News, Sustainability

The EPA awards $10.4m to councils to reduce food waste

Five councils in NSW will receive a combined $10.4 million to implement new food organics and garden organics (FOGO) recycling services, set to benefit over 260,000 households.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has allocated grants to councils in metropolitan Sydney, including Blacktown, Liverpool and Fairfield, as well as Glen Innes Severn Council in NSW’s north west and Wentworth Shire Council in the far west region.

Acting executive director of programs and innovation Mel Walsh said, “Going FOGO is an exciting opportunity for more households in NSW to get on board with organics recycling and help us divert half a million tonnes of food waste from landfill by 2027,”

The size of the grants is based on the number and types of households gaining a FOGO service and range from $147,900 to Wentworth Shire Council to more than $6.3 million to Blacktown City Council in Western Sydney.

“When we take food and garden waste out of landfill, we reduce landfill disposal fees, bring down emissions and create a valuable resource that can benefit soils in gardens, landscaping and agriculture,” said Walsh.

“Councils can use the funding to suit the needs of their residents, including purchasing kerbside bins and kitchen caddies or rolling out waste audits, educational materials and trials before delivering a full FOGO collection service to their community,” said Walsh.

The EPA state by employing compost derived from recycled food and garden waste to cultivate greener spaces and sports fields offers households and councils a complete circular opportunity.

The $46 million Go FOGO grants program is funded under the NSW Government’s Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041 (WaSM) and is aimed at helping the state towards achieving net zero emissions from landfill.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) provides support to councils during the roll out and ongoing delivery of their FOGO service with guidance, education materials and other resources.

More details are available on the EPA website.

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