Ministers urge straggling councils to join FOGO recycling scheme but deputy mayor blasts teeny contribution


Straggling councils yet to sign up to a key food and garden waste recycling scheme are being urged to get on board as the State and Federal governments chip millions into processing facilities.

On Thursday, Federal Environment Minister Tania Plibersek and her State counterpart Reece Whitby announced a $11.25 million joint contribution towards three projects — at Red Hill north-east of Midland, at East Keralup near Mandurah and north of Gingin at Boonanarring.

It is estimated this will cost a total of $54m and be completed by June 2025 — the year the State Government has set as a target for all local governments in the Perth and Peel regions to adopt food organic and garden organic recycling, or FOGO.

Mr Whitby said so far, 16 councils had signed up to the scheme, 13 had committed and five were “likely” to become involved.

“This is a firm indication and a signal to all local governments across Perth that the capacity to deal with FOGO waste and process it into compost is here,” he said.

“So there should be no doubt about the appropriateness of more councils joining.”

Mr Whitby said he understood some councils were wrestling with the “imposition of extra cost and changing over to the extra bin”, but that the $20m Better Bins Program was helping.

“Our message to councils is that your ratepayers want this to happen,” he said.

However, City of Swan deputy mayor Mel Congerton said that was true for some but not all ratepayers.

He said plenty already dealt with their organic waste via home composting and worm farms, others didn’t generate a large volume, while people who lived in units as well as households with tiny gardens didn’t have the space — or need — for an extra bin. And they were reluctant to pay higher rates for it.


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