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Garbage collection could be done fortnightly in Melbourne

Government's plan to reduce food waste.

A government agency investigating ways to reduce food waste has proposed changing Melbourne’s rubbish collection from weekly to fortnightly.

The Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group has completed a report suggesting to switch general waste collection to once a fortnight.

Garden organics and food scraps collection would be done weekly and composted straight away.

The proposal is intended to reduce the number of food scraps going into landfill. Food and garden organics make up 50 percent of household garbage in Victoria, and in 2016-17 an estimated 878,000 tonnes of solid waste was sent to landfill.

“Many councils have found that adopting a fortnightly garbage service with either a weekly or fortnightly FOGO [food organic and garden organic] service is highly effective in gaining community acceptance for FOGO,” the report reads.

“Some councils introducing a universal weekly FOGO service and fortnightly garbage service have reduced landfilled garbage by 40-50 percent by weight due to increased organics recovery and increased commingled recycling.”

The agency says that food and garden waste should be collected in the same bin for composting, with rubbish kept in a separate bin. The report also says that all food waste should be included in the organic bin, including bones, meat and dairy.

The report has already received some backlash from residents. Research from last year into community attitudes around the idea found that the biggest concern was the smell of food waste, with maggots and vermin also an issue.

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