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Our new Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) service allows residents to put food and garden waste in the same bin, reducing the quantity of waste going to landfill. 

The material is turned into soil conditioner products and used to grow food and plants. 

Here in Victoria, almost a third of councils are already trialling or providing a FOGO service for their residents. 

Why we introduced FOGO

During consultation for the Boroondara Community Plan in 2016-17, residents said that reducing the quantity of waste sent to landfill was important. 

Food and garden waste makes up more than half the contents of the average Boroondara waste bin. Before FOGO, this was sent to landfill, creating harmful greenhouse gas emissions. 

If used effectively, the new FOGO service will reduce the quantity of waste going to landfill by up to 19,000 tonnes per year and return valuable nutrients back to the land.

Bin collection frequencies 

Your FOGO bin is collected weekly alongside your recycling bin. This is an increase in frequency from the previous fortnightly green waste bin collection. 

With around half your current waste being diverted to your FOGO bin, the household waste (landfill) bin service has been switched to a fortnightly collection

Overall, the number of bin collections per week remains the same.

See your bin collection day.

FOGO starting dates 

FOGO is a permanent council kerbside bin collection service. It is being rolled out in 2 phases: 

  • Phase 1 commenced on 4 May 2020 - for standalone houses and blocks of up to 3 units that receive our kerbside collection services. 
  • Phase 2 is being implemented between October 2020 to September 2021 - for blocks of 4 to 15 units or apartments that receive our kerbside collection services. 

Multi-unit developments

Residents in 'Phase 2' multi-unit properties who are yet to commence with FOGO can complete our online survey to determine their eligibility.

Once you complete the survey, our waste team will be in touch to confirm your eligibility and a commencement date for your complex.

Complete the survey

Avoiding food waste is an important step to take before FOGO launches. Read our food waste avoidance tips

FOGO changeover

Phase 1 properties should now have received the following: 

  • A benchtop kitchen caddy (a small 7L plastic tub and lid made from 100% recycled plastic).
  • A one-year supply (150) of approved compostable caddy liners (made from natural corn starch - not plastic). Details on where to get more caddy liners is covered on the FOGO bin page.
  • An education pack, including a FOGO information booklet, ‘FOGO, Recycling and Waste Guide’ and a 2020-21 waste (landfill) bin collection calendar. 
  • If you had a green waste bin, your orange bin lid should have been exchanged for a new lime green FOGO bin lid. 
  • If you don’t have a green waste bin, you should have received a 120L FOGO bin with a lime green lid.

Phase 1 properties

Phase 1 properties are dwellings made up of up to 3 properties.

If you haven’t received one or more of the above items, contact us on (03) 9278 4444.

Phase 2 properties

Phase 2 properties are multi-unit dwellings. They contain 4 more dwellings. 

If you are a phase 2 property, fill out our online FOGO survey. and the FOGO team will contact you with more information.

How FOGO works

FOGO bins accept food and garden waste together. They will be collected weekly and their contents hot-composted to produce soil conditioner products for improving soil, growing healthy gardens and supporting food production.

For more details of FOGO collections, see our FOGO bin page

Will I have enough space in my waste bin for a fortnightly collection? 

Yes. Based on waste bin audits, only 31% of what is currently put into the average Boroondara waste bin should go to landfill.

If you use your FOGO and recycling bins correctly, you should have enough space in your waste bin even with fortnightly collections. With the introduction of FOGO, most households will see an increase in bin capacity of an average 60 litres per week.

If you have concerns about your waste (landfill) bin meeting the needs of your household, please contact our Customer Service Team to discuss your options. This could include upsizing your waste bin for a fee. 

Items accepted in FOGO bins

You can put much more than just fruit and veg in your FOGO bin. We accept: 

  • Most food waste, whether cooked, uncooked, processed or unprocessed food. 
  • Most garden waste.

See a detailed list of what's allowed and what's not allowed in FOGO bins.

Nappies, plastics and other contaminants 

Just 1 plastic bag or nappy in the system can result in a 10 tonne truck of FOGO material being sent to landfill.

FOGO cannot accept plastic (of any kind), food packaging, glass and nappies, even those labelled 'compostable'. 
See a detailed list of what's not allowed in FOGO bins.

FOGO kitchen caddies and liner alternatives 

You can use your own kitchen caddy if you prefer. If this is the case, please return your unused council-supplied caddy to one of our Customer Service Centres, so that someone else can use it instead. 

Make sure you only use council-approved compostable corn starch caddy liners. You can buy your own liners, but they must meet the correct liner specifications. Find out more about caddy liners and specifications on our FOGO bin page

Please return unused council-approved liners to one of our Customer Service Centres. Do not use plastic bags or any other type of non-approved liners. 

FOGO cost to ratepayers  

In 2019/20 the waste charge component of the rates was increased by 16.3% per household (inclusive of the increased Victorian Government landfill levy) to cover the costs of setting up FOGO. 

The waste charge was then reduced by 3.9% in 2020/21 following implementation.

What if I already use a home compost bin or worm farm?

Keep going. FOGO is complementary to your home compost system or worm farm. It provides additional capacity for garden waste, excess food and hard-to-compost items such as meat, seafood, dairy, processed foods, cooked foods, citrus, onions, garlic, and chilli. 

Avoiding bin smells

Most items that would have caused bad smells in your waste bin such as food and garden waste will still be collected weekly in your FOGO bin.

See our advice on avoiding smells in your waste bin and FOGO bin.

Can I buy soil conditioner produced from Boroondara FOGO bins? 

We are hoping to have soil conditioner made from Boroondara FOGO material by the end of 2021. 

The soil conditioner will be made from FOGO materials from both Boroondara and other councils. More information to come on this.  

More information

Updates and information on FOGO will be released regularly on our website, in the Boroondara Bulletin, on the Boroondara Council Facebook page and across our other communication channels.

Feel free to contact us with your FOGO questions on 9278 4444 or [email protected]

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