Wendy Buck has redefined what success looks like in kerbside organics waste services and will present an integrated and well-researched model for replication by other regions.
Overcoming barriers to effective kerbside garden and food organics recovery
Lets be honest, organic waste is the elephant in the room when it comes to reducing a municipality’s environmental footprint.
If it wasn’t mixed up with a small amount of inorganic contaminates in the residential waste stream it could be diverted from landfill and be recovered as a major input into the production of compost and other products that rely on organic matter.
With a green waste bin already sitting right next to the regular kerbside bin, the solution should be obvious, yet there are few examples of councils offering a combined garden and food kerbside waste collection service.
Goulburn Valley Waste and Resource Recovery Group and councils (Wodonga, Indigo, Shepparton, Strathbogie and Mitchell) have been working together for over six years to develop a business case to introduce this exact service to households in the region.
Moira Shire Council, the first to introduce the service in December 2014, has succeeded in diverting over 3,000 tonnes of organics that had been previously sent to landfill, reducing garbage by over 40 per cent and demonstrated that under 1 per cent of contamination is achievable with careful planning, comprehensive education and engagement to win community support.
The recycled organics products are used by council and businesses in the region, closing the loop for food and garden organic waste. The Moira Shire and Goulburn Valley Waste and Resource Recovery Group are on the way to achieving their goal of providing 35,000 households with the kerbside service.
The removal of organics from the waste stream has resulted in a large reduction in costs associated with the running and monitoring of landfill, as there will be reduced greenhouse gas emissions, leachate generation and considerable reduction in vermin.
It has also produced clean, high quality organic compost, which is being used on public gardens around Moira Shire.
The project was winner of the 2015 Premier’s Sustainability Award.
Wendy Buck, Councillor, Moira Shire Council and Chair of Goulburn Valley Waste and Resources Recovery Group has redefined what success looks like in kerbside organics waste services and will present an integrated and well-researched model for replication by other regions.