The huge success of the weekly FOGO bin collection and composting service has contributed to the processing of almost 40,000 tonnes of garden and kitchen waste at the Merimbula Organics Processing Facility since opening in 2016.
With the FOGO collection service more than tripling in volume over the last three years, and projected to grow further, limited space at the Merimbula site has meant we are now required to find a new home – and possibly a new operator – for the shire’s organics processing service.
In 2021 an organics processing options analysis identified a preferred new site at the Central Waste Facility in Wolumla.
Councillors resolved in February 2021 to move organics processing to the Central Waste Facility, and to gauge private sector interest in the processing of our organics.
Results from an Expression of Interest reveal a high level of private sector interest, with a wide array of options and responses received, including proposals to build and/or operate the organics processing service in numerous locations both within and beyond the shire.
We are now in the process of evaluating the operating models, taking into account community expectations, alignment with our Community Strategic Plan, service delivery and operational costs.
The funding for this project will be provided by Bega Valley Shire Council. All rateable assessments in the Bega Valley Shire pay a Waste Management Charge to cover the cost of waste management services including: operation and maintenance of transfer stations and landfills, delivery of waste minimisation programs, and rehabilitation of legacy landfill sites.
Council’s Waste Strategy Recycling our Future focusses on various waste management strategies aimed at diverting waste from landfill through waste minimisation and resource recovery. In February 2021, Council made a commitment to achieving the initiatives of the strategy, by resolving to upgrade existing waste transfer stations and invest in resource recovery and waste processing infrastructure.
Aside from site upgrades, a 30-year financial model for waste services also identifies the cost for remediation of more than 20 legacy landfill sites, and an expansion of the existing kerbside collection service to rural landholdings. Increases to waste charges are a reflection of our community’s ambition to provide a sustainable future for waste services.
As well as this, a number of grant funding opportunities may become available through NSW EPA, as well as external interest in processing our resources.
This project is connected to numerous outcomes in Council’s Community Strategic Plan. These include: Sustainable long-term service delivery, innovative approach to waste management, minimise waste to landfill, increase recycling and resource recovery, environmental protection, minimise public place litter.
Waste Project Manager
Bega Valley Shire Council