Council to expand food waste recycling programs

                                                            Thursday, 23 August 2018

In a bid to reduce the amount of food waste going into landfill, Council has voted to explore ways to expand and harmonise its food organics recycling programs across the Inner West.


Councillor Lucille McKenna, who moved the motion, said the time was ripe to establish a single food organics service for the whole Council area.

“Food makes up nearly 40 per cent of the average Inner West residential garbage bin. This equates to approximately 14,250 tonnes each year,” said Cr McKenna.

“When this food is dumped in landfill, it breaks down in a way that can generate toxic methane - a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to global warming.

“For Council to meet its objective of becoming waste-free, we urgently need to reduce or eliminate all the food presented in garbage bins,” she said.

Inner West Council does not have a single waste service for organics, but has a range of services across the amalgamated Council area. These include:

  • Food organics only collection from Leichhardt apartments.
  • Food organics and garden organics collection trial in Marrickville.
  • Fortnightly kerbside green waste collection.
  • Education and information on food waste avoidance for residents and businesses.
  • Home and community composting.

“Reducing food waste is one of the most important things we can do to reverse global warming,” said Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne.

“As Mayor of the former Leichhardt Council I was very proud of Council’s ground-breaking food waste service for apartments. We now want to expand this recycling service to every home in the Inner West.

“While the environmental impacts of food waste are relatively well known, there are other more hidden impacts, such as the squandering of all the resources it took to get the food to our plates.

“Not to mention the huge volume of fruit and vegies that are left to rot after being rejected by supermarkets for being too ‘ugly’ for their shelves.

“Food waste also has a huge impact on people’s hip pockets, with the Government estimating it costs the Australian economy $20 billion each year,” he said.

“Council wants to lead the nation in eliminating organic waste. We are preparing to completely overhaul our domestic waste services, and we are about to roll out a huge community education campaign to eliminate food waste from our garbage bins.”

Cr McKenna also moved a motion to noting Council’s continued commitment to kerbside recycling.

Councils across Australia were thrown into turmoil following China’s decision earlier this year to limit the foreign recycling products it would accept. The motion was carried unanimously.

For further information, please contact John Roper on 0435 963 787.

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Page last updated: 23 Aug 2018