FOGO or Landfill?

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In all three FOGO trial areas several residents have asked about the cost of FOGO - is implementing FOGO going to cost more? Is processing all this organic material more expensive than just sending it to landfill?

The answer is simple – across Australia and around the world, every council has found FOGO to be more cost effective than landfill and the savings start from the first FOGO load.

To meet Environment Protection Authority (EPA) standards all landfills must be lined and capped to reduce harmful impacts on the environment and human health caused by pollution from waste. The process for landfilling waste including the liner, compaction of garbage with heavy equipment, application of daily cover material, and ongoing leachate and gas management is costly.

As food waste deteriorates in landfill it generates unpleasant odours and methane gas. Even with careful management vermin are drawn to deteriorating food waste which poses further maintenance issues. Minimising food waste in landfill ensures the air space is used more efficiently for materials that cannot be recycled and minimise potential impact to the surrounding environment.

Existing Infrastructure, New Approach
Wollongong City Council already has a three-bin system for residents which includes the disposal of Garden Organics (GO). Trucks are collecting garden organics every fortnight from your premises.

With Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO), the collection truck takes the bin contents to SOILCO in Kembla Grange which has been processing both GO and FOGO.

The FOGO material collected is processed in a series of enclosed composting tunnels where temperature, moisture and oxygen levels are controlled. This is completed to ensure pasteurisation, which is the process in which all weeds, seeds and pathogens are removed. The result is a high quality, carbon rich soil conditioner that can be used to enhance local parks and gardens.

This is the beginning of a better way to manage our waste and resources. Transition to a circular economy will provide long term economic, social, and environmental benefits for Wollongong City Council.
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