Circular economy infrastructure solutions

Frequently asked questions

Why do we need a composting (FOGO) facility in Greater Bendigo?

The City of Greater Bendigo currently carts approximately 15,000 tonnes of organic material to Biomix in Stanhope for processing each year. 

Transporting FOGO waste to other locations for a municipality the size of Greater Bendigo is not in-line with the City’s Circular Economy and Zero Waste Policy and its Climate Change and Environment Strategy 2021-2026 and other Victorian and Australian Government policies.

A local FOGO facility would replace the need for the City to cart its organic waste out of the region for treatment.  It would also provide an opportunity to support other smaller central Victorian Councils with their organic waste.  Something that is often a limiting factor for FOGO adoption by smaller Victorian Councils.

A new FOGO facility would also reduce emissions by 16.3 per cent in comparison to current kerbside organics disposal arrangements.

How will the FOGO facility operate?

The facility will use Horstmann-WTT tunnel composting technology from Germany.  This is a tried and tested process which has been used across the world for over 20 years.

Using this technology means the initial decomposition and pasteurisation of the organic material takes place in closed tunnels and what would normally take six to 12 weeks in open windrows takes only two weeks when using this method.

The facility will have a maximum capacity to process 30,000 tonnes of FOGO per year. The initial contract with the City of Greater Bendigo is based on 20,000 tonnes per annum, although the site has capacity to cater for an increase in demand if required.

Why is the land at Bendigo Livestock Exchange the preferred site for the facility?

The establishment of a FOGO processing facility won't impact on the Bendigo Livestock Exchange’s operations. The land is also located in an area with adequate buffer zones already in place.

Who is the company that will be constructing the new facility?

Western Composting Technology (WCT) - a family business based in Geelong and run by the Dickens family who are known for delivering practical, innovative solutions for waste resource management to more than 2,000 commercial and government clients.

The company already run a similar plant in Shepparton to the one they are proposing to build in Greater Bendigo.

For more information on WCT visit:

Western Composting Technology (WCT) 

Is the City selling or leasing the site and if so for how long?

WCT will lease the site from the City for the duration of the service agreement and as part of the agreement would be required to return the site to its original state upon the ending of the service agreement. The initial contract will be for 20 years.

Will the development of such a facility be subject to a planning approvals process?

Yes. The development would be subject to a transparent planning and regulatory approvals process and the contract would be subject to this process being successful. Planning approval for the new facility will be a process for WCT to undertake.

How much organic waste will the facility have the capacity to process?

The facility will have a maximum capacity to process 30,000 tonnes of FOGO per year. The initial contract with the City of Greater Bendigo is based on 30,000 tonnes per annum, although the site has capacity to cater for an increase in demand if required.

What about noise, odours, pest control and traffic movements resulting from the facility?

As part of the planning process WCT will be required to demonstrate how they will manage various factors such as noise, odour, pest control and traffic movements. 

Planning approval must be to the satisfaction of various referral agencies such as the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Environment Protection Authority, North Catchment Management Authority and Department of Transport.

Will having a processing facility in Greater Bendigo make organics cheaper for ratepayers?

The City’s organics service is a cost neutral service which means the City passes on the actual cost of providing the service to ratepayers.

More importantly it will create six local jobs and provide a substantial reduction in emissions which will help the City to meet key objectives of its Climate Change and Environment Strategy.

How many jobs will the new facility create?

The new plant will create six new full-time jobs in Greater Bendigo.

Will the facility accept organic waste from neighbouring council areas?

The facility will have a maximum capacity to process 30,000 tonnes of FOGO per year. We expect it will be possible for smaller Councils with lower FOGO volumes could utilise the facility subject to a commercial arrangement they negotiate with WCT directly.

Will I be able to buy compost direct from the facility when it opens?

Sales of compost won't take place from the facility. The product produced will be sold commercially by WCT.