New Picking Station for Recycling FOGO

Published on 12 March 2024

New Picking Station for Recycling FOGO.png

The Rural City of Wangaratta proudly announces the installation of a state-of-the-art picking station at the Wangaratta Organics Facility, marking a significant advancement in waste management technology. This groundbreaking half-million-dollar investment, co-funded by the Rural City of Wangaratta and Sustainability Victoria, underscores Council’s commitment to reducing landfill.

The new picking station revolutionises the processing of Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) from the green bin into valuable compost. Previously, the removal of contamination from incoming FOGO was labour-intensive and inefficient, relying on manual sorting by staff. With the introduction of the Picking Station green material is loaded onto a conveyor belt and transported to an air-conditioned room where workers can efficiently identify and remove contamination items as the FOGO moves along the picking line.

With a license to process up to 12,000 tonnes of FOGO annually, the Wangaratta Organics Facility has the capacity to handle up to 20,000 tonnes per year in the future. Ensuring scalability and efficiency in waste management operations.

A recent audit of Wangaratta's kerbside collection highlighted both progress and challenges. On average, households disposed of 19.7kg of waste per week, with approximately half of this comprising Food and Garden Organics, which are diverted from landfill and transformed into compost. However, contamination remains a persistent issue, with approximately 700 grams of FOGO material from each green bin being contamination, impacting the quality of compost produced.

One of the primary challenges identified is the improper disposal of food waste in plastic bags within the green bin. As these contents cannot be separated during the picking process, the entire bag is directed to landfill. It's imperative for residents to use compostable green bags and not biodegradable ones to ensure proper waste management practices. The correct bags are available free of charge from the Council's Customer Service desk or Library. Additionally, hazardous items such as rope, large pieces of wood, sharp objects, and metal should never be disposed of in the green bin, as they pose risks to workers' safety.

Councillor Jack Herry recognises the significant advantages brought by the new machinery and underscores the importance of responsible recycling:

“The Rural City of Wangaratta Council greatly appreciates all residents for their joint effort in reducing contamination and safeguarding the recycling facility workers’ health, and our environment for future generations. We are also helping our community make valuable compost, the first of which is already being put to good use by the Parks and Gardens team, improving our local gardens.” He said. 


Tagged as: