Macedon Ranges’ new four-bin kerbside waste collection service rolled out last week as many other Victorian councils await state government direction on the waste crisis.
The shire’s new service has introduced glass only and full ‘food organics garden organics’ recycling.
More than 14,000 customers are part of the first stage of the FOGO service, each armed with a kitchen caddy, compostable caddy liners and user guide.
“The majority of residents appear pleased council is taking an innovative and responsible approach to the waste crisis by implementing this new system, which will reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill,” said Shame Walden, council’s director of assets and operations.
The FOGO service allows residents to place all food waste into garden bins and will be rolled out to all 20,000 kerbside collection customers over the next five years.
All kerbside collection customers in the shire are being supplied with a glass-only bin, which will be collected every four weeks. These bins are still being delivered with full delivery expected by February 20. Public place drop-off skips for glass will remain until March.
Collection of FOGO bins will be weekly, with collection of rubbish/general waste bins moving to fortnightly for households with the FOGO service.
While many have welcomed council’s initiative, some have been left confused and frustrated by the resulting changes to bin collection days and times, and have already complained of piling general waste.
Mr Walden said there were no plans for change but an option to upsize the general waste bin was available.
“Audits of household general waste bins identified that food waste and recyclable materials made up more than 50 per cent of the average bin,” he said.
“If this food waste and recyclable material is placed in the correct bins, a fortnightly garbage service will be suitable for the majority of residents.”
While Macedon Ranges Shire Council has been largely praised for its proactive measures, neighbouring councils wait for state government direction.
Mount Alexander Shire’s director of infrastructure and development Phil Josipovic said the council was “eagerly awaiting the state government’s Waste Management Circular Economy Strategy, which will most likely guide councils across the state in improving recycling and waste minimisation efforts”.
“We are watching with interest the introduction of glass and FOGO bins in Macedon Ranges Shire but are not planning to introduce a similar scheme at this stage,” he said.
YOUR SAY …
“I don’t think once a month is enough for the glass collection but it’s a start.” – Maryanne Alderson
“No sign of new bins yet.” – Greg Clinnick
“Fantastic initiative.” – Goldie Margo
“It’s made me a better recycler. Not sure why.” – Maryann Falkland
“Great idea but it should have been made clearer that bin days were changing. We missed ours on Monday.” – Jill Dalton
“A fortnight for rubbish is too long. It should stay weekly.” – Daniel Lonsdale
“We are a family of two adults and three small children, one being still in nappies. Two weeks for collection will be testing!” – Dan Evans
“Perhaps the ‘bin filler’ families could share bins with ’empty bin’ neighbours. Good conversation starter!” – Em Gallagher
“We’re committed recyclers but with four adults our small general waste bin fortnightly is not enough. Nine days to go and we’re full already. Tip run Friday, I suppose.” – John Smithwick
“I put food waste into my compost yard bin, didn’t need yet another two bins to clutter my yard and kitchen. Also I rarely have a glass jar or bottle.” – Bern Wilson
“I think the FOGO bin and glass bin are fabulous initiatives and I appreciate our council taking action on this. I just wish my area had a FOGO bin!” – Judy McKay
“Mount Alexander Shire Council should follow suit – it ain’t rocket science!” – Kim Michelmore