The City of Boroondara has diverted 69 per cent of waste generated from households across the municipality from going to landfill. This result has been achieved in the first two months of FOGO, the council’s initiative to divert residential food and organic garden waste previously sent to landfill. It is expected the diversion of waste will decrease the amount of money paid to the Victorian Government’s landfill waste levy with savings expected for Boroondara ratepayers.

In just two months, Boroondara residents have increased their diversion of waste from landfill from 49 per cent to 69 per cent. Landfill diversion is the portion of our waste not sent to landfill, such as recycling and FOGO waste. This strong landfill diversion result has been driven by our new weekly Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) kerbside collection service, introduced 4 May 2020.

Mayor of Boroondara Cr Cynthia Watson says she is proud of the Boroondara community for embracing the new service.

“Boroondara residents have met the challenge of implementing a new approach to waste and have reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill. Together we are making a meaningful contribution to our environmental future and preventing 69 per cent of our waste from going to landfill,” she said.

In using the new FOGO service correctly, residents are now diverting more than 200 tonnes of food waste per week into their lime green FOGO bin; waste that previously would have gone to landfill. That’s 20 garbage trucks per week. This material is now hot-composted and turned into soil conditioner for use in horticulture and agriculture to grow more food and protect soils. Most importantly, it is reducing our community’s environmental footprint.

“While we expected some teething issues with the roll-out and a settling-in period for residents, the strong landfill diversion rates are testament to how attentive our community has been to use the new FOGO service, and divert 200 tonnes, or 20 garbage trucks, of waste from landfill each week.”

It is cheaper to dispose of FOGO material than landfill waste, due to the Victorian Government’s landfill waste levy. At current diversion rates, the diversion of waste from landfill to FOGO is expected to cost $100,000 less in 2020-21, and could be between $600,000 and $1m cheaper by 2022-23, depending on how much food waste the Boroondara community can divert from their landfill bins into their FOGO bins.

“Council will pay less on the landfill levy thanks to the introduction of FOGO,” said Cr Watson. “The savings will flow through to the ratepayer, who ultimately pays for the landfill levy through their waste charge.”

Over the past 16 years, Boroondara’s diversion of waste from landfill has averaged 49 per cent due to weekly recycling and fortnightly green waste collections. FOGO has enabled an extra 20 per cent to be diverted, and this percentage is expected to increase as more residents use the new system, and residents in phase two of the initiative (units/dwellings of 4-15 properties) and phase three (businesses) change over to the new service.

“The results are a big improvement from 2018-19 figures when only 49 percent of waste was diverted from landfill. We expect this diversion rate to grow over the next couple of years,” said Cr Watson.

For more information please call Eren Cakmakkaya, Media and Advocacy Specialist at the City of Boroondara on 0481 912 411.