What Happens to My Waste?

Find out more about what happens to your general waste, recycling and FOGO. As well as what you can and can’t put in each bin.

FOGO (Food Organics, Garden Organics)

Your lime green-lidded FOGO bin is emptied by our waste collection trucks and taken to the Resource Recovery Group’s Canning Vale Centre. The trucks empty their load at the FOGO Processing Facility, before the contents are shredded, screened for contamination, and then sorted into size by a trommel. The pre-processed FOGO is then loaded ready for transport to Purearth and GO Organics where it is piled into large windrows, covered, turned and aerated, reaching high temperatures for 6-8 weeks. It is then screened, graded and blended with other materials (such as manure, loam, sand, minerals) to create a range of soil products that you can purchase and use on your garden!

View the FOGO processing graphic.

Where can I purchase FOGO-derived soil products?

GO Organics produce Brunnings branded ‘All Purpose Potting Mix’, ‘Garden Soil’ and ‘Garden Compost’, which can be found at a variety of retailers. Purearth provides soil products in bulk from a number of outlets, including soil mixes, composts and mulches.
More information on these products and where to purchase them from can be found on their websites:soil-(1).jpeg

FOGO Mythbusters

Myth # 1 – Biodegradable liners go in my FOGO bin
Beware, there is a difference between ‘biodegradable’ and ‘compostable’.
‘Biodegradable’ means that it breaks down into smaller plastic pieces called micro-plastics, which are harmful to the environment.
‘Compostable’ means that it is made from organic materials and fully decomposes into a soil product.
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. Only liners displaying the symbols below are a go for FOGO!

Myth # 2 – Certified compostable takeaway cups and packaging go in my FOGO bin
Not yet. Unfortunately these items are easily mistaken as plastic contamination and removed. It’s important to ensure the materials in the FOGO bin are not contaminated with plastic, as this significantly reduces the quality of the compost created with it.
For now, the green compostable liners are the only items displaying the certified compostable logos that should go in your FOGO bin.
Please put all other certified compostable items in the red lidded general waste bin. We hope to be able to accept these items in the FOGO bin in future following the State Governments Single Use Plastics Ban.


Your yellow-lidded Recycling bin is emptied by our waste collection trucks and taken to the Resource Recovery Group’s Canning Vale Centre. The trucks empty their load in the Materials Recovery Facility, where recyclables are separated, baled and sold for reprocessing into new products.
Watch this video to see what happens to your recycling or see it for yourself by signing up to attend a community tour!

Recycling Mythbusters 

Myth # 1 – Recycling just ends up in landfill
No way! Landfill is expensive and a waste of valuable resources. Recycling isn’t just a feel good exercise, it’s a business. Each year 1,043,588 recycling bins are emptied in the City of Melville and taken to the Resource Recovery Group’s Canning Vale Centre. See it for yourself – sign up to attend a community tour! The machinery sorts hard rigid plastics, steel and aluminium, glass, paper and cardboard into bales, which are bought by businesses both on and offshore, who reprocess them into new products. 
Myth # 2 - Putting my recycling in a plastic bag is fine, it will still get recycled
No, it won’t. Bags could contain all sorts of nasties from general rubbish to dirty nappies, or worse! People are employed to pull bagged recyclables and other contamination off a conveyor belt going through up to 60 tonnes an hour and do not have time to open or empty each bag. Anything in a bag goes straight to landfill.
Myth # 3 – Plastic bags and soft plastic wrappers can go in the recycling bin
Incorrect. Plastic bags and soft plastics get tangled up in the machinery and stop it from working. They also behave like paper, and so contaminate the paper bales. Please put your soft plastics into the red lidded General Waste bin, or better yet, take them back to RedCycle bins at Woolworths or Coles, a specialised recycling program that turns soft plastics into park furniture, bollards and decking.
Myth # 4 – Plastic bottle lids, cutlery and straws can go in the recycling bin
No, they can’t. These items are too small and pass through the cracks in the machinery. They are often made of a number of plastic types, making it difficult to sort into the correct plastic stream. Plastics must be at least the size of your palm to go into the recycling bin. Please put anything smaller into the red lidded general waste bin.
Myth #5 – Clothes, shoes and textiles can go in the recycling bin
Unfortunately not. The machinery at the recycling facility is only designed to sort hard rigid plastics, steel and aluminium, glass, paper and cardboard. Textiles contaminate the recycling streams. Please donate good quality textiles to charity and put damaged textiles in the red lidded general waste bin.  
Myth # 6 – Biodegradable and compostable things are fine to go in the recycling bin
Not true! These are usually made from a plant based material that looks like plastic but does not behave like plastic, so contaminates the recyclable plastics stream. Please put these items in the red lidded general waste bin. Do not put anything other than green Australian certified compostable liners in your lime-green lidded FOGO bin.

General Waste

Your red-lidded General Waste bin is emptied by our waste collection trucks and taken to Suez in Bibra Lake, before being sent to North Bannister Resource Recovery Park to be landfilled.
Remember, landfill is the last resort! It’s important that we all do our best to avoid and reduce waste in the first place, before recycling and composting what we can’t. Check out our tips and tricks to reducing your waste.

General Waste Mythbusters

Myth # 1 - Organics are fine to go in landfill, they rot down anyway.

Wrong. Landfill is very different to composting, which requires the right balance of oxygen, water, nitrogen and carbon to decompose. A landfill environment has very little air or water available, mixed in with plenty of plastics. Any organics in landfill take a really long time to break down, releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as they do so, contributing to climate change. Landfill also produces an acidic liquid called leachate, which contaminates our soil and groundwater. Food and garden organics are best put in your lime-green lidded FOGO bin, where they will be composted, or in your own home composting system.

What goes in what bin?

For more information on what goes in what bin visit our Residential Bins Page or the Recycle Right A-Z Guide.


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