What is FOGO?
FOGO is the new bin on the block. We give you the low down on what you need to know.
What is FOGO?
FOGO is a council collection service that recycles Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) so that they can be used to make nutrient-rich garden products. FOGO puts nutrient-rich organic matter back into the ground, creates jobs and minimises our impact on the environment.
Why should I FOGO?
Around half of the waste in our bins is recyclable and it is estimated each person in Australia throws away about 300kg of food waste per year – that amounts to a whopping 7.3 million tons of recyclable organic waste going into landfill. In landfill, it decomposes and creates methane which is a powerful greenhouse gas that accounts for approximately 30% of global warming.
The Australian Government, in consultations with state and territory governments and the Australian Local Government Association, have decided upon a unified direction for waste management, recycling and resource recovery. The National Food Waste Strategy will see food waste halved by 2030 and part of the Action Plan will make a FOGO kerbside collection available to every household by the end of 2023, diverting organic waste from landfill into a valuable resource.
What happens to my FOGO waste?
FOOG waste is collected by councils and taken to an industrial processing facility. This raw organic material is screened for contaminants, shredded, mixed with other organics and laid out in rows to decompose under high temperatures. It is then graded and can then be used as landscape mixes such as mulch, topsoil, compost and fertiliser.
Image source: Recycle Right WA
How is FOGO different from my green garden bin?
Your current green bin only allows for the disposal of garden waste like grass clippings and garden trimmings.
Your FOGO bin allows for the disposal of garden waste AND all food waste including bread, dairy and meat. In addition, paper, cardboard, kitty litter and animal waste can also be put into your FOGO bin. If it was once living matter – it can be disposed of in your FOGO bin.
How does FOGO differ from my existing home compost bin?
FOGO is a little different from home composting in that, in our home compost systems or worm farms, we typically decompose fruit and vegetable waste only. Other food scraps can smell and encourage vermin and bulkier items such as cardboard also take a long time to decompose in home compost systems.
FOGO allows for composting on a commercial scale - organic waste including all food scraps and paper products can be composted. This is because the waste is shredded into smaller chunks and decomposition is accelerated due to high temperatures.
There’s no need to replace your home composting system, simply put any food waste you wouldn’t put in your home compost bin or worm farm into your FOGO bin.
What can go in a FOGO bin?
All food waste including:
- Dairy products
- Oils and fats (small quantities)
- Tea bags
- Coffee grinds
- Table scraps
Garden waste including:
- Lawn clippings
- Garden prunings
Other items including:
- Animal droppings (in a compostable liner)
- Kitty litter
- Paper (with no staples)
- Cardboard (with no tape)
What shouldn’t go into a FOGO bin?
These items are FOGO no-nos:
- Reusable bags
- Glass bottles
- Metal cans
- Building materials such as bricks and concrete
- Non-organic fabric
What else do I need to know about FOGO?
Councils collect FOGO bins every week and you can check with your local council when your FOGO will be rolled out.
Most councils will provide households with a kitchen caddy for their waste. Kitchen caddies should be emptied every 2-3 days and if you use liners/bags with your caddy, only use certified compostable bags. These display a plant symbol with an AS number.