When we were putting this to the council again recently, in response to the Community Greenhouse Strategy I had a bit of a look around to see what other council’s were up to in this space.
It was impressive to see that there is now variety of really great and innovative composting projects going on in other councils.
I’m particularly excited by the Halve our Waste program that Frankston Council is running.
The Halve our Waste program simply aims to ‘keep food waste out of the rubbish bin’. The Council is providing 1000 households with free compost bins or subsidised worm farm, and a kitchen caddy to collect food waste. They also give them access to different resources and tools to assist them to reduce their food waste and to compost what they have. This includes workshops on keeping chooks and growing your own food etc.
The thing that I like most about the Frankston Council program is that as part of the Halve our Waste challenge the participants have to go to a fortnightly garbage collection. When you sign up to the program your garbage bin is replaced with a bin with a red lid so that the garbos know only to pick it up each fortnight on the same day as the recycling is collected. And, because this reduced service can save the council a bit of money participants are given a rebate on their rates. It’s only a $20 rebate but along with the free compost bin and resources it’s a nice little incentive.
Currently about 50%of the waste in our garbage is organic waste, mainly food. I suppose that its perishable nature is why we need a truck to come and take it away so often. It seems to me that for the council the benefits of increasing home composting are multiple. And, if the decreased greenhouse gas, improved local soils, and less landfill space taken up aren't benefit enough, the potential cost savings to rate payers from a reduced garbage service should be the clincher.
You can read more about Frankston’s Halve our Waste program on their website.
It looks like Yarra Council is getting some great programs up and running to deal with food waste too - including cafe compost hubs! I’m off to find out more about them now……
Written by Rowena J (link updated 22 August 2014)