Australia's largest organics collection trial

Monday, 05 December, 2005

Having started in September 2005, almost 1800 Burnside households are participating in a large scale organics waste collection trial, with the aim being to understand the community's use and acceptance of new technology and determine the system's potential to reduce household organic waste going to landfill.

A partnership between the Burnside Council, East Waste, Jeffries and Zero Waste SA, the trial will see each household supplied with a small ventilated benchtop container called the 'Burnside Bio Basket' and a supply of compostable liner bags.

The bags are made from biodegradable material based on cornstarch, vegetable oil and compostable polyester. When commercially composted with other organic materials, they completely break down in approximately 30 days.

Throughout the six-month trial, residents will put all waste food items such as peelings, vegetables and meat scraps into the Burnside Bio Basket. Once full or every 2-3 days, the bag can be tied off and placed into the household's green organics bin for collection.

The trial area comprises the entire suburb of Erindale and parts of Kensington Gardens, Burnside, Kensington Park, Rosslyn Park and Hazelwood Park. These areas are considered to be representative of the broader Burnside community and are a mix of traditional allotments, semi-detached dwellings, and units/flats.

As part of the trial, the green organics bin in the trial areas will be collected on a fortnightly basis (instead of monthly) by East Waste and processed into compost by Jeffries at their sites in Wingfield and Buckland Park.

While this combination of compostable bag and bin is successfully used in Europe, it has not yet been implemented in Australia. This large scale trial will help fine tune it to Australian conditions and ensure any permanently introduced system is sustainable, effective and has community understanding and acceptance.

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