General News

Councils urged to get scrap together to turn food waste into compost

More food waste will be saved from landfill thanks to a tailored education campaign to help communities turn more of their food scraps into valuable compost.

Bones, meat, fish, dairy, grass, fruit and vegetable scraps and even yoghurt can all be added to food and garden organics (FOGO) green bins.

EPA Organics Manager Amanda Kane said local councils with FOGO services will be able to roll out the new Scrap Together awareness campaign thanks to EPA grants of $10,000.

“The Scrap Together campaign takes food waste recycling to the next level,” Ms Kane said.

“It follows research that showed while people like the service, some residents were unsure of exactly what could go into a green FOGO bin, others didn’t understand what happened to the scraps from their bins.

“A trial of the Scrap Together campaign in three council areas found it was a great success. Residents put more food in the FOGO bin rather than the red bin after learning all food scraps can be composted.

“The resulting compost is also great for the environment because it’s used to improve soil quality on local farms.”

Currently, NSW households and businesses send almost two million tonnes of food and garden waste to landfill each year, where it rots and generates methane contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

These grants will contribute to NSW Government’s targets to halve the amount of organic waste sent to landfill by 2030 and net zero emissions from organics to landfill by 2030.

Ms Kane said education is key to boosting food recovery from FOGO in NSW, and the trial found residents like knowing their food scraps help farmers and appreciate tips on how to make sure food scraps don’t smell.

“Currently the rate of food recovery from weekly FOGO is 57%. That is a great start but our Scrap Together campaign shows we can do better once residents are confident about what to put in the bin and where the bin contents end up.”

The grants are open to FOGO councils until 21 December 2021. The total funding pool available is $260,000.

For more details visit Scrap Together on the EPA website.