$46 million to revolutionise household food and garden waste

Food and garden waste from an additional two million households will be kept out of landfill through a new $46 million grants program for councils.

Minister for Environment James Griffin said the new food organics and garden organics (FOGO) collection service will revolutionise household waste services and help NSW reach its target of net-zero emissions from organic waste in landfill by 2030.

“Almost half of the waste in red lid bins in NSW is food and garden waste that can be diverted from landfill and turned into a valuable resource,” Mr Griffin said.

“In NSW, more than a third of the waste we send to landfill is food, and Australia ranks fourth highest in the world when it comes to the amount of food we waste.

“When FOGO waste ends up in landfill, it rots and generates damaging greenhouse gasses. Through our $46 million Go FOGO grant program, we’re leading the way and supporting more councils around the State to divert organics from landfill.

“Go FOGO will divert half a million tonnes of waste and instead see it processed into compost and used in large scale agriculture, parks or gardens where it can improve soil health and boost yields.

“FOGO is helping households and councils in NSW reduce emissions, make the most of a valuable resource, and save money on landfill disposal costs.”

More than 40 councils already have FOGO services thanks to NSW Government investment of $28 million in FOGO programs since 2013, diverting more than 210,000 tonnes of organic waste annually.

The NSW Government has also invested in a complementary infrastructure program that supported the construction or upgrade of 30 waste processing facilities, increasing NSW processing capacity for food and garden waste by 600,000 tonnes a year.

Minister for Local Government Wendy Tuckerman said NSW councils will now have the ability to provide the service to their residents through the new Go FOGO grants.

“This fantastic initiative will directly support councils to improve their waste collection services and send less waste to landfill,” Mrs Tuckerman said.         

“Councils will also have the ability to use the funding in ways that suit the needs of the community. For example, to purchase bins and caddies, conduct audits, provide education or implement trials.

“We know communities in NSW that have FOGO already love it, and these new grants are about supporting councils to rollout this new waste service that helps our environment while creating a valuable agricultural resource.”

The grants are funded through the NSW Government’s $356 million Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041.

Through it, a total of $69 million has been allocated to 2027 to divert organics waste from landfill, and new programs are also being developed to increase food donation and support businesses to recycle food waste.

Grants will be open to councils for applications twice a year for four years, with funding available on a per household basis.

Applications for the first round of grants close on 16 November.

For more information and to apply, visit https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/working-together/grants/organics-infrastructure-fund/go-fogo-grants