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The below Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) help to explain the new 3-bin FOGO system better and help bust some common myths and questions that have come out of the FOGO trial.

If you can't find the answer to your question, please email melinfo@melville.wa.gov.au or call 1300 635 845 | 9364 0666.

Waste, Recycling and FOGO FAQ's

What does FOGO mean?

FOGO stands for Food Organics, Garden Organics and refers to the weekly collection of food scraps and garden organics, which once collected will be turned into compost.

A handy way to think about FOGO is ‘If it didn’t live or grow, it isn't FOGO’.

Why are we changing to the 3-bin FOGO system?

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, creating an estimated $3 million cost saving in the first 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 3-bin FOGO 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 a 65% diversion from landfill. The system 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 Local Governments across Australia and several 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’s happening to my bin service?
  • Each household has three separate bins: one for general waste, a FOGO bin for compost and a recycling bin
  • You have also been provided with a kitchen caddy to help you separate your food scraps in the kitchen
  • Your old General Waste Bin has been taken away and reused or recycled into a new bins

Enter your address to find out which bins to put out and when - Find your bin and waste days search box.

What goes in what bin?

Lime green-lidded FOGO bin (WEEKLY): All food organics including raw and cooked meat, bread, dairy, bones, shells and garden organics. The contents of 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 all food packaging is removed and placed in the correct bin, as any plastic/foam packaging will contaminate the compost.

You can also place pet droppings and kitty litter into a compostable liner or straight into the FOGO bin.

Biodegradable or any other plastic bags/liners are not to go into your FOGO bin, only compostable liners provided by the City are to be used, as they will break down naturally 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-lidded recycling bin: 

  • Plastic bags and plastic film
  • Nappies
  • Meat trays and polystyrene
  • Clothing and textiles
  • Garden and food waste
  • Gas bottles and aerosol cans
  • Electronic waste and batteries
  • Ropes, cables and hose
  • Recycling in bags

Red-lidded general waste bin (FORTNIGHTLY): General rubbish items that cannot be composted or recycled, such as:

  • Nappies
  • Hygiene items
  • Polystyrene
  • Plastic bags
  • Soft plastics
  • Ropes, straps and hoses

The following items should not be placed into your red-lidded general waste bin: 

  • Organic material (food scraps and garden organics)
  • Recyclables
  • Hazadous items

Refer to the 3-bin guide delivered with your bins, as well as your collection calendar.

For a full A-Z list of what goes in what bin, visit www.recycleright.wa.gov.au or find out more on our FOGO webpage.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to drop us a message on Facebook, email us at melinfo@melville.wa.gov.au or call
1300 635 845 | 9364 0666.

Will I be charged more for this new bin service?

There will be no additional costs to residents for the 3-bin FOGO service. In the first year it is estimated that $3 million will be saved in reduced processing costs.

When will the bin change over happen?

The changeover of bins will start from 8 July and run for 10 weeks till mid September 2019. 

Can I opt out of having 3-bins and remain with just the 2-bin system?

No, the 3-bin FOGO service is the standard collection service for the City and we are encouraging all households to participate to the best of their ability.

Residents are welcome to contact the City and discuss any concerns or restrictions that might inhibit you from fully participating in the
3-bin FOGO system.  

My circumstances make it difficult to separate waste properly, can alternative services be made available?

We understand that in some circumstances, residents may require special services. Please get in touch to discuss what tailored solutions can be provided.

Are there any variations available to the standard bin sizes/collection schedules?

While the alternating fortnightly collection of the yellow-lidded recycling and the red-lidded general waste bin will not be able to be changed, we encourage you to wait for your new bins to arrive and start using them straight away. 

Yellow-lidded recycling bin

If you are finding that recycling capacity is an issue there are options to upgrade to a free 360 litre yellow-lidded recycling bin.

Red-lidded general waste bin

If you are finding that general waste capacity is an issue, households can request extra general waste capacity following a needs assessment. A needs assessment is an audit of your red-lidded general waste bin to determine that the service is being used correctly, ie no organics and no recycling in it, as this bin goes to landfill.

If you have issues with the capacity of any of your bins once you start using the service, please contact us and we will put you in touch with a Waste Education Officer who can look into your problem.

Contact Customer Relations on 1300 635 845 | 9364 0666 or submit an online bin request.

Our household doesn’t have much food or garden waste, 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 lime green-lidded 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 lime green-lidded FOGO bin each week, you may wish to speak to your neighbour to see if you can set-up a sharing arrangement.

We already compost at home, do we still need the FOGO lime green-lidded bin?

