Council Cluster Composting Trial
Food and Green Waste Collection
Coolamon, Cootamundra, Gundagai and Junee Shire Councils commenced a six month Cluster Composting Trial from 8 August 2011 to 31 January 2012. The aim of the Trial was to test the feasibility of the proposed cluster approach to composting. The Trial introduced a food and green waste kerbside collection for 200 households in each of the 4 participating shires.
The 200 households were selected by each participating council based on their location. Each of the households that participated in the Trial were given a new 240 litre bin to be used for all their food and green waste (garden waste), which was collected once a fortnight. Each household was also given a benchtop bin and bin liners to help collect each household's food waste.
Contamination rates experienced during the Trial were very low and kerbside presentation rates for the trial averaged 67% of the 800 participating households.
The Trial has resulted in 139.04 tonnes of organic waste being collected from the 4 participating council areas. Each participating LGA then prepared a report on the Trial to go to council to determine whether or not they implement a permanent food and green waste collection.
Food and green waste makes up about 60% of household waste. Councils must pay to dispose of waste so if we can stop taking this type of waste to landfills then we can save money. Separating waste into three different categories (organics, recyclables and residual) will reduce waste going to landfill and increase recycling.
In addition organic waste, when placed in landfill, produces methane gas which has over 20 times the global warming potential than carbon dioxide. So removing organic waste helps the environment and is an essential step in building a sustainable future.