What does FOGO mean? Why are we changing to a new bin system?
FOGO stands for Food Organics Garden, Organics and refers to the weekly collection of food scraps, as well as natural material from your garden which once collected, will be turned into compost.
A handy way to think about FOGO is ‘If it didn’t grow, it’s not FOGO’.
What’s happening to my bin service?
The 3-bin Food Organics, Garden Organics (FOGO) system will provide residents with more options for separating their waste, with the aim of improving recovery rates, increasing diversion from landfill and reducing costs of processing material.
The change will take place from July 2019 and residents will receive further detailed information early in the year.
By collecting nutrient-rich food waste alongside garden waste in the new FOGO bin, we can generate a high-quality compost to use on farms, parks and gardens and avoid organic waste going to landfill which produces harmful methane gas.
The system has been successfully trialled in the City of Melville as part of a joint project between the Southern Metropolitan Regional Council, Cities of Fremantle, Melville and the Town of East Fremantle.
During this trial, the 3-bin FOGO system was proven to achieve around 65% diversion from landfill. The process prevented valuable resources from going to landfill and was accompanied by strong participation and support from residents.
The 3-bin FOGO system is the WA Waste Authority’s preferred kerbside collection system and is considered the most suitable for achieving the State Government target of 65% diversion from landfill by 2020.
While 3-bin FOGO systems have been implemented in a range of councils across Australia and several councils in the state’s south west, all other 3-bin systems in the Perth Metropolitan area currently only offer residents a third bin for Garden Waste (GO), excluding valuable, nutrient rich food waste.
What can I put in each bin?
- If you currently have the two-bin system, your household will soon have three separate bins: one for general rubbish, a FOGO bin for compost and a recycling bin.
- You will receive a brand new 240 litre lime green-lidded FOGO bin, for all your food scraps and garden clippings, which will be turned into high-quality compost and collected weekly.
- You will keep your yellow-lidded recycling bin; however, it will now be collected fortnightly instead of weekly. A larger 360litre yellow-topped recycling bin can be made available upon request.
- You will receive a new 140 litre red-topped rubbish bin for general rubbish items that can’t be recycled or turned into compost, which will be sent to landfill and collected on the alternative fortnight to your yellow-topped recycling bin. If you find your household is struggling with capacity issues after you start using the new bins, contact the council to see if a solution can be provided to you.
- Your old General Waste Bin will be taken away and reused or recycled into a new bin.
- You will also be provided with a kitchen caddy when your new bins are dropped off. The caddy will be attached to your lime green-topped FOGO bin when the rollout occurs. Inside the kitchen caddy will be information to help you use your new bins as well as compostable liners to help you separate your food scraps in the kitchen.
Will there be an additional cost for my household?
Lime-green lidded FOGO bin (WEEKLY): All food organics including raw and cooked meat, bread, dairy, bones, shells, and garden organics. This bin will be composted so it’s important to keep plastic and glass out of this bin. All food waste is to go into your FOGO bin either in a compostable liner, wrapped in newspaper or loose in the bin. Please make sure food is removed from packaging before being placed in the bin as any plastic packaging can contaminate the compost.
You can also place pet droppings and kitty litter into this bin either straight into the bin or in a compostable liner, however biodegradable plastic liners are not to go into your FOGO bin, only compostable liners as they will break down naturally in in the composting process.
Yellow lidded recycling bin (FORTNIGHTLY): Recyclable materials including:
- Paper (excluding shredded paper)
- Cardboard (flattened)
- Glass (clean and empty)
- Plastic containers and plastic bottles (clean and empty)
- Aluminium cans (clean and empty)
- Steel cans (clean and empty).
All items should be clean, dry and empty with lids removed and placed in the bin loosely.
The following items should not be placed into your yellow-topped recycling bin:
- Plastic bags and plastic film
- Meat trays and polystyrene
- Clothes and textiles
- Garden and food waste
- Gas bottles and aerosol cans
- Electronic waste and batteries
- Ropes, cables and hose
- Materials in bags
Red lidded rubbish bin (FORTNIGHTLY): General rubbish items that cannot be composted or recycled, such as nappies, polystyrene, plastic bags and soft plastics.
