Whittlesea residents will be given the chance to recycle their food waste from next financial year.

Councillors last week voted to roll-out a municipal-wide food organics and garden organics (FOGO) recycling program from 2020-21. Residents will need to opt-in to the program.

The Whittlesea-wide program follows a three-month food waste recycling trial by 1600 households with garden bins.

A report to last week’s council meeting stated the trial was a success, with food waste accounting for 32 per cent of the waste placed in garbage bins at participating houses, down from 53 per cent before the trial.

Food waste also accounted for one-third of the waste in garden bins at the end of the trial, up from 0.1 per cent before the trial began.

Household participating in the program will be provided with a caddy and liners and be educated on the types of food waste they can place in their garden bins.

Cr Sam Alessi said the FOGO program would help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

“This is a fantastic start in trying to divert some of our refuse away from landfill,” he said.

“I hope that eventually it will be done city-wide.

“We need to look very seriously at the way we handle our waste. We can’t keep on putting waster into landfill.”

The food waste will be processed at Suez’s facility in Cooper Street, Epping.

A report to council said while the Suez facility did not use industry best practices, processing food waste at Cooper Street was $1.5 million cheaper annually than using Cleanaway’s facility in Dandenong.

“I do have an issue that the proposal is [to use] Cooper Street, but I understand it is a long way to go to the other side of town,” Cr Alessi said.

“I do have some concerns about the quality of the material and compost that comes out at the end.”