FOGO bins to be rolled out to other municipalities

More than 9,500 Launceston households have opted in to the city’s Food Organics & Garden Organics kerbside collection service, making it the largest kerbside organics service in Tasmania — and it continues to grow.

Launceston’s FOGO service was launched in 2017 with the goals of diverting organic material away from landfill, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and extending the life of landfill cells.

In order to process the organic material collected in the FOGO bins, the City of Launceston constructed a purpose-built Organics Processing Facility at the Launceston Waste Centre. This has allowed other Northern Tasmanian councils to roll out FOGO services of their own, with all material collected processed at Launceston’s OPF.

Since 2017 the Council has worked to expand the areas in which the service is available, with Dilston, Windermere and Swan Bay the next in line for a FOGO roll-out.

Residents of these areas of the municipality can now register for a FOGO bin for a one-off fee of $65, with collections set to begin on October 20.

Meanwhile, the City of Launceston has this week opened the sale of processed FOGO compost to wholesalers for distribution to the retail market. Two thousand tonnes of compost are available to purchase by wholesalers, with a minimum purchase quantity of ten tonnes.

Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the Council hoped this would create new business opportunities and product streams. “Past waste audits have shown that up to 50% of the waste in the average Launceston household’s rubbish bin was made up of organic waste,” Mayor van Zetten said.

“The kerbside FOGO service allows us to divert all that material away from landfill and to capture those nutrients for re-use in the form of processed compost. “It is a real win-win and we’ve been amazed at how Northern Tasmanians have embraced this initiative.”

City of Launceston Sustainability Team Leader Michael Attard said it was exciting to see the service continuing to grow.

“It’s fantastic to be able to welcome residents of Windermere, Dilston and Swan Bay into the FOGO family, and I’d really encourage them to get on board,” Mr Attard said.

“Once these new areas have been brought online we’ll continue to look at other areas of the municipality that don’t yet have the FOGO service to see if we can bring them online as well.

“As we approach 10,000 household registrations, it’s also very exciting to see the FOGO compost product taking its first steps towards wider re-use in the community. We want to see those nutrients being recycled in our parks and gardens rather than being buried and lost forever in a landfill.”

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