Greens call for food waste recycling in green bins across the state


An exclusive PBO costing obtained by the Victorian Greens has found that state-wide food and garden waste collection is affordable and could be funded from the Sustainability Fund.

This would see green bins provided to every household without one already.

It would also provide grants to organisations so that they could establish organic waste recycling facilities in regional areas.

Victorian Greens environment spokesperson, Ellen Sandell, said the costing demonstrated the affordability of food organics and garden organics (FOGO) collection, and added that it could be funded from the state’s landfill levy, which raises approximately $215 million annually.

The program would cost just over $500 million over the forward estimates, only using half of the landfill levy.

Rather than being used for its legislated purpose, the fund is currently being stockpiled to prop up the Government’s bottom line, with the recent DEWLP annual report showing it currently holds over $400 million.

A number of councils are already leading the way in FOGO collection including Darebin which has begun collecting food and garden waste in recent months. Any roll out by the Government would need to be done in consultation with councils, which could also help to spread the cost.

Earlier this week, Infrastructure Victoria highlighted the importance of the recovery of organics in its interim report ‘Advice on Recycling and Resource Recovery Infrastructure in Victoria’ saying: “organics recycling has the potential to lift recovery rates significantly”.

According to Sustainability Victoria, about 35 per cent of what we put in our waste bin is food and another 12 per cent is garden organic waste. With green waste bins across the state, we could reduce our waste stream by up to 47 per cent over time. 

Quotes attributable to Ellen Sandell, Victorian Greens Spokesperson for Environment:

“The landfill levy was established in law to support environmental programs, but the Labor Government is instead stockpiling it to prop up their bottom line.  

“We need investment in solutions now, and giving everyone new bins for kitchen waste so that it can be turned into compost for our farms and gardens is really a no-brainer.”

Quotes attributable to Cr Steph Amir, Greens Councillor for Darebin:

“The new food waste collection in Darebin means that if everyone in Darebin with a green bin recycles their food waste, we will save 6,000 tonnes of waste from landfill, and 7,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

“It has been a great success so far and we are getting a lot of positive feedback. From talking to the Darebin community, it's clear that people have a strong commitment to wanting to reduce their carbon footprint, and this new initiative makes that goal more accessible by turning food waste into compost rather than greenhouse gases.”