Claire Moffat

To help reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfill the South Australian government is making $1.6 million funding available for councils to improve household food waste recycling programs. This follows preliminary data from the Australian Council of Recyclers indicating increased waste volumes by more than 10 per cent in the past two months.

With increased purchasing and consumption due to COVID-19 restrictions, SA councils and the local compost industry have also reported an increase in organics waste, a large portion of which is food scraps.

The Kerbside Performance Plus Food Organics Incentives Program, a Green Industries SA initiative, encourages councils to provide an effective food waste recycling service to residents by subsidising the cost of kitchen caddies, certified compostable bags and supporting education.

Additional funding for FOGO

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said this new round of funding was in addition to the $1.7 million in funding awarded to councils earlier this month. Applications for the funding close on June 12.

“With many South Australians spending more time at home in response to COVID-19 restrictions we have seen a spike in the amount of waste being produced,” Speirs said.

“As it stands as much as 40 per cent of the material in South Australian household waste bins sent to landfill is food and organics which could be diverted through the green bin. Less waste to landfill is not only good for the environment but it’s good for the economy with more than three times as many jobs created for every tonne of waste recycled or reused instead of going to landfill.

“Food waste recycling save councils money by reducing landfill costs because the food waste which would otherwise have been put in the waste bin is diverted into the green bin for composting.

“With $1.6 million of funding now available there is a great opportunity to stimulate a wider uptake of food waste recycling, particularly while householders are staying at home in response to COVID-19. Our aim is to ensure householders continue to recycle their food waste by reducing the cost of compostable bin liners provided by councils, and improving the accessibility of the bags.

“As it currently stands, only five councils provide an area-wide distribution of ventilated caddies lined with certified compostable bags. This funding will help councils improve their food waste collection and reduce their waste management costs.”

To relieve pressure on council resources, Green Industries SA will pay the costs of delivering the certified compostable bags on request to housebound residents unable to access these due to closed council libraries and other distribution centres.