New kerbside waste service helping divert waste from landfill

Published: 01 Apr 2019 4:48pm

The community has adapted to the new kerbside waste service with flying colours, a random audit of bins has found.

Tuesday 2 April marks one year since the new service began, with waste sorted into the green lid for food organics and garden organics (FOGO) composting, yellow lid for recycling and the red lid bin for landfill.

A kerbside waste audit was conducted in November 2018 to learn how well the community sorts its waste, areas for improvement or more education and how the service is performing.

The bin audit found:

  • Green lid bin (FOGO): 98 per cent of contents are correct and 58 per cent of household food waste is now diverted from landfill
  • Yellow lid bin (recycling): The contamination rate is 12 per cent, which is higher than the national average
  • Red lid bin (general waste): 62 per cent of the red lid bin contents could have gone in the green lid bin and yellow lid bin

Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Greg Conkey OAM said the change to the new service will continue to pay dividends into the future.

“Since the service began on 2 April 2018, almost 10,000 tonnes of FOGO material has been diverted from landfill,” he said.

“That’s the same carbon dioxide equivalent saving of taking 8000 average cars off our roads each year.

“Together we are saving money in the long term by extending the lifespan of waste cells at Gregadoo Waste Management Centre, which cost millions of dollars to build and maintain.

“I would like to congratulate the community on adapting to this change and these fantastic results speak for themselves.”

The kerbside waste audit randomly selected more than 750 bins across 14 suburbs and villages. The contamination rates of the bins highlighted some common areas Council will now focus on in its community education programs to ensure households are getting the best out of the new service.

“Thirty-two per cent of Wagga Wagga’s red lid bins is food waste and can go into the green lid bin, which is emptied weekly,” Council’s Waste Education and Communications Officer Alice Kent said.

“Paper and cardboard are other items that can be taken out of the red lid bin. Clean paper and cardboard can be recycled, while shredded and soiled paper can be composted.

“An important reminder for the community is that soft plastics cannot go in the yellow lid bin as they get caught in machinery at recycling centres. Soft plastics like shopping bags can go in the red lid bin, or taken to major supermarkets for recycling.”

“Overall the results of the waste audit are encouraging and further audits will help us track our progress and see what other areas we can work with the community on to improve.”

Council is also conducting a community survey to see how households are adapting to the new three-bin system and how Council can best provide information on waste services.

If you’re interested in what happens to your FOGO material, free sample bags of compost are available from Council’s stall at the Riverina Producers Market at the Showgrounds on Thursday 4 April.