Bin-spiration! Public FOGO trial starts in Pambula

An innovative trial bringing Bega Valley Shire Council's popular food and organics FOGO collection to public bins has kicked off at two Pambula cafes.

The new FOGO, recycling and general waste bin bank at Wheelers Restaurant
The new FOGO, recycling and general waste bin bank at Wheelers Restaurant

11 March 2022

An innovative trial bringing Bega Valley Shire Council’s popular food and organics FOGO collection to public bins has kicked off at two Pambula cafés.

Council’s FOGO for Business Project Officer, Rechelle Fisher said the trial at Wheelers Seafood Restaurant and Café, and Wild Rye’s Bakery is hoped to eventually expand to other locations if successful.

“The trial is a response to community demand for better public recycling bins that allow food scraps and compostable packaging to be separated from landfill waste,” Ms Fisher said.

“Many of us are used to separating waste, recycling and FOGO organics at home, and demand shows us people want to have the same choices with their public bins.

“We chose two businesses for the trial that predominantly use compostable and recyclable packaging as they represent the direction many businesses are starting to take.

“Increased consumer demand for responsible packaging has led to more businesses seeking compostable alternatives, and with the NSW Government single use plastics ban coming in June, this number will continue to grow.

“This trial will illustrate what public use bins will look like as our society moves further away from single-use plastic packaging.

“We needed to make the new bins super easy to use, with clear signage showing people how to choose the right bin, and minimising the likelihood of plastics and other non-organics contaminating the FOGO bin.

“The end result is practical, educational, easy to use, and it helps businesses to communicate their commitment to keeping valuable recyclables and resources away from landfill.

“We will run the trial for three months and gauge its effectiveness through monitoring for potential contaminants, but also by checking how the community feels about using public FOGO and recycling bins.

“The public FOGO bin trial is the first of its kind to happen in Australia, so many people will be keen to see how it goes.

“Pambula Village is a great place for us to start the trial–it already runs its own popular Plastic Free Pambula campaign, and is home to another trial involving twice-weekly FOGO bin collections for some businesses.”

The public-facing FOGO and recycling bin trial is partly funded by the FOGO for Business grant received the Environmental Trust as part of the EPA’s Waste Less Recycle More initiative, funded from the waste levy.

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