Food Waste

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Did you know that based upon our recent 2022 bin audit data, in Townsville, 52% of the average waste bin weight is compostable organics?

This means we are throwing out over 100 kilograms of composable food each year. For Townsville as a whole, that’s over 10,000 tonnes of food waste from households alone.

That adds up! It is estimated that Australian households spend between $2,000–$2,500 per year on food that is wasted. Food waste is not only costly to households, it consumes expensive landfill space and generates methane, a harmful greenhouse gas.

To address food waste Council undertook a FOGO (food organics, garden organics) trial with 1500 participating residents across four Townsville suburbs. The trial aimed to collect data to aid in reducing the amount of organic material that ends up in landfill and to assist in future resource recovery efforts. Council aims to divert this material from landfill and work towards a goal of zero waste to landfill by 2030.

The FOGO trial ended on 30 June. By the end of the trial, over 800 tonnes of organics were diverted from landfill towards beneficial reuse products such as soil conditioner or compost. Residents embraced the trial, with over 79% of households participating, and the recovery rate of food and garden material exceeding Queensland Government targets. The weight of waste disposed of in the red lid waste bin decreased by almost 5kg per household per week as a result of the diversion of food and garden organics to the third bin.

How do I reduce waste landfill?

Don’t stop the good work there Townsville, there are many ways you can reduce the amount of organic waste going to landfill. You can step up to fight food and garden waste by making simple changes at home.