With Australian households throwing away 3.1 million tonnes of edible food per year, many local governments are creating change. Over 500 local governments across Australia manage waste on behalf of their local communities by organising waste collection and processing or disposing of food waste.
Having identified a significant amount of food in their waste streams, local governments are taking steps to reduce food waste through a range of programs. Some of these initiatives include information sessions and demonstrations on storing food and composting at home, grants and rebates for households to purchase compost bins and worm farms, and the roll-out of kerbside organic bins to divert food waste from landfill.
As food and garden waste makes up a large portion (up to 61%) of the average household’s current garbage bin waste, many local governments have introduced food and garden organics bins. By collecting food and garden waste, local governments are diverting kitchen organics from landfill while also giving people a disposal option for garden waste.
To enable clean and easy kitchen food waste collection, many local governments provide residents with a kitchen caddy and certified compostable liners. Kitchen caddy liners are made from certified compostable materials (usually compostable corn-starch) and are verified under Australian Standard AS4736 to compost in commercial composting facilities within 6 weeks.
The Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) and its members have seen a rapid growth in local governments implementing kitchen food waste recycling for their communities. ABA Member, Cardia Bioplastics (subsidiary of SECOS Group) recently won a major contract to supply AS4736 certified compostable bags to Penrith City Council in NSW.
City of Penrith Mayor, Councilor John Thain, said, “Our council is intently focused on sustainable waste management and resource recovery services, and diverting organic waste away from landfill through SECOS’ compostable bags supports our community’s efforts.” There are now 27 Councils in NSW who have implemented kitchen food waste recycling for their communities.
At the recent NSW Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) Annual awards ceremony in November Albury City Council was recognised for its considerable achievements in implementing a FOGO (Food Organic & Garden Organics) service for residents in Albury and neighbouring councils. The ABA works closely with the AORA to ensure that bags meet recycling standards.
With an increase in organics industrial recycling facilities being setup across Australia, ABA members are continually working closely with councils in running trial programs and supplying AS4736 certified compostable bags.
With a new National Waste strategy having just been launched in November there are sure to be more local governments commencing trial programs and implementing Kitchen Food Waste Recycling.
To find out what your state is doing read here https://awre.com.au/organics/right-climate-organics-recovery-part-2-state-governments-drive-organics-recovery/