Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO)


Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) or ‘green waste bins are expected mid-2025 to 2026

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What is a FOGO bin? Why is it different to a green waste bin?

FOGO stands for Food Organics and Garden Organics. Your FOGO bin will be a standalone third wheelie bin, alongside your Yellow Recycling and Red Landfill bins.

Your FOGO bin is more than just a green waste bin – it accepts food organics. That includes fruit and veggie scraps, meat and bones (raw and cooked), seafood, eggs, dairy, bread, cakes, pasta, rice and more.

Because a FOGO bin accepts more than just green waste, its contents need to be processed differently to prevent them from becoming a biohazard. The contents of your FOGO bin will be collected turned into compost and soil conditioner through an industrial composting system.

What are the benefits of FOGO?

There are so many reasons why Council is including FOGO in its waste collection services.

  • Recycling the community’s food and garden organics is an important step in helping our environment. Your organic waste, which would otherwise go to landfill, will be turned into high quality compost and soil conditioner that can be put to good use in parks, gardens and farms, and rehabilitating land.
  • By removing food from landfill, you’re helping to reduce the methane - a toxic greenhouse gas 26 times more potent than carbon dioxide - that rotting food emits as it undergoes anaerobic decomposition in landfill.
  • By separating food organics in your FOGO bin, you’ll have more room in your landfill bin.
  • If you already compost, FOGO will help you responsibly dispose of material you wouldn’t normally compost or put in your worm farm at home, like certified compostable single use items, dog droppings, compostable kitty litter, citrus, onion, meat, bones, dairy, seafood scraps and leftovers.
  • If you currently take green waste to your local Transfer Station, you may no longer need to make those trips, saving you time.
  • It will increase the lifespan of our current landfill, by reducing the amount of waste disposed of in it.
  • Doesn’t it feel good to be part of the solution by contributing less to the climate crisis?

What goes in a FOGO bin?

FOGO stands for Food Organics and Garden Organics.  

Anything that grows belongs in the green FOGO bin. This includes all food waste (including meat, fish, bones, fruit, vegetables, leftovers, scraps, bread and more) and garden organics (such as grass clippings, weeds, rose cuttings and more). Material placed in the green FOGO bin is collected by Council’s waste collection contractors and taken to a specialised processing facility where it is turned into compost and soil conditioner. Today's food and garden scraps will help grow tomorrow’s fruit and vegetables.

Who will receive a FOGO bin?

Anyone who currently receives a kerbside waste collection through Council will have a FOGO bin dropped off at their house at the time of rollout.

Why is it taking so long to get FOGO bins?

We understand, it’s been a slow-moving process. We're aiming to roll out a FOGO bin (food organics and garden organics) as soon as possible, depending on processing capabilities within Gippsland.

Frustratingly, it takes time to ensure local infrastructure for processing organics is in place.  

Currently, green waste is collected at our Transfer Stations and is processed by Council’s contractor, who turns it into mulch and dirt. Once food organics are added to the mix, it needs to be processed differently to be safely turned into compost and soil conditioner, without becoming a biohazard. This can involve the need for contractors to build specialised processing infrastructure, such as in-vessel composting silos.

Wellington Shire Council has been part of a joint procurement process, working with Bass Coast Shire, Baw Baw Shire, East Gippsland Shire, Latrobe City and South Gippsland Shire Councils to secure the contracts for the collection, transport, processing and recycling of kerbside waste.

This ‘Gippswide Kerbside’ tender evaluation panel is still finalising contract details with the preferred tenderer for FOGO processing. At this stage, we’re expecting FOGO to be rolled out to residents by mid-2025 to 2026.

The state government has legislated all households have access to services for glass recycling by 2027, and to food organics and garden organics by 2030. According to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, currently only about 38 per cent of Australians have access to FOGO (as of November 2023). The infrastructure needed to process nearly triple the volume currently generated by Australians is simply not there yet, but we are hopeful the state government’s timeline will bring forward some innovation and investment in the FOGO space.

How can I get rid of my green waste while I wait for a FOGO bin?

In the meantime, there are a few options to dispose of garden waste.

  • Green waste can be taken to all our Transfer Stations, excluding Dargo Transfer Station. Fees for green waste can be viewed on our Waste Disposal (Tip) Fees page. Transfer stations accept garden green waste and shrubbery, branches and prunings with a max diameter of 250mm and grass (minimal dirt).
  • There are a number of local private companies locally that offer green waste disposal services.
  • Home composting is a great way to break down organic waste at home – for free! For more information on how to compost, see our fact sheet.

What will a FOGO service look like?

Every household that currently gets a kerbside collection will get an organics bin, which will be collected weekly. Residents will receive a kitchen caddy to collect their food scraps, which they can then add to their new 240 litre FOGO wheelie bin, which will have a lime green lid. In the lead up to the introduction of the new kerbside service, all residents will receive information about the changes and how to use the new FOGO service.

Will FOGO cost more?

Yes. While we would love to introduce this service for free, it will cost more in order to cover collection and processing costs. The additional charge will appear as an increase to the waste service charge on your rates.

Can I opt out of my FOGO bin and not pay the FOGO charge?

No. The state government has mandated every household has a four-stream waste system or equivalent by 2030, which will be made up of landfill, commingled recycling, food organics and garden organics (FOGO) and glass.

When everyone is working together to effectively use the FOGO service, it will minimise the amount of waste sent to landfill, minimise our methane output, extend the lifespan of our current landfill and better help our environment.

Will there be changes in frequency of collection?

Yes. With the introduction of weekly FOGO bins, collection of landfill bins will change to fortnightly. We are changing our garbage collection services to increase the amount of waste we divert from landfill and reduce our impact on the environment.

The additional bin provides extra capacity, so there is no reduction in service. It is important each household sorts their waste efficiently to get the best use out of their bins.

Data collected across Victoria indicates food waste makes up more than 45% of the contents of the average household landfill bin, while material that could have been sorted into the commingled recycling bin make up a further 10%.

For the average Victorian household, the other 45% consists of items that can’t be placed into the commingled recycling bin, and that create less odour than food and garden organics. Most households should not experience odour or hygiene issues from less frequent collection of the landfill bin.

We understand that some households may struggle with a fortnightly garbage service so we will consider each household on a case-by-case basis.

What has Council already done?

In 2019, Council released its Sustainability Strategy 2020-24. The Strategy outlines the actions needed to help Council work ‘Towards a Circular Economy’ and achieve its targets.

In September 2023, Wellington Shire Council awarded a new 10-year contract to Cleanaway in Gippsland to collect general household waste and recycling. Over the next few years, Council will team up with Cleanaway to introduce important changes to its current waste service, including the separation of glass and a third bin for food and garden organics for all residential properties that currently receive a kerbside collection service.

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