Page 754 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 5 April 2022

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difficult, and the trial has required a period of adjustment for some households. I particularly acknowledge that this is the case for large families and those with young children; Canberrans living with a disability; carers and people with medical needs. ACT NoWaste has been working with people in the trial suburbs to understand their needs and to see how we can support them through this change. In a lot of cases the answer is simply for households to order a large bin to accommodate their ongoing waste collection needs.

The purpose of this trial is to test and learn from the experience of households in the trial region. To design a city-wide FOGO service, we need to understand how our community is going to respond to and use these new services, as every community around Australia is a little bit different.

I can advise Ms Lawder and the Assembly that no final decisions have been made on the delivery model for a future city-wide household FOGO collection service. The format and delivery of this service, including the frequency of bin collections and size of bins, will be informed by the trial and community feedback gathered through a range of consultation processes which are already underway.

Participating residents have a direct email address to provide feedback, and a detailed online survey of participating households will be launched this week, following three months of the trial in operation. This important feedback will help us to guide a city-wide approach that is mindful of Canberrans’ diverse needs, including those who produce more waste than others, and this will be an important consideration, moving forward.

We are already learning a lot through the trial. Firstly, we know that participation is very high, and contamination of the FOGO material is low. This helps to ensure that we get the right processing capacity in place to deal with this material. The government has also just announced our commitment to build a dedicated FOGO processing facility here in the ACT, so this data is very timely and useful in planning to deliver that piece of infrastructure.

We know that only a small number of households have requested a larger bin or additional bins for general waste collections in the trial suburbs. In response to initial feedback about the transition to fortnightly collections, we have increased the awareness and promotion of this option to residents in the Belconnen trial area. It is great to see that a majority of people are finding that they can make adjustment by separating their FOGO from other materials and therefore having less waste put into their red bins.

We are continuing to engage with community organisations and residents on how we can further tailor the service to more vulnerable members of our community or those with particular needs. I acknowledge the concerns that Ms Lawder has raised about the smell of FOGO facilities. I can confirm to the Assembly that the feasibility study that we undertook in preparation for building a large-scale composting facility recommended in-vessel composting as the best option for the ACT because this is an enclosed facility, in a building, in a vessel where odour, temperature and aeration can be controlled more easily and readily.

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