FOGO - frequently asked questions

If you have any questions not covered by the below FAQs, please give us a call on 9273 6000 or email mail@vincent.wa.gov.au to speak with the City's waste team.

FAQs

What is FOGO?

FOGO stands for Food Organics Garden Organics and refers to the collection of food scraps and natural material from your garden to create high quality compost.

Why is the City Implementing FOGO?

Around 55% of rubbish in our green topped bins is organic – food and garden waste. A FOGO bin system will have a major impact on diverting our rubbish from landfill and a great leap towards our target of zero waste to landfill by 2028.

Additionally, under the State Government’s recently revised Waste Strategy 2030, all Councils will need to move to a three bin FOGO system by 2025.

How will it work?

Standard Vincent households will have three bins; a lime green lid Food Organics Garden Organics bin, a yellow lid recycling bin and a smaller red lid general waste bin. 

The FOGO (lime green-lidded) bin will be collected weekly, and your general waste (red-lidded) and recycling (yellow-lidded) bins will be collected on an alternate fortnightly basis. You will also be provided with a kitchen caddy for collecting all your food scraps, along with the first roll of certified compostable liners to get you started.

For people living in a unit or apartment complex where bins are shared, the number of bins required for your unit complex will be based on the size of the units and current bin usage.

When will the new service start?

We will start changing bins over from late October 2021. We are changing bins over in the week your recycling bins are being emptied. This means that you can start using your new bin system straight away! The first FOGO collection service will commence 8th November. 

What will go into which bin?

Lime green lid FOGO bin: All kinds of foods including raw, cooked, or processed foods, cereals, dairy, meat, bones (no plastic packaging). Garden organics including prunings, leaves, lawn clippings, weeds and flowers. You can also place in your FOGO bin shredded paper (loose), soiled / greasy paper, soiled tissues & paper towel, tea bags & coffee grounds, pet droppings & kitty litter (no plastic bags). This bin will be composted so it’s important to keep plastic, metal and glass out of this bin. An easy way to remember is "If it didn't live or grow, it's not FOGO".

Yellow lid recycling bin: Recyclable materials such as paper, cardboard, aluminium and steel cans, glass and plastic containers. Please ensure containers are empty, rinsed, with lids removed and placed in the bin loose. Do not bag your recyclables.

Red lid rubbish bin: General rubbish items that cannot be composted or recycled, such as nappies, soft plastics, silver-lined long life cartons, meat trays, unusable textiles, sponges, broken toys (batteries removed) and hygiene products.

Please ensure you do not put Household Hazardous Waste such as batteries, chemicals, aerosols, gas bottles etc in any of your kerbside bins. These can cause fires and should be dropped to your nearest drop-off centre. For further information see our webpage www.vincent.wa.gov.au/residents/waste-recycling/household-hazardous-waste.aspx

I live in an apartment/unit. How will the FOGO system work for me?

For people living in a unit or apartment complex where bins are shared, the City will determine how many of each of the three bins are required for your unit complex based on the size of the units and current bin usage. Most complexes will receive their new FOGO system from early 2022. Information sessions will be held for each complex and educational material will be distributed to residents to help with the transition to FOGO. Keep an eye out on our website and socials for updates. 

Will the extra bin cost me more?

There will be no additional costs to residents for the standard three bin FOGO service.

Will the FOGO system be rolled out to businesses?

The City will only be implementing FOGO waste collections for residential properties.

What is the size and capacity of the new bins?

Lime green-lidded FOGO bin has a capacity of 240L and this is collected weekly.

Yellow lidded recycling bin has a capacity of 240L and will be collected fortnightly.

Red-lidded general waste bin has a capacity of 140L and will be collected fortnightly.

Residents will have an additional 70 litres capacity per week with the FOGO bin introduction.

The sizes of the bins are based on current best practice and supported by audits of Vincent bins, which show the majority of waste (around 70%) is organic or recyclable materials.

I don't have room on my verge for three bins.

You will only be presenting two bins for collection each week. One week you will present your FOGO bin with your recycling bin, and on the alternate week your FOGO bin with your general waste bin.

I live on a small block and don't have space for a third bin.

The new general waste bin is a slightly smaller 140 litre size with an addition footprint of approximately 50cm. Once the rollout has been completed, if you are still struggling with space on your property, please give the City a call for advice and assistance. 

I already compost, use bokashi or have a worm farm at home. Do I need a FOGO lime green bin?

