Recovery and Reuse of Food and Garden Organics in Gippsland
There is organic, and then there are organics.
When it comes to maximising resources and minimising waste, the organics we talk about isn’t necessarily what you buy from the organics section of the supermarket, it refers to any material that is derived from a natural and/or biodegradable substance, anything that has lived/grown.
Organics can be:
Wood & Timber
Don’t Waste It, It’s Valuable
Audits undertaken by Resource Recovery Gippsland indicated that about half of household garbage is made up of food and garden waste.
In Gippsland, organics make up around 60% of all material going to landfill where it breaks down in a way that creates methane (greenhouse gas) and leachate (contaminated liquid waste) which can affect environmental and public health.
Organics are a valuable resource. Rather than sending it to landfill, there’s opportunity for organics to be recovered and reused.
It’s happening on a household scale with composting, mulching, worm farms and feeding backyard chooks.
Councils and government are providing ways to maximise the resource through kerbside waste bins, organics separation at transfer stations, and community and education programs.
Business and industry are continually coming up with clever ways to manage what they use and get value from what they don’t.
Food Waste - Australian Household Attitudes and Behaviours
National Benchmarking Study (summary report)
Food and Garden Organics (FOGO)
Food is a precious resource. It’s important we think carefully about what we purchase, how we use it, how we store it and what we do with the leftovers.
On average, each Gippsland household puts around 172 kilograms of food per year into the garbage bin, meaning 17,000 tonnes each year goes to landfill (from GWRRG Implementation Plan).
Composting etc at home is a valuable thing to do but imagine if it could be done on a grand scale – well, it’s already happening.
Seven Victorian councils have implemented FOGO. This is where households are provided with a separate bin for all organics (not just garden waste). This valuable resource is then sent to a large-scale composting facility where it is turned into mulch or compost, eventually returning nutrients to the soil and a valuable product to the economy.
Resource Recovery Gippsland supports Bass Coast Shire Council’s implementation of FOGO.