What is FOGO?
Brighton Council introduced a FOGO (Food Organics, Garden Organics) service in 2021.
The FOGO service is the third kerbside bin, 240 litres in size, for food scraps and garden waste only. The bin has a lime green lid and is collected fortnightly on a different day to your other bins.
If you have recently started using Council’s FOGO service or need a refresher, find your Welcome to FOGO information brochure here: Welcome to Brighton Council’s FOGO Service
- Benefits for Residents
- Benefits for the Environment
- What do I get as part of the FOGO service?
- What does FOGO cost?
- What does the Tasmanian Government waste levy have to do with FOGO?
- What CAN I put in my FOGO bin?
- What CAN'T I put in my FOGO bin?
- I don't think I have enough food scraps or garden waste to need a FOGO bin?
- Can I opt-out of FOGO?
- What happens to FOGO waste once it is collected?
- What will be delivered to my home as part of a FOGO service?
- How should I look after my kitchen caddy and FOGO wheelie bin?
- How do I know which caddy liners are certified compostable for FOGO?
- When will my FOGO bin be collected?
- What happens if my FOGO bin is too heavy?
A FOGO collection greatly reduces the amount of waste that goes into your general waste bin. This is helpful if you have difficulty fitting your waste into your existing bin.
It’s a shortcut for those who can’t currently compost or aren’t sure about how to compost at home.
A FOGO collection helps you to dispose of organic waste you perhaps wouldn’t normally compost at home, like meat, dairy, citrus, eggshells, banana skins plus pet fur and pet waste; and weeds, diseased plants and bigger twigs and branches if you don’t have access to a mulching machine.
If you have normally taken green waste to the Waste Transfer Station, you’ll no longer need to make those trips, saving you money and time. If you have a lot of garden waste, you can spread it across multiple collections.
FOGO reduces the amount of waste going to landfill and helps save all ratepayers increased costs associated with landfill due to the waste levy that has been introduced in Tasmania.
Household food waste is the largest source of food waste in Australia and a major focus for governments.
When food and garden waste rots in landfill it creates harmful greenhouse gases, takes up space and requires more and bigger landfills.
Food and garden waste collected by FOGO is turned into compost and used to improve the soil health of Tasmania’s gardens and farms.
When FOGO waste is taken out of landfills, space is saved for all garbage that can’t be recycled and there is a significant drop in the volume of greenhouse gases produced.
All residential properties receive a 240 litre wheelie bin for FOGO with a lime green lid, the same size as your recycling bin. If you currently live in a dwelling where there are multiple units and shared bins you won’t automatically receive a FOGO bin but you can receive one upon request.
Each household is also be provided with a small bucket (with a lid and handle) called a kitchen caddy, just like the small compost or ‘chook’ buckets you might already have in your kitchen for food scraps. You can place the kitchen caddy near your normal rubbish bin, on your bench near where you prepare food, or under the kitchen sink. When it is full simply empty it into your FOGO wheelie bin.
The FOGO wheelie bin is collected fortnightly, on a different day to your other bins.
The charge is shown on your Annual Rate Notice as Garbage Service Charge – FOGO. The full annual charge for a FOGO service is currently $75 or $2.90 per fortnight (2023/24).
In 2022, the Tasmanian Government introduced a levy on all waste sent to landfill across Tasmania. This is one of many initiatives in the Government’s Waste Action Plan to improve the recovery of valuable and re-usable materials, and minimise what resources are lost forever once buried in landfill.
Under a waste levy, businesses, councils and their communities who divert waste away from landfill by separating their recyclables, using FOGO or home composting, supporting re-use facilities such as salvage yards and Tip Shops, and taking advantage of Product Stewardship Schemes such as PaintBack and MobileMuster pay less than those who don’t.
Doing the right thing by reducing waste to landfill is rewarded. Councils and businesses that generate lower amounts of landfill waste have lower waste levy costs. This means lower costs for the ratepayer. As an added reward, they also benefit from the waste-reduction services, education programs and facilities funded by those generating higher amounts of landfill waste.
To find out more visit Rethink Waste Tasmania website:
Residents receive a 240 litre wheelie bin with a light green lid for any organic waste, including:
- Food scraps – vegetables, seafood (including all seafood shells e.g oyster, crayfish), dairy, meat and bones (cooked or raw), teabags (but not the pyramid-type teabags), coffee grounds and egg shells, small amounts of oils and fats;
- Garden waste – grass clippings, leaves, bark, twigs, plants and weeds (including diseased and noxious weeds as FOGO is processed at high temperatures);
- Shredded paper, paper towels, paper napkins, tissues, cotton wool balls (if 100% cotton) and cotton buds with wooden sticks;
- Food-contaminated or food soiled cardboard (e.g. pizza boxes with food on them);
- Personal cuttings – hair from hairbrushes or haircuts, and nail clippings; and
- Animal waste – such as pet hair, poo, organic / natural kitty litter and soiled paper from bird cages;
If it doesn’t rot, or decompose, you can’t put it in a FOGO bin. “If it didn’t live or grow, it’s not FOGO.”