We encourage residents to continue using your compost bin, bokashi bin or worm farm. You can use your FOGO bin for items you can’t put in your home compost bin such as bones, meat and seafood and excess garden waste. If you use bokashi, you can put the waste material from the bokashi bin into the FOGO bin after it has fermented (if you have nowhere to bury it). 

Will there be changes to collection day?

It is unlikely there will be changes to your current collection day.  If there are any changes you will have plenty of advance notice.

Your FOGO bin will be collected weekly, while general waste and recycling will be collected fortnightly. This will ensure there are never more than two bins on your verge at the same time. Your new kitchen caddy will be delivered along with your new bin and will contain a Waste & Recycling Guide including a Bin Collection schedule so you know when to put each bin out.

What can I line my kitchen caddy with?

You can line your kitchen caddy with certified compostable bag liners, newspaper or go nude, with no lining at all!

You don’t have to use bags – you can put things straight in the bin or wrap them in newspaper. If you use bags, they HAVE to be compostable - not biodegradable, not part plant based, not recycled plastic. Households will be supplied with their first roll of compostable bags and a kitchen caddy at the start of the service to help transition to FOGO.

If you choose to purchase additional liners please ensure they are certified compostable and display this symbol:

How do I get my voucher for my second roll of compostable caddy liners?

Your voucher can be found on the front cover of your Waste & Recycling Guide 2021/22, delivered inside your new kitchen caddy. Simply cut the voucher off and present this at the City of Vincent Library to redeem your second roll of compostable liners. The Library is located at 99 Loftus Street, Leederville. Your voucher is valid through to 30 June 2022. Please bring your ID or a recent rates notice for proof of residency.

Where can I redeem my compostable caddy liners voucher?

Your compostable caddy liners voucher can be redeemed at the City of Vincent Library, 99 Loftus Street, Leederville. Please bring your ID or a recent rates notice for proof of residency.

What do I do with my kitchen caddy once I have received it?

The kitchen caddy is a handy counter-top style bin for easy separation and collection of food and garden organics right there in your kitchen. Cut the zip-tied caddy off your new general waste bin once delivered and take it into your kitchen.

Here’s how to use your caddy:

  • Line your caddy with either:
  • the 100% compostable bin liners, provided in the caddy on delivery
  • newspaper,  junk mail or reuse a paper bag
  • Go nude! Put your scraps straight in the caddy. Simply rinse out after emptying it directly into your FOGO bin.

NOTE: Never use plastic liners in your caddy as these will contaminate the compost. Liners must be 100% compostable.

  • Place all your food scraps in the caddy along with any other compostable materials like coffee grounds, tea bags, paper towels, tissues and soiled paper. Foods should be removed from packaging.
  • After 2-3 days or once the caddy is full, place the contents of your caddy in the lime-green lid FOGO bin.
  • Rinse & repeat! Wipe out or hand wash your caddy. Your kitchen caddy is also dishwasher safe, just remember to pop the lid off to avoid fading of the stamped sorting image on the top.

Is my caddy dishwasher safe?

Yes, your caddy can be placed in the bottom shelf of your dishwasher. Just remember to pop the lid off the caddy to avoid fading of the stamped sorting image on the top.Can I use plastic bags in my FOGO bin?

No! Please don’t use plastic bags as they will not break down and will contaminate the compost. The only bags going into your FOGO bin need to be certified compostable to Australian standards.

Degradable and biodegradable bags are not suitable for composting either – the bags need to be compostable. Compostable bags will break down in the FOGO processing facility, leaving non of the chemical or toxin residue found in plastic.

Ensure your compostable bags have one of the following symbols for Australian Standards for compostable bags.

What happens to the waste in the FOGO bin?

FOGO material will be taken to a regional composting site. The material will be checked for contamination and then undergo a combination of static and forced air composting processes.

The compost produced from FOGO material can be sold to farmers and industry, used in parks and gardens or for rehabilitating land. The potential uses for the compost will be determined by contamination levels.

How can I reduce smells, insects and pests in my FOGO bin?

To minimise odours always ensure that the lids on your bins are properly closed. Research has shown that odours peak after four days and don’t get noticeably better or worse. Washing your bin out with detergent and a broom can also help to alleviate odours.

The lime green lid FOGO bin will be collected weekly so it shouldn’t smell any more than your rubbish bin does now. Your red lid rubbish bin will be collected fortnightly. Most items that cause odours can go in the FOGO bin, with a couple of exceptions, such as disposable nappies and sanitary items. Emptying the poo down the toilet and securing the nappy in a plastic bag will minimise odours. 

