Getting it sorted! A big drop in FOGO contamination rates
Published: 09 Dec 2022 12:59pm
Wagga Wagga City Council would like to thank residents for their efforts in converting household food and organic waste into reusable compost, with the city recording its lowest contamination rate in our Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) waste for 2022.
The results from the latest audit, carried out in October, showed a contamination rate of 2.4 per cent in the 2,280kgs waste that was hand-sorted as part of the audit process.
Gregadoo Waste Management Centre Support Officer Tammie Cook said this figure was well below the 10.9 per cent recorded in the August audit.
"This is a great result for our community and the environment and one we’d like to see carried forward into the new year," Ms Cook said.
“The FOGO waste is processed and turned into professionally-made compost which is used primarily in primary production, from fruit and nuts, to broadacre crops.
“So far in 2022, we have diverted 14,627 tonnes of FOGO from landfill; an increase of more than 292 tonnes on last year’s figures.”
Overall, the community has diverted just under 59,060 tonnes of FOGO from landfill since the three bins system was introduced in 2018.
While contaminants such as soft plastics (plastic bags and food packaging), textiles, treated wood and concrete are still commonly seen in FOGO waste, Ms Cook is confident the community understands the environmental benefits of recycling food and garden waste.
Earlier this year, Council launched the ‘Let’s Get Our Scrap Together’ FOGO education campaign with the help of funding from a NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) grant.
“It is likely the wet winter and spring contributed to the reduction of contamination, as the mix contained a much higher level than usual of lawn clippings and garden waste as residents tackled the abundance of green growth in their backyards,” Ms Cook said.
“However, I think it also reflects how residents are taking on board the ‘Let’s Get Our Scrap Together’ message, realising that small changes can make a big impact.”
To find out more on how you can get your scrap together, visit wagga.nsw.gov.au/wasteguides