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Fish waste and FOGO reduce waste and boost recycling in Bega Valley Shire

Bega Valley Shire Council is reducing waste-to-landfill and dealing with an unsightly litter problem by turning unwanted fish waste into organic garden compost.

Eden-based business Ocean2Earth is managing the project which involves collecting fish waste from specially-marked bins at six popular boat ramps throughout the shire. The project also ties in with the Council’s ‘choose the right bin’ campaign that is trialling public place landfill and recycling bins before introducing them across the shire.

The fish waste-to-compost is one of several innovative waste reduction and re-use projects that have come out of Council’s 10-year waste management strategy. The strategy highlighted the need to reduce waste to landfill, with the life expectancy of the region’s five-year-old landfill facility cut in had because of increasing demand.

Last October the council embarked on its most ambitious change since introducing recycling bins when it added a food and garden organics (FOGO) kerbside collection service to the shire’s 13,000 urban households.

FOGO reduces waste-to-landfill and provides a cleaner source of organic matter to turn into high-quality compost. In its first year FOGO has cut waste to landfill by about one-third and has achieved a contamination rate of less than 0.4%, among the lowest rates in Australia.

The council is now trialling the disposal of compostable nappies in its new organics collection, a trial that can be introduced by other councils if successful, to further reduce what goes into Bega Valley landfill.

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