Here are some additional tips in reducing smell in your new FOGO bin:

  • Be sure to put your FOGO bin out every week, even if it’s not full.
  • Wrapping food scraps in newspaper can help reduce smells.
  • Layering food waste with dry materials, like leaves, shredded paper and soiled cardboard will help absorb liquids.
  • If possible, allow lawn clippings and garden cuttings to dry out to prevent moisture build up.
  • Freeze particularly odorous food scraps, like seafood and meat, and put them in the organics bin the night before collection.
  • Keep your bins in the shade and ensure lids can properly close by not overfilling the bin.
  • Hang a small mesh bag (like a jewellery bag) filled with a clay based kitty litter from the bin handle into the bin to help absorb smells.
  • Sprinkle baking soda, kitty litter or lemon juice in the bin after empty to reduce odours.

I have multiple kids in nappies, the bin is going to stink and overflow! Can I opt out/keep my 240L general waste bin/have it picked up weekly?

Waste audits undertaken in 2018 have shown that more than approximately 55% of general waste bin contents were recoverable organic food and garden waste, 14% were recyclables, leaving about 31% residual general waste. Although the general waste bin is smaller (140L), after separating out our organics and recyclables with the new 3 bin system, residents will have 50% more capacity in the new red lid general waste bin.

We understand that some households will produce more waste than other households, whether it be a younger family or medical circumstances. We ask that you give the new 3 Bin system a go for a month or so when it is rolled out. If you are finding that you are struggling with the new system, please contact the City for further assistance and advice.

Can I put bioplastics into my FOGO bin? ie. Compostable coffee cups, biodegradable cutlery

Although some bioplastics may be marked compostable or biodegradable, they aren’t accepted in the FOGO bin. This is due to the fact they look identical to the plastic based equivalent and cannot be differentiated in the sorting process. Many solid bioplastics like cutlery also take longer to breakdown than the total FOGO composting process allows for (approx. 6 weeks).

Bioplastics should be placed in your red lid general waste bin. Please opt for a reusable alternative like a keep cup or reusable cutlery set whenever possible.

Will there be any changes affecting my yellow lid recycling bin?

No, there will be no changes to recycling. 

My recycling bin is always full, can I have this collected weekly?

There are presently no plans to increase collection of recycling bins to weekly. Ensure you are sorting your waste correctly into each of your bins to maximise available space. Flatten cardboard boxes and put them along the inside edge of the bin to save room. Please ensure recyclables are loose in the bin and not in plastic bags. If your recycling bin is full, the City currently offers a larger 360 litre recycling bin for a small additional charge. 

For more information on what goes in your recycling bin, please refer to our webpage https://www.vincent.wa.gov.au/what-goes-in-the-recycling-bin.aspx

Can I opt out of having three bins and remain with just the two bin system?

No. Once rolled out, the three bin FOGO service will become the standard collection service in the City. Under the State Government’s recently revised Waste Strategy 2030, all Councils will need to move to a three bin FOGO system by 2025.

We will provide plenty of support and information to all residents ahead of the rollout and beyond to ensure a smooth transition. If you have special circumstances, please contact us for further advice and assistance.

Can we have 3 small bins instead? Why can’t we have 3 smaller bins?

The bin sizes the City will be using are based on the Waste Authority’s Better Practice FOGO Kerbside Collection Guidelines.  These Guidelines, which include source-separated FOGO, comprise the following bin infrastructure and collection frequencies:

  • General waste: 140 litres per fortnight
  • Co-mingled recycling: no less than 240 litres per fortnight
  • FOGO: preference – 240 litres per week

The collection volume for each service is important to maximise recovery and minimise general waste.

The City of Vincent has entered into a funding agreement with the State Governments Better Bins Plus system and is therefore required to implement kerbside services consistent with these guidelines.

The Better Practice Guidelines require provision of a minimum of 240L volume for recycling per fortnight and the City is not planning to divert from this standard service at the current time.

The City may consider smaller FOGO bin infrastructure at a future date (i.e. for people in Multi-Unit Developments/with home compost/space restrictions etc.) but this would be on a case by case basis after the initial roll-out has been completed. However, as we are utilising residents existing general waste bins for FOGO (i.e. only replacing the bin lid), there is also an associated cost and environmental impact in replacing this infrastructure ahead of its end of life. 

I already have the smaller general waste bin as part of the waste reduction subsidy in 2018, how will the changeover work for me?

 Please put your bin out on the verge for collection day as usual. Your 140L general waste bin lid will be replaced with a red lid and we will drop off a 240L FOGO bin and a kitchen caddy.