Refer to the 3-bin guide delivered with your bins, as well as your collection calendar.
For a full A-Z list of which bin to put it in, visit www.recycleright.wa.gov.au.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to drop us a message on Facebook, email us at email@example.com or call 1300 635 845 | 9364 0666.
When will the bin changeover happen?
There will be no additional costs to residents for the 3-bin FOGO service.
Can I opt out of having three bins and remain with just the two-bin system?
A changeover of bins is expected to commence from July 2019 and run for a number of weeks.
More specific information about the rollout will be provided to residents closer to the date.
My circumstances make it difficult to separate waste properly, can alternative services be made available?
No. Once rolled out, the FOGO service will become the standard collection service for the City and we are encouraging all households to participate to the best of their ability.
Not all households in the City will be receiving the FOGO service at the same time as the rollout will take several weeks to complete.
Residents are welcome to contact the City and discuss any concerns or restrictions that might inhibit you from fully participating in the 3-bin system.
Are there any variations available to the standard bin sizes/collection schedules?
We understand that in some circumstances, residents may require special services. Please call 1300 635 845 | 9364 0666 to discuss what tailored solutions can be provided.
Our household doesn’t have much food or garden waste, do we still need the FOGO bin?
While the alternating fortnightly collection of the yellow-lidded recycling and the red-lidded general waste bin will not be able to be changed, residents who feel they may need more capacity for their recycling are able to upgrade to a 360litre yellow-lidded recycling bin free of charge.
In some instances, households can request extra general waste capacity (red lid) following a needs assessment. Please contact Customer Service to find out more.
If you have issues with the capacity of any of your bins once you start using the service, please contact 1300 635 845 | 9364 0666 and we will put you in touch with a Waste Education Officer who can look into your problem.
If you wish to upgrade to a 360litre recycling bin, please contact Customer Service on 1300 635 845 | 9364 0666 or submit an online request at www.melvillecity.com.au/waste.
We already compost at home, do we still need the FOGO bin?
Even if you don’t have a lot of food or garden waste, residents are encouraged to use their FOGO bin to ensure we can recover as much organic waste as possible. If food and garden waste is sent to landfill, it generates harmful methane gas and contributes to higher processing costs through landfill fees.
All your food waste including leftovers, peelings, cooked and raw meat, bones, shells, bread, seafood and dairy products can go into your FOGO bin, along with paper products like tissues, napkins, shredded paper, soiled newspaper and soiled pizza boxes.
If you find there’s not much going in your FOGO bin each week, you may wish to speak to your neighbour to see if you can set up a sharing arrangement.
I’m already paying for an additional recycling/waste bin, how will the change to three bins affect my current service?
We encourage you to continue to compost at home, however you can use your lime green-topped FOGO bin for things you can’t put in your home compost bin, like bones, meat and seafood!
I live on a small block and don’t have enough room to store three bins at my property.
The changes may provide you with an opportunity to have a look at your household’s needs. The City can supply an equivalent service, please contact the City on 1300 635 845 | 9364 0666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss options.
How will the system work for people living in a unit or apartment complex?
If you find you are having problems with storage after receiving the new bins, please contact 1300 635 845 to arrange a site visit from a City officer to discuss the issues and find solutions for you.
Is the FOGO system being rolled out to businesses?
For people living in a unit or apartment complex where bins are shared, the City will determine how many of each of the three bins are required for your unit complex based on the size of the units and current bin usage. This will be reviewed to ensure that the correct number of bins are available.
Kitchen caddies will be delivered to your doorstep for those living in shared bin scenarios and will be attached to your new bins for those with individual bins.
For people living in a unit or apartment complex with individual bins, your new 240 litre lime green-lidded FOGO bin and new 140 litre red-lidded rubbish bin will be delivered to where your old bins are usually collected.
We encourage you to discuss the change with anyone you may know in the complex if they are unsure about the service, and report any issues to the Waste Education Officer who can assist with education.
If you find the number of bins is not enough to manage the FOGO, rubbish and/or recycling, please contact the City on 1300 635 845 to discuss the situation.
FOGO is currently being rolled out to residential properties only. However, the City will investigate including commercial properties at a later stage.