The Environment

Strategic objective

Our natural environment is healthy and sustainable for future generations.

Key figures

  • $25.5 million net operating cost
  • 71,669 tonnes of waste collected from kerbside bins
  • 44.2ha of land managed for biodiversity

Achievements

Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) kerbside collection

Commitment

Progress actions associated with the introduction of a Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) kerbside collection service to reduce the volume of waste going into landfill.

Project Overview

In May 2020, Council introduced a new FOGO kerbside collection service. The service enables residents to put both food and garden waste in the same bin, reducing the quantity of waste going to landfill. 

This material is taken to a processing facility, where it is composted and turned into soil conditioning products for use in agriculture and horticulture. 

To ensure an effective and successful FOGO service, Council implemented the best practice FOGO system model which includes: 

  • A weekly FOGO bin collection.
  • A fortnightly landfill waste bin collection.
  • Provision of kitchen caddies and compostable caddy liners to help residents collect and separate their food waste in their kitchens.  
  • A comprehensive FOGO education program, inclusive of food waste avoidance, home composting support and a FOGO education pack.  

The FOGO service is being implemented in two phases. Phase one commenced in May for standalone houses and blocks of up to three units. Phase two, which includes blocks of 4 to 15 units, is currently being implemented in the 2020-21 financial year.

Project Aims

During the consultation for the Boroondara Community Plan, and the Waste Minimisation and Recycling Strategy, Council received significant community feedback that it should do more to divert waste from landfill, and that diversion of food waste should be a priority.

From bin audits, it was found that the average Boroondara landfill waste bin contained 46 per cent food waste and 6 per cent garden waste. By enabling residents to divert this waste to the new FOGO service, Council will reduce its landfill waste by up to 19,000 tonnes per year and avoid thousands of tonnes of harmful greenhouse gas emissions in the process. 

Diverting waste into the FOGO system will also enable Council to reduce its waste management costs, as landfill levies increase significantly year on year.

Project Outcomes

After two months of FOGO, Council’s diversion from landfill increased from 49 per cent to almost 70 per cent. For the last 16 years, the amount of waste Boroondara has diverted from landfill has consistently measured around 50 per cent with weekly recycling and fortnightly green waste collections. The rapid 20 per cent increase is a direct result of FOGO. 

Residents are now diverting more than 200 tonnes of food waste from landfill per week by putting it into their lime-green lidded FOGO bin. This amount is expected to increase as more residents adjust to the new system and properties in phase two commence with the service.

Summary of Other Achievements

  • Carried out major water harvesting and treatment works at Boroondara Sports Complex.
  • Delivered Council's award winning Living for our Future community engagement program to support the community in living well and sustainably. 
  • Progressed the implementation of the Tree Strategy action plan to introduce the proactive renewal of ageing street and park trees. This included analysis of suburb by suburb data, identifying species and locations of concern, and the planning for the first batch of tree replacements.
     
  • Works underway to implement lighting upgrades using sustainable and energy efficient solutions to install lighting along the Gardiners Creek Trail between Patterson Reserve and Burke Road. 
  • Council resolved to prepare a Climate Action Plan to replace its existing Our Low Carbon Future Strategy which expires in December 2020.
  • Solar panels have been installed as part of Council’s new building projects.
     

Challenges

  • A significant increase in customer enquiries relating to the rollout of the Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) collection service.
  • The ongoing challenge responding to the newly proposed Electricity Safety (Electric Line Clearance) Regulations set out by Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) and the changes in how ESV monitor and manage the statutory requirements that impact the City’s street trees. 
     

Kerbside collection waste diverted from landfill

 

Bar graph. 2015-16: 48%; 2016-17: 49%; 2017-18: 49%; 2018-19: 49%; 2019-20: 53%

Tonnes of CO2 emmisions from energy used from Council operations

Bar graph, 2015-16: 23,397; 2016-17: 22,625; 2017-18: 22,483; 2018-19: 21,376; 2019-20: 21,788