MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire will begin collecting household food waste from Monday 19 July.
The shire wants the collections to have a “huge impact on the environment” by reducing the amount of waste being sent to the Rye tip.
Food waste, which makes up almost half of the loads sent to landfill, creates methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Under the new plan, all food waste will be collected in green waste bins, including bread, dairy and meats. The scraps will be turned into commercial grade compost to be used as soil conditioners or fertilisers, enriching the soil and helping to grow food.
The introduction of the service is part of the shire’s Beyond Zero Waste Strategy 2030 which also allows households to receive rebates on reusable nappies, discounts on composting systems and incentives to reduce waste. (“Aiming for a waste, plastic-free peninsula” The News 5/10/20). The strategy also aims to stop sending any waste directly to landfill by 2030 and phasing out “problematic” single-use plastics (“Contaminate waste and pay” The News 6/4/21).
There will be more recycling bins in public places, community drop-off hubs for textiles and small electrical items, a waste innovation fund to support communities and businesses to reduce, reuse and recycle, and incentives to reduce household waste.
The mayor Cr Despi O’Connor said she was “excited by this new chapter”.
“The food and green waste collected by councils is turned into valuable mulch and compost used to nourish farms, parks and gardens across Victoria,” she said.
“By making sure only the right items are going in the bin you are playing an important part in returning valuable nutrients back to the earth. It is important to keep the wrong items out, so they don’t end up on farms and in gardens.
“Incorrect items, such as plastic bags, wire and nappies, don’t break down even if they are labelled compostable.
“By keeping food waste out of landfill, we’ll be helping reach our zero-waste target and reduce our impact on climate change, too.”
Residents with green waste bins are eligible to join in the program. Those living in the urban zone of the shire who do not have a green waste bin can order one for an annual fee of $135 at mornpen.vic.gov.au/greenwaste
Facebook responses have been less positive:
Steven Mark: “Seems counterproductive. Most people have a garden and should be able to compost at home. The emissions made by trucks collecting this waste will counteract the benefits.”
Alison Blair: “How many people are going to use the food waste caddy and ‘bags’ mentioned? Contamination of green waste and extra plastic just means that more rubbish will end up in landfill. Dairy, meat and bread are not usually used in mulch which is at least one purpose (and probably the most money making part) of collecting green waste. While I can see the intention is good the execution is just not valid. Just like the way people use the recycle bin to put whatever they can’t fit into the waste bin this will end up the same or worse.”
Simon Moody: “We have had it in Frankston for a while. Word of warning, get used to a bin full of maggots and the smell of rotting meat, pasta, fruit and veg especially in summer can get really bad.”
Chris Kendle: “They trialled this in Wodonga and it didn’t take long for people to start putting other shit in their bin and the garbage people to look the other way because no one cared.”
Free food waste caddies and biodegradable caddy-liners can be ordered online by 25 June at mornpen.vic.gov.au/foodwaste.
The caddy, liners and an information kit will be delivered from 12 July.
Those not needing a caddy can pick up the free liners from Mornington, Rosebud or Hastings customer service centres from 5 July.
The shire asks that food scraps be disposed of in the supplied liners only, and not any other compostable or degradable-type liners. Or food scraps can be placed directly into the bin without any bin liners with those bins continuing to be emptied fortnightly.
For more information join online information sessions at 12-12.45pm Tuesday 4 May, or 7-7.45pm, Wednesday 5 May, and 10.30-11.15am, Saturday 8 May. Register for the online sessions at mornpen.vic.gov.au/foodwaste
Residents living in areas not eligible for shire green waste bins can get advice about a rebate on compost bins at mornpen.vic.gov.au/compost