No excuse to trash your green waste now

with Brownie

WE all know how magical compost is as a soil additive and that we all should be composting our own green waste and putting it back in our gardens.

I’ve got two household organic compost bins that all the food scraps and vege garden offcuts go into. I’ve just built two large bulky green waster bays for composting all the general garden waste as well as manures, cardboard and newspaper.

Sometimes we just don’t seem to have the space or the time to do it right and it’s easier to just put those grass clippings or leaves into the rubbish wheelie bin.

However, pretty soon Sunshine Coast Council is going to make it easier – and cheaper – to do the right thing with your garden green waste.

The council has always had green waste wheelie bins that you can order and pay a yearly fee to get collected. It never really cost that much but you have to apply to have the bin at your house.

After a bit of community consultation that indicated about three-quarters of people surveyed were in favour, the council decided to change the system so that instead of the opt-in green waste bin every residence will get one. It’s an opt-out system if you really don’t need it.

Currently, the opt-in green waste service costs just over $62 a year. The new opt-out service will be just over $34 a year – so cheaper and it will save you money if you have been taking green waste to the tip (currently costing $17.50 for a trailer or ute load).

The service won’t start until July 2022 and will be a fortnightly roadside collection on the opposite week to your recycling bin.

The benefits of this new green waste bin service include:

•  It is an easy and convenient way to dispose of your lawn clippings, weeds and other garden waste.

•  The expanded service will reduce the amount of organic waste that goes into your general waste bins.

•  If you currently take garden waste to the resource recovery facilities, you may no longer need to make those trips, saving you money and time.

The collected green waste gets shredded and composted at transfer stations and goes back into the community as garden mulch.

This is part of the council’s waste minimisation strategy, which aims to divert 55 per cent of household waste from landfill by 2025.

After this, the council wants to transition to a food organics and garden organics (FOGO) bin service.

FOGO is a successful organic waste collection service in many parts of Australia. More than 100 local governments already use FOGO.

It allows you to put almost all kitchen and household organics into the green waste bin … not just garden waste.

It handles all food scraps including raw or cooked bones, egg shells, citrus, dairy products, rice, pasta, coffee grounds, tea bags, unfinished meals, out-of-date food removed from packaging, plus tissues, paper, pizza boxes, compostable packaging, pet waste and more.

The secret is the special composting process that is used to deal with all this organic waste.

This is something the council will have to work on, setting up a local FOGO processing facility, so it may be a few years away yet.

For more information on the expanded garden waste bin service take a look at the council’s garden waste bin webpage