Get ready to FOGO!

Albany’s residential bin collection service will be adapted to become a Food Organics & Garden Organics (FOGO) system in early 2021.  

Going FOGO means that food scraps and other organic waste like animal droppings and shredded paper will go in your lime green lidded bin, along with your garden waste. The contents of the FOGO bin will be collected, composted and turned into a soil improver that can be used on sites such as the Centennial Park Sporting Precinct.  

Using the FOGO system will divert an estimated 30% - or 2,300 tonnes - of our household waste from landfill each year. Collecting this food waste and composting it instead will help to reduce harmful greenhouse gases and leachate run-off.

As part of the FOGO roll-out, collection frequency and schedules will be changing when FOGO commences and some residents will be receiving a one-off bin lid replacement. Each household will also receive a kitchen caddy and compostable liners to collect food scraps in the kitchen, and comprehensive waste guide to make sorting your waste simple.

More information will be provided directly to each household closer to the changeover to the FOGO system - in the meantime, we've answered some common questions here to help you get ready to FOGO!

What does FOGO mean?

FOGO stands for Food Organics & Garden Organics and refers to the fortnightly collection of food scraps and garden organics, which once collected will be turned into compost.

How does it work?

When the FOGO service begins, residents will be able to place food scraps and other organic waste like animal droppings and shredded paper in their lime-green lidded bin, along with their garden waste.

Why are we changing to the FOGO system?

 The FOGO system will help you separate your waste at the source, so we can recover more as a resource to be used again instead of sending it to landfill.

Currently, about 30% of Albany’s household waste is food scraps. When organic waste breaks down in landfill, methane is released (a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon), it also releases moisture that creates a harmful leachate when combined with rain and condensation.

Going FOGO will help our community divert that waste away from landfill and create high quality compost instead, improving the impact we have on our environment. FOGO is part of the City of Albany’s commitment to a sustainable and progressive approach to waste management.

The FOGO system has been successfully implemented in metropolitan and regional councils in WA and across Australia and is a priority of WA’s Waste Avoidance and Resource Strategy 2030.

What changes will happen to my bin service?

Your household will still have three bins: one for General Waste, a Recycling bin and a FOGO bin (which used to be your green waste bin).

  • 240 litre lime-green lidded FOGO bin: for all food scraps and garden clippings. Collected fortnightly, apart from mid-December to mid-February when there will be a weekly collection.
  • 240 litre yellow lidded Recycling bin: collected fortnightly on the alternate week to your FOGO bin.
  • 140 litre red lidded General Wastebin: for items that can’t be recycled or composted. Collected fortnightly with your FOGO bin, on the alternate week to your Recycling bin.

Households will receive a kitchen caddy and compostable liners to help you collect food scraps in the kitchen. These will be delivered to households at the same time as the change of bin lids (where needed) and will contain handy information to help you sort your waste.

Will there be a change to collection days?

Your bin day will remain the same as it is now. However, all bins will be collected fortnightly so there will be a change to the schedule of which bin is collected each week.

The collection schedule will be:

Week 1: FOGO bin and General Waste bin

Week 2: Recycling bin

Note that from mid-December to mid-February the FOGO bin will be collected weekly. To check your bin days, visit www.albany.wa.gov.au/binday.

Why is the General Waste bin being collected fortnightly?

With the introduction of the FOGO service, you’ll be putting less rubbish in your general waste bin. In our 2018 FOGO trial the majority of households using their FOGO bin for food and garden waste still had space in their general waste bin at the end of the fortnight. 

 You can also reduce the amount of waste your household creates by:

  • Recycling your paper, cardboard, cans, plastic containers and glass bottles and jars.
  • Taking your soft plastic packaging to a REDcycle point at Coles or Woolworths.
  • Taking items such as batteries, light bulbs and e-waste to the drop off point at Fossickers Tip Shop.
  • Avoiding excess packaging wherever possible.

 For more information on reducing your household’s waste, visit www.wastesorted.wa.gov.au.

What goes in each bin?

 FOGO BIN (lime green lid):

  • All food waste, including:
    • Fruit and vegetable scraps
    • Cooked food
    • Meat, bones and seafood
    • Dairy
    • Egg shells
    • Coffee grounds and tea leaves

 

  • Other materials that can go into the FOGO bin:
    • Garden prunings
    • Pet poo
    • Kitty litter
    • Soiled paper, cardboard, napkins and tissues
    • Shredded paper

 The contents of this bin will be composted, so it’s important to keep plastic and glass OUT. All food waste goes 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 - plastic/foam packaging, stickers and labels will contaminate the compost.

Only use compostable liners as these will break down naturally during the composting process. Biodegradable or any other plastic bags/liners are not to go into your FOGO bin as these will not break down.

 

RECYCLING BIN (yellow lid):

Keep your recycling simple and remember only 5 things go in your recycling bin:

  • Paper (NO tissues or paper towel)
  • Cardboard (flattened)
  • Aluminium and steel cans
  • Plastic containers and bottles
  • Glass jars and bottles

 Make sure that containers are rinsed with lids removed. All items should be put loose into your bin (not in bags).

 Soft plastics DON’T go in your recycling bin, but they can be placed in the REDcycle collection bins at local supermarkets for recycling.

 

GENERAL WASTE BIN (red lid):

This bin is for items that can’t be recycled or composted, such as:

  • Nappies and hygiene products
  • Small plastic items such as straws
  • Polystyrene/Styrofoam
  • Tetrapaks and long life milk cartons
  • Ropes, straps and hoses.

