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Green bin divide: Why half of Bayside residents don’t have green bins

New grant to fund green bin equality and transition to FOGO system

Locals with a keen eye may notice that Bayside households in the Rockdale area don’t have access to green bins, while those near Botany Bay do. This inconsistency has left many perplexed.

The 2016 merger between the former City of Botany Bay Council and Rockdale City Council had unintended impacts on the management of food and garden waste in the region.

Prior to the merger, only those in the City of Botany Bay Council area had a green waste bin. Rockdale’s lack of green bins was left unaddressed by Bayside Council until an announcement in March this year.

Bayside Council received a $1.23 million grant from the NSW EPA Environmental Trust to harmonise the services and introduce a green waste bin in the former Rockdale Council area by 2024.

“This harmonisation will be the first stage in transitioning to a Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) system, which requires residents to manually separate food scraps and organic waste from their red-lidded bin by 2030,” stated a Bayside Council press release.

Another consequence of the merger was the withdrawal from a council-subsidised composting initiative. Despite both former Botany Bay and Rockdale councils being part of the Compost Revolution program, Bayside Council opted out of the initiative after amalgamation.

Compost Revolution’s Chief Composting Officer David Gravina says the initiative is a win-win for residents and councils alike.

“Through Council and through the subsidy program that we have, we can make [composting] a lot cheaper and a lot easier for people to afford.

“From a council perspective, it's also the lowest cost per tonne of CO2 diverted of all the methods that you can use to avoid food waste or manage food waste so it's a really good return on investment for councils,” said Gravina.

Roughly half of the waste Australian households throw out in the garbage bin could be used as compostable organic material.

Bayside neighbouring councils Sutherland and Georges River are just two of the fourteen councils in the Greater Sydney region that currently partner with Compost Revolution. The partnership provides increased awareness, educational resources and low-cost compost solutions that can be delivered directly to locals’ doors.

Bayside councillor Greta Werner highlights that there are various ways for locals to get involved with composting today.

“I've done composting for most of my life and I think it is really important, especially as a way of dealing with food waste. I think it's really important for us and for Bayside Council to address that as well… We do have a plan for introducing green bins next year.

“Currently, we have all our food waste and garden waste going in the red bin…I guess that is a form of composting but unfortunately, the compostable waste that comes out of the red bin is not really fit for growing food or anything like that.

“Council provides twenty-two green waste drop-off services at the Bexley and Botany Depots every year and that is also recycled,” said Werner.

Bayside Garden Centre sells compost bins and worm farms for locals looking to get involved with household composting.

Locals can express support for a council-subsidised program with Compost Revolution by contacting council or their representative.

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