The new FOGO (food organics, garden organics) bin system in Cottesloe has been even more successful than predicted, thanks to the enthusiastic cooperation of residents.
Six months of placing food waste in the lime green-lidded FOGO bin rather than the red-lidded general waste bin has resulted in a 40% reduction in general waste being sent to landfill – a result far better than the modelling predicted.
“This is a very promising start for Cottesloe’s FOGO; we’re gratified to see this significant decrease in general waste due to FOGO,” said Libby Eustance from the Western Metropolitan Regional Council (WMRC), which has worked alongside Cottesloe through the transition.
“There is more data analysis to do but what is even more interesting is that the combined waste in the FOGO and general waste bins has gone down by 7% compared to the same period last year.
“Cottesloe’s results will provide impetus to the roll-out of FOGO services across the rest of the western suburbs.”
In addition to the reduction in waste, the FOGO being collected in Cottesloe has a very low contamination rate – less than three per cent.
Cottesloe Mayor Lorraine Young said the success of FOGO was testament to the community’s flexibility in adopting new habits and their commitment to sustainability and environmentally friendly initiatives.
“Our community has responded extremely well to a whole new way of dealing with food waste, which is fantastic to see.
“We are proud to be the first Local Government in the Western Suburbs to make the change to FOGO and we thank our community for getting on board the new system with so much enthusiasm.
“We are also very pleased to see that as well as the major environmental benefits of FOGO, an additional benefit is that through the reduction of waste, the new system is also saving the Town money”, Mayor Young added.
Haven’t got your head around FOGO yet? It’s easy – just place all your food waste (including meat, seafood, dairy, eggshells, and coffee grounds) in your lime green-lidded FOGO bin along with any garden waste like lawn clippings or prunings. Each household has been provided with a FOGO caddy and compostable liners. For ease of use and minimal mess, the WMRC recommends lining the caddy and keeping it in your kitchen to collect your scraps. Then simply tie the liner and place it in your FOGO bin for weekly collection on your normal bin day.
You can purchase extra compostable liners from the Town of Cottesloe Administration Centre or from most supermarkets and Bunnings stores. Just make sure they display the certified compostable symbol.
Your FOGO bin shouldn’t normally smell or attract pests, but with the summer heat and an abundance of Christmas food scraps, a little extra care will go a long way to keep things tidy. To avoid attracting pests, the WMRC recommends tying up caddy liners or wrapping scraps in newspaper, and ensuring your FOGO bin and caddy lids are always kept closed. Try freezing particularly odorous food scraps like seafood and only putting them in the FOGO bin the night before collection.
Once your FOGO is collected, it’s taken to a facility in Gingin and processed into Australian Standard compost for use on parks and gardens.
FOGO compost from Cottesloe and other local government areas will soon be available for purchase by the bag.
“Ultimately the aim of FOGO is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated by food waste rotting in landfill, and instead feed the soils that feed us” says Libby Eustance.
“We’re looking forward to seeing locally-made FOGO compost going back onto people’s gardens and continuing the cycle.”
The City of Subiaco will transition to a FOGO service in May 2023 with the Town of Mosman Park following suit later in the year. All Perth and Peel Councils have a target to adopt a three bin FOGO service by 2025.