Council to sign contract for new FOGO composting facility

Establishment of a circular economy solution to process food organics and garden organics (FOGO) waste in Greater Bendigo has taken a step forward.

The Greater Bendigo City Council recently voted to enter into a service agreement and lease with Western Composting Technology (WCT) for the establishment of a FOGO processing and recirculation facility on land owned by the City of Greater Bendigo located next to the Bendigo Livestock Exchange in Huntly.

At an earlier meeting on April 20, Council provided in-principle support for the City to pursue circular economy solutions for the alternative management of two of the City’s waste streams, organics and general waste, and asked staff to prepare draft long-term contracts for the solutions.

One of the solutions was for the establishment of a privately-owned local composting site within 25km of Bendigo to process up to 30,000 tonnes of food and garden organics each year and reduce emissions by 16.3 per cent, in comparison to current kerbside organics disposal arrangements.

City Director Presentation and Assets Brian Westley said six hectares of City-owned land located adjacent to the Bendigo Livestock Exchange was identified as suitable for the development of such a facility.

“The establishment of such a facility would not impact on the Bendigo Livestock Exchange’s operations and is located in an area with adequate buffer zones already in place,” Mr Westley said.

“However, the development would be subject to a transparent planning approval process and the contract would be subject to this process being successful.

“A proposed facility would replace the need for the City to cart its organic waste out of the region for treatment and would also have the capacity to support other regional composting needs.

“Greater Bendigo is committed to transitioning to a circular economy in line with the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria Policy and the City’s new Climate Change and Environment Strategy 2021-2026.

“Circular economy solutions are proven to be more environmentally sustainable and financially beneficial compared to landfill and with the Eaglehawk Landfill due to reach capacity and become a full-time transfer station in 2023, the City is working to put in place circular economy solutions to manage waste and resources into the future and develop new economic opportunities for the region.

“By putting circular economy solutions in place, there will be no impact on the Greater Bendigo community when the Eaglehawk Landfill reaches capacity and becomes a transfer station.”

More information on the proposed facility is available at

https://www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/Services/General-Waste-Recycling-and-Organics/Circular-Economy/Infrastructure-Solutions

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