October 25, 2019 by Graham Merrington

Ed and I have been working recently with Resource Recovery Policy Branch of NSW Environment Protection Authority to assist in the development of an evidence-base to assist decision making around the application of food and organic garden waste (FOGO) to land. The work wca have undertaken forms part of the information to stakeholders to help in informing a public consultation on waste re-use.

Part of wca’s work was to characterise the chemical composition data of source separated food and green waste from a global literature search and compare this to NSW data for Mechanical Biological Treatment Compost Like Output (MBT CLO), which the Australians call Mixed Waste Organic Outputs (MWOO). The chemical composition data from FOGO show fewer detects for persistent organic chemicals and lower levels of trace elements compared to the MWOO. The variability in chemical composition of MWOO compared to other organic wastes applied to land, such as FOGO, makes it very challenging to ensure a consistent absence of risk to the environment and human health.