Sustainable Cities™

Frankston: Compost makes cities greener

Projects like ”Halve Garbage Waste” in Frankston in the Australian state of Victoria do not just result in useful fertiliser for private gardens. They also help reduce the amount of waste in the cities and create more sustainable societies. Commitment to the green waste project has also brought the local community together and given the new common goals for the future.

Organisk affald, venligst udlånt af Frankston City Council

 A group of citizens in Frankston showed the rest of the city that composting does not just provide good fertiliser for the garden but also saves resources related to the collection and deposition of waste, helping to create long-term solutions for the cities of the future. During 2006-07, citizens took part in a 12-month pilot programme, the 'Halve Garbage Waste Programme', which involved enabling citizens to gain financially by halving the volume of their kitchen waste. A total of 1000 citizens took part in the programme.

The programme started with 200 households that produced an average of 5 kg of waste a week. After three months of using a composting device with worms, they had almost halved their waste output to 2.95 kg a week. Instead of waste being collected once a week, collections are now fortnightly. The 1000 participants in the programme were given a choice of either a free compost bin or a cost-subsidised wormfarm which they paid for if they preferred that to a free compost bin. It turned out that there were a high level of interest in wormfarms and many more  than expected were sold, so the program ended up with a small surplus. At the end of the programme, the participants were paid AUD 20 for completing and returning an 'end of program' survey to improve the program - as well as for appreciation of their efforts.

Project workshop, courtesy of Frankston City Council

In addition to halving the quantity of ordinary kitchen and domestic waste, Frankston City Council has introduced collections of so-called E-waste. This scheme ensures that discarded electrical apparatuses such as computers are collected and their parts recycled. The initiatives in the field of waste collection have meant a marked improvement in the City Council's already respectable recycling statistics. In 2005-2006, 115,807 tonnes of waste were recycled and 7953 tonnes of green waste were transformed into chipped bark.

'Halve Garbage Waste' is part of a more comprehensive programme, GreenHomes which, among other things, has led to the implementation of the Local Industry Efficiency Programme (LIEP) involving 50 small businesses in the city. Improvements have led to savings equivalent to AUD 59,000, including the reduction of annual resources consumption by 2,915,000 litres of water 543 m³ of waste and energy savings equivalent to 34.9 tonnes of carbon emissions.

The the program is still running, keeping the number at a maximum of 1000 participants. Over 900 original participants are still in the program and there are more people on a waiting list to be involved. The participants is still being provided  with a $20/year rebate on their garbage charge. Furthermore the city has formulated a number of sustainability goals for the future in its vision 'Frankston 2025'. The vision has developed over a period of time in the form of far-reaching co-operation between the City Council and its citizens. Some 1500 people have been involved. The goals include all cars and public transport running on sustainable energy and reducing the city's waste volumes.

"We believe that programs such as 'Halve Garbage Waste' not only help the environment but also build stronger, healthier communities by getting people working together towards a common goal." Mayor, Vicki McClelland.


Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014