Council FOGO trials hailed a success

A Queensland council’s organic waste trial has seen hundreds of tonnes of food and garden waste turned into soil conditioner instead of ending up in landfill.

Mayor Tanya Milligan

Lockyer Valley Regional Council is one of three Queensland councils to participate in a state government-funded kerbside FOGO collection trial, which Council says has diverted more than 400 tonnes of organic waste since it launched in 2021.

Lockyer received $320,000 to roll out more than 1,000 green bins and test collection frequency, infrastructure and community engagement.

It also established a forced aeration technology composting facility at its landfill site, with landfill almost at capacity.

The composting facility turns FOGO waste into soil conditioner which is used on public spaces, gardens and recreation areas.

On Friday Lockyer Mayor Tanya Milligan hailed the trial a success.

“We’ve literally turned food trash into treasure,” she said.

“Local childcare centres, schools and community groups have been enjoying the fruits of our resident’s labour, with this product being used on community gardens.”

She said the equivalent of 77 elephants worth of compostable waste had been diverted.

“Our Environment team have also been giving native tree saplings the best start to life by spreading nutrient-rich FOGO compost on the garden beds – yet another example of the fantastic benefits recycling and reusing waste brings to the community.”

The trial has also seen a shift in focus from increasing community awareness, to fostering behavioural change, Cr Milligan said.

Statewide trials

The state government also supported Townsville City Council and Rockhampton Regional Council to deliver FOGO trials, with Ipswich City Council running its own trial, which has been extended since ending last October.

Mayor Teresa Harding

Brisbane City and Gold Coast have also launched trials.

Last August Rockhampton endorsed an option to extend FOGO services beyond the trial closing date of September 30, saying a mid-trial survey carried out last year showed 84 per cent of respondents supported a continuation of the organics service.

Sixty-three 63 per cent backed compulsory continuation.

More than 1,000 Ipswich households participated in Council’s food waste collection trial, which led to 82 tonnes of waste being diverted away from landfill, Waste Committee Chair Mayor Teresa Harding said.

Surveys showed that 64 per cent of residents supported a three-bin kerbside system as a core council service.

80 per cent recovery target

Commending Lockyer’s trial on Friday, Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said FOGO initiatives would help the state government reach its target of 80 per cent waste recovery by 2030.

The trial had saved 768 cubic tonnes of carbon emissions, she said.

“This is equal to driving more than three million kilometres or 208 laps around Australia, and is a testament to the initiatives taken by LVRC to ensure the region and the environment benefitted as much as possible from the trial.”

The minister said Lockyer will get another $33,000 to further assess the trial.

Food organics and garden organics make up about half of the general waste bin that Queensland households place on the kerb each week, according to LGAQ.

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at  

Sign up to the Government News newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required