A $153,883 grant is providing a major boost to Bega Valley Shire Council’s efforts to divert 1,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial food and garden organic waste away from landfill each year.
The grant, funded through the NSW government's Waste Less Recycle More initiative, enables business owners who sign on to use the commercial FOGO service to tap into one-on-one assistance from Council waste officers.
Bega Valley hairdressers, butchers and cafes are among a growing number of businesses who have signed up for FOGO, with McDonalds Merimbula also trialling the service.
Council’s Waste Strategy Coordinator, Joley Vidau said the project will have a strong education component.
“One of the biggest risks to FOGO is contamination, and education is really important in helping people choose the right bin,” she said.
“Having project officers to work directly with business owners is invaluable as we work together to improve the way we deliver FOGO.
“Businesses will have access to front and back of house signage, stickers and other display material. Council wants to provide as much information and support as possible and this grant allows us to put things in place to ensure the long-term success of FOGO”.
Businesses in Eden, Bega, Merimbula, Pambula, Candelo, Tathra and Bermagui are already using the FOGO service, including Bermagui businesses who were part of the 2019 trial.
The Hair Café Pambula, Sprout Eden Café and Local Produce and Nosh Café Merimbula are among those who have signed up for FOGO for Business in the past month. Council is currently working with Merimbula Airport to introduce FOGO in their café and arrival and departure lounges.
Cranky Café in Merimbula has reduced its rubbish costs by 70% in 12 months since starting FOGO and encourages patrons to make use of their FOGO bin for compostable cups and takeaway wrappers.
Josh and Emma Orr from Mimosa Meats in Tathra have also been using FOGO for more than a year, saving them money and the multiple trips a week they used to make to a waste transfer station to dispose of their food waste.
“I can’t speak highly enough of FOGO. The financial side of it alone is tremendous,” Josh said.
FOGO for Business bins, 240 litres or 140 litres, are available from Council.
The cost for a 140-litre bin is $76.65 per year and a 240-litre bin is $90.65 per year.
It costs $224.01 per year for a 240-litre red landfill bin.
Businesses can also vary the number of landfill (red) bins or recycling (yellow) bins as your needs may change once you start using FOGO.
Businesses who tenant a property can apply to be billed directly on a periodic basis, with a 140-litre FOGO bin costing $2.50 per collection (minimum contract terms apply).
If you are a Bega Valley business owner and would like to GO FOGO, contact Council on 6499 2222.
About: Emma and Josh Orr from Mimosa Meats in Tathra.