We encourage you to continue to compost at home, however you can use your lime green-lidded FOGO bin for things you can’t put in your home compost bin like bones, meat and seafood!

I’m already paying for an additional recycling/waste bin, how will the change to 3-bins affect my current service?

The changes may provide you with an opportunity to have a look at your household’s needs. The City can supply an equivalent service. Contact us to discuss your options.

I live on a small block and don’t have enough room to store three bins at my property.

If you find you are having problems with storage please contact us to arrange a site visit from a City Officer to discuss the issues and to help find a solution for you.

How will the 3-bin FOGO system work for people living in a unit or apartment complex?

For people living in a unit or apartment complex where bins are shared, at this stage you will not be receiving the 3-bin FOGO service at this stage. Your yellow-lidded recycling bins will now be collected fortnightly to align the collection frequency with the rest of the street.

Additional 240L yellow-lidded recycling bins or larger 360L yellow-lidded recycling bins will be delivered to your property to assist with the change in collection frequencies. They will receive a letter informing them of the changeover date and a calendar to show which fortnight to place out their recycling bins.

The reason for this is that we are undertaking studies into the best approach to offer the 3-bin FOGO service to a range of multi-unit dwellings that share their bins, with the aim to have this option available to properties such as yours in the near future.

For people living in a unit or apartment complex with individual bins will receive the FOGO 3-bin service. A new 240L lime green-lidded FOGO bin and new 140L red-lidded general waste bin will be delivered. You will be required to leave out your old dark green-lidded general waste bin when you receive your new bins and we will remove it the very next day. 

We encourage you to discuss the change with anyone you may know in your complex and report any issues or questions you or your neighbours may have to us.

If you find the number of bins is not enough to manage the FOGO, general waste and/or recycling, please contact us to discuss.

Is the FOGO system being rolled out to businesses?

FOGO has been rolled out to residential properties only. However the City is investigating offering the 3-bin FOGO to local businesses at a later stage.

I've heard there were changes to recycling recently? What are they and why?

Changes in global markets and tighter restrictions on recyclables now mean that some materials previously accepted have now been excluded to create a standard approach to recycling across WA. This will help everyone better understand what goes in what bin regardless of what area you live in. The aim of these changes is to reduce contamination and create cleaner recyclables for processing.  

There are three main changes to what you can now put into your recycling yellow-lidded bin. Aerosols, soft plastics and meat trays are no longer to be placed in the yellow-lidded bin.

  • Aerosol cans can be taken to your nearest household hazadous waste drop off location for recycling https://m.recycleright.wa.gov.au/locator/hhw-disposal.html or as a last resort place aerosols in your red-lidded general waste bin
  • Meat trays should be placed in your general waste bin due to contamination and the mixed use of materials used to make them
  • Soft plastics (scrunchable) can be taken to any RedCycle drop off point to be recycled into new products, check out your nearest centre at www.redcycle.net.au or placed in your red-lidded general waste bin

What are soft plastics?

These types of plastics are soft and can easily by scrunched up into a ball. They include items such as:

  • Plastic bags
  • Lids on microwaveable ready meals (plastic film)
  • Sweet/lolly wrappers and chip packets
  • Cereal bags

These items can be placed in your red-lidded general waste bin or collected and taken to your nearest RedCycle drop off centre.

Cling film (cling wrap) can be placed in your red-lidded general waste bin and not taken to RedCycle.

If you are unsure about any other items and which bin to put it in check out the recycle right website (app currently being updated).

What is the City doing to improve recycling?

The City currently has one of the highest landfill diversion rates in Western Australia and continues to work closely with the South Metropolitan Regional Council (SMRC) to improve recycling and landfill diversion rates. 

The City trialled a 3-bin Food Organic, Garden Organic (FOGO) system to 7,000 households and saw great results with a diversion from landfill rate of 66% within the first six months.

The SMRC implements a robust recycling and waste minimisation education campaign to the south west area, including schools which the City supports.

The City of Melville's Piney Lakes Environmental Education Centre hosts many seminars, workshops and events to help promote sustainable living, reduce waste, reuse and recycling. Find out more about upcoming events at Piney Lakes.

I've run out of liners. Where can I get more?

You can get more liners from:

Please bring proof of residence and you will be able to collect a maximum of two rolls (a year's supply).

Note - please remember to store the liners in a cool dry place.

How often should I be changing my kitchen caddy compostable liner?

Depending on how much food scraps you have, liners can last anywhere between one to four days. When the liner is full, simply tie up and place in your lime green-lidded FOGO bin.

Need Extra Bins?