 There are some items that should not go in ANY bin, including:

  • Batteries
  • Electronic waste
  • Household chemicals
  • Paint
  • Light globes

You can drop these off at Fossicker’s Tip Shop at the Hanrahan Road Waste Facility, or look for recycling points at retail outlets around the City.

 For a full A-Z list of what goes in which bin, visit Recycle Right.

You can also contact the Waste Team on 6820 3000 or fogo@albany.wa.gov.au.

What if I don't have a Green Waste bin?

We realise that there are some households who don't currently have a Green Waste bin. We are working on an incentive to help make sure that as many people in the community as possible can use the FOGO service, and we will share this information with residents as soon as it is available. In the meantime if don't have a Green Waste bin and you'd like to be the first to know about the incentive program, please email your details to fogo@albany.wa.gov.au

What is a kitchen caddy and how do I use it?

As part of the launch of the FOGO service, the City of Albany will provide each household with a 7L kitchen caddy and a supply of certified compostable caddy liners. The caddy can be used to collect food scraps in the kitchen. The liners can be placed inside the caddy to provide a barrier between the caddy and the food waste. Every few days (or once your caddy is full) you can tie the liner off and transfer to your FOGO bin.

You can also use newspaper, or no liner at all – it’s up to you. If you choose to purchase additional liners, please ensure they are certified compostable and display this symbol:

Please do not use biodegradable or other plastic bags, as these will not break down and will contaminate the compost.

How can I make my compostable liners last longer?

Depending on the amount of food scraps you have, liners can last up to four days. When you need to change the liner, simply tie up and place in your FOGO bin.

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 the liners in the kitchen caddy?

No! Food scraps can be wrapped in newspaper or go straight into your caddy or FOGO bin. Rinse the caddy out after washing up the dishes.

 Please do not use biodegradable or other plastic bags, as these will not break down and will contaminate the compost.

Our household doesn't have much food or garden waste - do we still need to use the FOGO bin?

Even if you don’t have a lot of food or garden waste, residents are encouraged to use the FOGO bin to ensure we can recover as much organic waste as possible.

We already compost at home/have a worm farm/have chooks. Do we still need to use the FOGO bin?

That’s great! We encourage residents to keep composting or feeding scraps to your critters at home. The FOGO bin can complement your compost heap as it can take the things that your compost heap can’t – like weed seeds, excess lawn clippings and leaves, meat, bones and dairy products.  Compost heaps need the right blend of ‘green’ and ‘brown’ materials so if you’ve got excess of one type, you can add it to the green bin, knowing that it will still be composted. Branches that are too thick for the compost heap can also be put in the organics bin (up to 25mm diameter).

Worms can be fussy eaters and often do not like onions, citrus, eggshells and potato peels and there are some things chooks shouldn’t be fed. You can add these things to the FOGO bin instead.

How can I keep my caddy fresh for longer?

  • If using compostable liners, replace them every few days as they will start to break down.
  • Don’t overfill your compostable caddy liners, to prevent breakage. 
  • 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.
  • Let hot substances cool first 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!

 

Top tips to reduce smells and deter insects in your FOGO bin:

  • To reduce odours, make sure you put your FOGO bin out for collection every fortnight, even if it’s not full
  • Any food contaminated cardboard/paper e.g. pizza boxes, paper towel and tissues as well as shredded paper can go in your FOGO bin. These will help absorb moisture and reduce odour.
  • Wrap and place any smelly food scraps such as seafood shells in the freezer until collection day.
  • Keep your bins in the shade with lids tightly closed.
  • Layer cardboard, newspaper or green waste at the bottom of the FOGO bin to help 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 so your bin isn’t too heavy and cut garden waste to size so the lid can be closed.
  • 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.

Top tips to reduce smells and deter insects in your General Waste bin:

  • It’s not always practical, but where possible, tip nappy contents down the toilet before disposal.
  • Wrap nappies tightly in a nappy sack or plastic bag 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).

What about managing nappies?

Nappies should be placed in the red lid General Waste bin.

Unfortunately nearly all bins smell a bit, particularly bins containing nappies. However, research has shown that nappies smell progressively worse for four days and then do not smell any worse (or better) after that. A waste bin containing nappies smells no worse after 14 days than after 7 days!

There are a number of things you can do to reduce the odour in your bin:

  • Wrap the nappy into itself using the tabs.
  • Seal nappies tightly in plastic bags (you can use scented bags) before placing in the garbage bin.
  • It's not always practical, but where possible, tip the contents of the nappy down the toilet before disposing.
  • Store your garbage bin in the shade and out of direct sun if possible.
  • Make sure your bin lid closes properly and there are no cracks in the bin sides.
  • Consider using odour neutralising products in your bin, including cat litter or bicarbonate of soda.
  • Reusable cloth nappies are a great option. Whether using them part-time or full-time, they can help to save space and reduce odours in the garbage bin.

If you have tried other methods to manage smells and you are still struggling please contact the Waste Team on 68203000 or fogo@albany.wa.gov.au for further assistance.

My circumstances make it difficult to separate waste properly, can alternative services be made available?

We understand that in some circumstances residents may require additional options or support. Please get in touch to discuss what tailored solutions can be provided.

 Contact the Waste Team on 68203000 or email fogo@albany.wa.gov.au.

Where do I go for more information?

  • Please visit the other Waste & Sustainability pages on our website
  • Refer to your City of Albany Waste Guide, which will be delivered to all households early in 2021.
  • Contact the Waste Team on 6820 3000 or email fogo@albany.wa.gov.au.