- From 4 May 2020 Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) collections will commence for the majority of residents who receive our kerbside collection services.
- The new service will roll out in two phases.
- FOGO collections will be weekly and replace the fortnightly green waste collections.
- Once you start weekly FOGO collections, your waste (landfill) bin collection will switch to a fortnightly service.
- We will provide residents with a small plastic caddy and a roll of compostable caddy liners for collecting food waste in their kitchens.
- Starting from March, if you have a green waste bin, your orange bin lid will be exchanged for a new lime green FOGO bin lid.
- If you do not have a green waste bin, you will receive a new FOGO bin.
From 4 May 2020 City of Boroondara residents will be able to put food waste and garden waste into the same bin. This is an enhancement to the green waste service and will be called Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO).
The FOGO service has been successfully implemented by councils across Australia and around the world, 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 are introducing 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 currently make up more than half the contents of the average Boroondara waste bin. At present, this is sent to landfill, which creates 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.
FOGO will become a permanent council kerbside bin collection service. It will be rolled out in 2 phases:
- Phase 1 commences 4 May 2020 - for standalone houses and blocks of up to 3 units that receive our kerbside collection services.
- Phase 2 will be implemented between May 2020 to June 2021 - for blocks of 4 to 15 units or apartments that receive our kerbside collection services.
Start FOGO sooner
Residents in 'Phase 2' properties who would like to commence FOGO early can complete our online survey to determine their eligibility.
Our waste team will be in touch to confirm your eligibility for early commencement.
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.
Your FOGO bin will be collected weekly alongside recycling bins. 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 waste (landfill) bin service will switch to a fortnightly collection.
Overall, the number of bin collections per week will remain the same.
See your bin collection day.
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.
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. We anticipate that the waste charge will reduce next financial year following service implementation.
Preparations for the FOGO changeover begin in March. We will provide everything you need to get started. Phase 1 properties will receive the following before May 2020:
- 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 will follow in December 2020.
- An education pack, including a FOGO information booklet, ‘FOGO, Recycling and Waste Guide’ and a 2020-21 waste (landfill) bin collection calendar.
- If you have a green waste bin already, your orange bin lid will be exchanged for a new lime green FOGO bin lid. Please leave your bin out until 5pm on your regular fortnightly collection day to allow us to make the swap. If you notice your neighbour's bin has been changed over and we have missed yours, we will be back in a fortnight to attend to it. Please note that the jobs of removing the old lid and installing the new lid are done by different teams, so do not be alarmed if your bin lid disappears. A team will be along to install your lime green lid.
- If you don’t have a green waste bin, you will receive a 120L FOGO bin with a lime green lid.
Please wait until after 4 May to contact us if you do not receive any of these items.
Caddy 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.
When can I start putting food waste in my FOGO bin?
FOGO collections commence from 4 May 2020, so if you already have your FOGO bin you can start adding food waste with your garden waste one week before this date.
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.
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.
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, citrus, chilli and processed foods.
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.
Can I buy soil conditioner produced from Boroondara FOGO bins?
After FOGO commences in May 2020, soil conditioner products made from Boroondara FOGO material will be available for sale through garden centres and other horticultural businesses from October 2020. However, it will be mixed with FOGO material from other councils.
A list of local suppliers will be made available in October 2020.
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.