said.

“This is to ensure we can meet our aspiration of zero waste to landfill by 2030 and to align with policies and strategies being implemented by the Queensland and Australian Governments.”

To participate in the FOGO survey, visit our Have Your Say website.