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 or call 1300 635 845 | 9364 0666.

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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 have we changed 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.

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:

  • Food scraps
  • Organic garden material
  • Raw and cooked meat,
  • Bread
  • Dairy
  • Bones and shells

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) but not the lids
  • 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
  • Plastic lids

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
  • Plastic lids

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 Recycle Right 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 or call
1300 635 845 | 9364 0666.

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

The City has a token system for supplying residents with three packs of compostable kitchen caddy liners per year.

Each financial year, households will receive three tokens in their annual waste and recycling calendar, which can be exchanged for one pack of 75 compostable liners at a time.

Find out where to collect your packs, how to purchase additional supplies and alternatives to liners on our Compostable Kitchen Caddy Liner page.

How can I make my compostable liners last longer?

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.

The average use of a liner before changing it is three to four days. So by using three per week = 25 weeks per roll of 75 liners.

Moisture can make them compost faster so place newspaper or used paper towel at the bottom of your liner if your food scraps are wet. Store your liners in a cool and dry spot away from heat and sunlight.

Do I have to use compostable liners?

No. Food scraps can go straight into your caddy or FOGO bin. You can rinse the caddy out after washing up the dishes or wrap food scraps in newspaper which is totally acceptable as well.

You can even make an origami liner, which would be a great project for the kids! To find out how, visit our Compostable Kitchen Caddy Liners page.

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.

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.

Using end of life paper and cardboard in your FOGO bin helps absorb moisture and reduces insects.

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?

Units and apartment complexes where bins are shared are gradually being transitioned to the 3-Bin FOGO system. Residents will receive notification when their property is due to change.

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, or dropped of at one of our e-Waste and Recycling Drop Off Day. 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 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 Recycle Right (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.

Can I use my compostable liners for dog and cat poo?

No. The liners are designed for your kitchen caddy and for food scraps only. Pet poo and kitty litter can go straight into your FOGO bin or you can buy compostable pet poo bags from:

  • Woolworths, Coles, Bunnings and Petbarn or check your local pet store
  • Order online from Compost-A-Pak, Cardia Bioproducts or Biobagworld as examples
  • You can set up a pet poo composter at home such as the EnsoPet or Bokashi system
In the future, will the City of Melville continue to provide compostable liners?

Yes. The allocation per household will remain and as usual, you can only collect one roll per visit as the liners have a limited shelf life. Please remember, the average use is three liners per week which is enough for 25 weeks per roll. We will notify you when there are updates.

For all of your other waste services, it remains business as usual so your general waste, recycling and FOGO bins will still be collected.

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

Most of our parks and reserves now have lime-green compostable dog poo bags which are suitable to go into your FOGO bin. The few reserves that still have biodegradable dog poo bags will gradually be changed over to compostable bags, in the meantime these biodegradable bags need to go into your General Waste bin.

Top Tips to Reduce Bin Smells and Deter Insects (e.g. Flies and Maggots)

If You Have Odours or Insects (e.g. flies and maggots) in Your FOGO:

  • To reduce odours put your FOGO bin out for collection every week, even if it’s not full
  • Any food contaminated cardboard/paper e.g. pizza boxes, paper kitchen towel and tissues as well as shredded paper can go in you FOGO bin. These will help absorb moisture
  • 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
  • Try using a bin deodoriser

If You Have Odours or Insects (e.g. flies and maggots) in Your Kitchen Caddy:

  • Empty the caddy frequently. Gently squeeze excess air out of the caddy liner before tying it off and placing it in the FOGO bin
  • Place newspaper or paper kitchen towel at the bottom of the kitchen caddy to absorb moisture
  • 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 or Insects (e.g. flies and maggots) 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 (not on your FOGO bin)
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
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 240L and 360L bins have a maximum weight limit of 70kg each. Your 140L red-lidded general waste bin has a maximum weight limit of 65kg. This is to ensure the truck is able to lift them.

The City cannot supply larger FOGO bins to domestic sites as these will exceed the weight limit when full and will not be able to be lifted safely by a side arm trucks. Residents can apply and pay for a second FOGO bin if they wish.

    Can biodegradable items go in my FOGO bin?

    Many ‘degradable’ and ‘biodegradable’ liners/bags are still partially made with plastic and break down into harmful micro-plastics.

    Companies want to persuade you to buy their products, so sometimes they make their products look ‘green’ and ‘eco-friendly’ when they’re actually not - this is called greenwashing. Stick to the facts: liners/bags and other products displaying these symbols and certified Australian Standard numbers are a go for FOGO!

    Liners/bags made from a mixture of plant and plastic materials must be placed in your red-lidded general waste bin, as they cannot be recycled.


    When will I receive my new waste calendar in the mail?

    2021-2022 Waste Calendar Coming to Your Letterbox Soon

    Your Waste Calendar for the 2021-2022 financial year is coming to your letterbox soon. This calendar contains important information about your waste collection services, bulk verge collection dates, as well as tokens you can use to redeem three packs of free compostable liners for your FOGO service. Please keep an eye out for this envelope in your letterbox in the coming weeks. Alternatively, you can access it online at

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