More than 1,000 Ipswich households participated in council’s food waste collection trial, which led to 82 tonnes of waste being diverted away from landfill.
In a Queensland first, residents in Bellbird Park and Raceview participated in the FOGO (food organics, garden organics) collection trial for a year.
Each house received a free 240-litre green bin to use for organic waste that was collected weekly.
Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Chair Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the trial tested the frequency and configuration of a FOGO service as well as how the community would adapt to changes in waste collection.
“We know Ipswich residents want to improve environmental outcomes and what we saw over the course of the year was how small changes can have a big impact,” Mayor Harding said.
“There were 33,771 FOGO collections which resulted in 82 tonnes of organic material being diverted from landfill,” Mayor Harding said.
“Surveys showed that 64 per cent of residents supported a three-bin kerbside system as a core service provided by council.
“The trial also looked at the best ways to communicate with residents, around what to separate into which bin to achieve less contamination, with tags put on bins, surveys, home visits and information sessions.
“The most challenging aspect of the trial was managing contamination to achieve acceptable levels for the proper processing of materials.
“When material that is not food or garden waste is added to the FOGO bin, it is time consuming and costly to process the waste. This cost is carried by the people of Ipswich.
“The overall contamination rate was 30 per cent, which is quite high making it expensive and challenging to effectively process and recover this material from landfill, so there is still work to do in our community to better educate ourselves around separating and sorting our waste correctly.
“When we sort our waste correctly, we reduce waste going to landfill and the cost to process the waste reduces.
“I want to thank the residents of Raceview and Bellbird Park for allowing council to collect an enormous amount of valuable data that can now be used to support service and investment decisions going forward.”
Trial participants will continue to receive council’s fortnightly FOGO service free of charge until June 2023.
Deputy Mayor and Division 1 Councillor Jacob Madsen said collecting data around waste practices means council can make informed decisions.
“The trial found 62 per cent of participants said the trial had changed the way they disposed of household waste and 64 per cent said they would use a FOGO service should it become part of the core waste service provided by council,” Cr Madsen said.
Division 1 Councillor Sheila Ireland said council will work with the Department of Environment and Science to share the results and look at the best way forward to address organics collection challenges.
“Now the trial is complete, council will look at the data and determine how best to move to a city-wide FOGO roll out, and I want to thank residents who took part,” Cr Ireland said.
Council is offering all residents a high-value, convenient food organics and garden organics (FOGO) collection service, turning waste such as grass clippings, prunings, leaves, fruits and vegetables, and meat and dairy leftovers into compost.
This nutrient rich compost can then be used in green spaces in Ipswich and to grow more food.
The service also accepts scrap waste paper that cannot be recycled in the yellow-lid recycling bin, such as shredded paper, shopping dockets, paper towel and tissues.
When commencing a new FOGO service, residents will receive a FOGO bin with a lime green lid from Ipswich Waste Services.
The organic material from this bin will be collected from your home on a fortnightly basis and then mulched and turned into compost at a local composting facility.
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Division 2 Councillor Nicole Jonic said it was great to see so many participants embracing the trial.
“It is not just food scraps that can go into a FOGO bin, it is garden waste as well, meat and dairy and it was great to see residents become better educated and more aware of how much waste they are producing and how it could end up producing the best outcome away from landfill,” Cr Jonic said.
In line with council’s Resource Recovery Strategy a FOGO bin service accepting food and garden waste is available for all Ipswich residents. It is serviced fortnightly using 240-litre mobile FOGO bins with a lime green lid.