Lake Macquarie City Council will embark on a new era of kerbside waste services with the introduction of the Food+Garden=Green service from July 30.
Households will be able to put all food waste, including leftovers, meat, seafood, dairy, bones, fruit and vegetable scraps into the green bin, which will reduce the amount of waste going to landfill from general waste bins by as much as one-third.
Under the greener 3-bin system, food scraps will go into the green bin, along with garden waste, to be collected from kerbsides weekly.
Manager Planning and Sustainability, Alice Howe, said Council will supply each household with a Starter Kit, including a food scraps bin for their kitchen benchtop, a roll of compostable bags and full service instructions. Residents will simply need to transfer the compostable bag of food into the green bin every few days, ready for the weekly collection.
“This system makes it easy for people to manage their waste and will have many benefits for our community,” Dr Howe said.
“Diverting food waste from landfill will keep our waste services as affordable as possible and extend the lifespan of our only landfill at the Awaba Waste Management Facility.
“The food and garden waste collected from the green bins will be processed into high-quality mulch and compost at our new organics processing facility, to be recycled for use on parks, gardens, sporting grounds and in agriculture.”
To date, 16 other councils in NSW have successfully implemented the same 3-bin service Lake Macquarie is introducing, delivering financial, practical and environmental benefits for their communities.
Research suggests people will happily use schemes to keep food waste out of landfill if they are simple, efficient and mess-free. To test the effectiveness of its new service, Council undertook a 66-day trial of the greener 3-bin service in 2016 that received positive feedback from participating households and saw more than two tonnes of food waste diverted from landfill.
“Based on our experiences with the introduction of our garden waste service in 2013, and the success of our 66-day trial, we expect a high level of acceptance and participation from the Lake Macquarie community,” Dr Howe said.
The Mayor of Lake Macquarie, Councillor Kay Fraser, welcomed the introduction of Food+Garden=Green.
“This is part of the Waste Strategy Council has developed over the past decade to achieve the City’s waste avoidance and resource recovery targets,” Cr Fraser said.
“We have taken a 360-degree approach, which includes ongoing diversion of recyclables and organic waste from landfill, development of a new processing facility for food and garden waste, expanding our landfill capacity and an ongoing education program encouraging our residents to avoid, reduce, reuse and recycle.”
A public information campaign about Food+Garden=Green will begin in early June, including advertising and social media coverage, to coincide with delivery of household Starter Kits. Information about the new system is also available on Council’s website at lakemac.com.au/food-garden-green and residents can sign up to receive SMS tips.