FOGO could become a private business

The end product. Food and garden organic waste is transformed into high-value compost through the FOGO program.
The end product. Food and garden organic waste is transformed into high-value compost through the FOGO program.

Moves are underway to determine the next chapter of FOGO, with the popular organics processing service outgrowing its home at the Merimbula waste transfer station.

Following a council resolution in February to find a new home for FOGO, this week an Expression of Interest has opened to gauge appetite for a privately run service.

Waste project manager, Kimberley Rushbrook said the service has reached the limit of its operating footprint.

"It's three years since the weekly organics collection started turning kitchen scraps into high-value compost, with more than 15,000 tonnes of green and kitchen waste processed to date," Ms Rushbrook said.

"We're now at a point where instead of expanding the current facility, we're looking at options of how, or if the private sector is interested in running the Bega Valley Shire's organics processing.

"An Expression of Interest is open until Wednesday 23 June, and we are looking forward to hearing options offered by interested parties, particularly within our region.

"Options include deciding on a new home for the facility; this could be offsite at an existing, privately owned premises, or perhaps at a new facility.

"There is also capacity to expand beyond our current processing levels, with sustained growth in the FOGO program as it expands to local businesses, and through incorporating other composable products from food manufacturing, biosolids and grease trap waste.

"This expansion could boost annual processing to more than 15,000 tonnes per year, providing operators with numerous commercial opportunities.

"Importantly, council will maintain its operation of food and garden organics collection through its contract with Cleanaway and through green waste drop-off points at waste transfer stations.

"Moving to this next phase shows how creative thinking and community involvement can take major landfill and greenhouse gas concerns and turn them into positive financial and environmental outcomes."

The Expression of Interest will close at midday on Wednesday 23 June 2021.

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