Managing waste wisely

What goes around comes around – in life and in FOGO

If you’ve got a FOGO bin at your place, the food scraps and garden organics you’ve been placing into it are about to make their way back to you – in the form of a soil-enriching compost for your garden.

FOGO-derived compost is now available for purchase at the West Metro Recycling Centre in Shenton Park for $5.50 a bag.

Roughly a quarter of each bag was once FOGO collected from local councils. The rest is comprised of soil-enriching minerals, green waste, and agricultural waste, all combined to make a rich product that is certified to Australian standards.

After being collected from the verge each week, the contents of your FOGO bins are tipped at the West Metro Recycling Centre in Shenton Park, before being transferred to a processor in Gingin and combined with other materials. After a 2-week heating process to kill pathogens and weeds and a 12-week aerobic composting process to break down the materials, it’s ready to be bagged for sale. Then it’s on to your garden to nurture your plants – and the cycle of FOGO begins again.

The cycle of FOGO

“It’s a great example of the circular economy in action,” said Libby Eustance, Acting CEO at the Western Metropolitan Regional Council.

“When food waste goes to landfill, that’s the end of it. Landfill is a sealed environment, so all that goodness is trapped and wasted – while at the same time producing methane and other potent greenhouse gases as it breaks down without oxygen.

“It makes much more sense to turn food waste into compost and put it to use increasing the nutrients in our sandy soils, so we can continue the cycle.”

Adopting a FOGO bin system for food scraps and garden organics has been found to reduce the amount of general waste sent to landfill, with recent data from the Town of Cottesloe showing a reduction of 40 per cent in the first six months.

The rollout of lime green lidded FOGO bins in Subiaco is currently underway, with collections set to begin on 22 May.

“We’re looking forward to having the City of Subiaco come on board with weekly FOGO collections to reduce their waste to landfill very soon,” said Libby Eustance.

Find out how to use your FOGO-derived compost

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