If you have been using the new 3-bin FOGO service for a few weeks and are finding you need extra bins you can:

  • Request a larger 360 L yellow-lidded recycling bin
  • Request a audit of your red-lidded general waste bin to see if a larger bin is required
  • Pay for extra bins

Additional Bin Fees

  • Extra 240L for food organic and garden organic material collected weekly 
  • Extra 360L for recycling items only collected fortnightly

Request additional bins here 

Dog Bags

We are phasing out the biodegradable dog poo bags and these will be replaced with compostable bags.

Top Tips to Reduce Bin Smells

If You Have Odours in Your FOGO:

  • To reduce odours put your FOGO bin out for collection every week, even if it’s not full
  • Wrap and place any odourous food scraps such as seafood shells in the freezer until collection day
  • Keep your bins in the shade with the bin lids tightly closed
  • Layering cardboard, newspaper or green waste at the bottom of the FOGO bin can help to absorb liquids and prevent waste sticking to the inside of the bin. If you’re using cardboard, make sure you remove any plastic or sticky tape before placing it in the bin
  • Where possible, allow lawn clippings and garden cuttings to dry out before going in the bin to avoid weight issues in the FOGO bin, and cut garden waste to size so the lid can be closed. There is a weight limit of 70kg on FOGO bins and overfull bins may not be collected
  • Try sprinkling baking soda, kitty litter, vinegar, oil of cloves or lemon juice into the bin after it has been emptied 
  • Clean your bin regularly with hot soapy water

If You Have Odours in Your Kitchen Caddy:

  • Empty the caddy when the compostable bag is about ¾ full so it can be tied off. Gently squeeze excess air out of the bag before tying it off and placing it in the FOGO bin
  • If your household is not producing a lot of food waste, it is still recommended to empty the caddy every two or three days
  • Wrap and place any odourous food scraps such as seafood shells in the freezer until collection day
  • Keep the lid of the caddy tightly closed when not in use and store out of direct sunlight

If You Have Odours in Your General Waste:

  • If possible, empty the contents of the nappy into the toilet before wrapping the nappy for disposal 
  • Wrap nappies tightly in a nappy sack or plastic bag, and use smaller rubbish bags which can be closed tightly before placing in the red bin
  • Keep your bins in the shade with the bin lids tightly closed
  • Squeeze excess air out of bin liners and tie off tightly before placing the bag in the bin
  • Try sprinkling baking soda, kitty litter, vinegar, oil of cloves or lemon juice into the bin after it has been emptied 
  • Try using a deodoriser in the bin- available from most hardware stores
  • Clean your bin regularly with hot soapy water 
  • Spray insect surface spray around the inside of the bin and lid to deter pests
My old dark green-lidded bin has not been collected. What do I do?

Residents old dark green-lidded bins should be removed the day after the new bins arrive.

If the old bin is not collected the following day after the new bins arrive residents can;

  • Leave it on the verge
  • Take it back in and put it out on your next scheduled collection day. Once again, it will be collected the following day
  • Contact us, if it has not been collected after 3 weeks
I'll be on holidays when my new bins are dropped off. What can I do?

If you are going to be away or on holiday when your new bins are expected to be dropped off, maybe ask your neighbour to kindly bring your recycling, new FOGO and general waste bins in from the verge and place your kitchen caddy somewhere dry as the caddies will have a year’s supply of compostable liners and an information pack on how to use the new 3-bin FOGO system.

How can I keep my caddy fresh for longer?

Here is some hints to help keep your caddy fresh for longer;

  • Tie the caddy liner up securely before placing it in your lime green-lidded FOGO bin to reduce possible odours
  • Line the caddy with newspaper or paper towel to help soak up excess moisture if needed – these can go in your lime green-lidded FOGO bin too
  • Wrapping the bag in newspaper or paper towel can help stop sharp bones or prawn shells piercing the liner
  • Freezing meat and seafood scraps until closer to collection can reduce odours
  • Let hot substances cool and dispose of your bin liner whenever you put in wet food scraps
  • Wash your caddy regularly, it can even go through the dish washer!
  • Collect your replacement rolls of liners a couple weeks before you run out – remember to bring your proof of residence with you
What is the capacity of my new bins?

Below is a list of the bin capacities;

  • Red-lidded general waste bins have a capacity of 140L
  • Lime green-lidded FOGO bins have a capacity of 240L
  • Yellow-lidded recycling bins have a capacity of 240L or 360L, depending on what service you choose

All bins have a maximum weight limit of 70kg each. This is to ensure the truck is able to lift them.

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