This means NO to:
• Plastics (not even bio-degradable plastic bags);
• Fabric (e.g. clothing);
• Dryer lint (will contain man-made fibres e.g. nylon, polyester etc);
• Vacuum cleaner bag contents (will contain inorganic residue);
• Hard waste or broken household items, like furniture or plates and cups;
• Plastic take-away containers;
• Hazardous or contaminated waste, like asbestos;
• Thick branches; and
• Nothing that is currently allowed to go in your recycling bin.
Australians discard up to 20% of the food they purchase. This equates to 1 in every 5 bags of groceries purchased. When you throw out food you also waste the water, fuel and resources it took to get the food from the paddock to your home. Most people do not think of their ‘food-print’, but on average, research has shown that we waste 1kg per person per week or 5.46 litres.
There are two types of food waste: ‘avoidable’ and ‘unavoidable’. Unavoidable is the inedible parts of food – trim, peel, shells, bones etc. Avoidable food waste comes from leftover meals or cooking too much (e.g. pasta/rice), when food is out of date, stale, too soft or hard to eat anymore or gone past the expiry date. Most of our ‘avoidable’ and ‘unavoidable’ food waste can go into a FOGO bin and you might be surprised as to how much your household actually produces.
Even if you don’t have a garden, we still need to stop food waste going to landfill. A FOGO bin is not like a regular waste bin, we do not expect it to ever be full if you do not have garden waste. However every little bit of food waste not going to landfill helps the environment.
All food scraps in landfill, no matter how small, make methane and become a greenhouse gas.
By recycling your food scraps in a FOGO bin, you will help stop a major environmental problem.
We recognize that some people genuinely might not need or be able to use/afford the FOGO service.
An opt-out form is available here for you to complete online: FOGO Opt-out Form
Residents can apply for their home to have an exemption based on the following:
CRITERIA 1: Home Composter
You may qualify for the ‘Home Composter’ exemption if you can demonstrate that you are effectively managing the organic waste (e.g. garden waste and food scraps) that your property generates through a variety of methods. It is worth considering before you apply to opt out, that there are things you can put in a FOGO bin that you wouldn’t normally put in your home compost, including meat, dairy, pet waste and diseased plants. You will be required to fill out an exemption form describing your home composting method and some photos of your home composting. Council will conduct some random audits/visits on these households to verify there is a composting system at the address.
CRITERIA 2: Financial Hardship
If you are experiencing financial hardship, you will be able to contact Brighton Council customer service and ask about applying for an exemption based on Council’s Financial Hardship Policy or rates assistance to keep your FOGO bin if desired. Council’s Financial Hardship Policy can be found on Council’s website as follows: https://www.brighton.tas.gov.au/council/policies/
The application form for Financial Hardship Assistance can be found here.
CRITERIA 3: Exceptional Circumstances
You may qualify for the Exceptional Circumstances exemption if you can demonstrate that there are exceptional or unusual circumstances which make the provision of a FOGO service unreasonable or impractical.
The FOGO waste is delivered to Barwick’s FOGO sorting facility located right here in Bridgewater. The FOGO waste is weighed, decontaminated on a conveyor sorting line and finally shredded ready to be transported to Interlaken for composting in windrows.
After about 14 weeks, the compost is screened to 12mm minus. Presently most FOGO compost goes into premium garden mix.
Farmers and gardeners are more and more thinking about the importance of getting carbon back into our soils. Carbon is the main component of soil organic matter and helps give soil its water-retention capacity, its structure, and its fertility.
Click here for more information on what happens to your FOGO.
The FOGO wheelie bin is a 240 litre bin with a lime green lid, the same size as your recycling bin. If you currently live in a dwelling where there are three (3) or more units and shared bins you won’t automatically receive a FOGO bin.
Along with the FOGO wheelie bin, households receive a kitchen caddy. This is a small bucket with handle and hinged lid that is approximately 22cm high and 24cm wide in a dark grey colour. You can place the kitchen caddy near your normal rubbish bin, on your bench near where you prepare food, or under the kitchen sink. When it is full simply empty it into your FOGO wheelie bin.
Accompanying the delivery of your bins will be information on what can and can’t go in FOGO, tips on keeping you bins clean and a note on when you collection day will be (FOGO will be collected fortnightly on a different day to your other bins).
- Add some paper towel or newspaper to the bottom of your kitchen caddy before you put food scraps in to absorb any liquids.
- Keep your kitchen caddy out of direct sunlight.
- Don’t let raw meat or other smelly items sit in the caddy for too long (e.g. fish or prawn shells). One idea is to freeze these types of items until your FOGO collection day.
- Give your caddy a wipe down or a wash out on a regular basis.
- Try and keep your FOGO wheelie bin out of the sunlight to minimise smells.
- Put a layer of newspaper, grass clippings or shredded paper in the bottom of your wheelie bin as a first layer to form a compostable ‘mat’ at the bottom of the bin.
- Wrap pet poo in newspaper before putting in your FOGO bin. Definitely no plastic bags in FOGO!
- Just like your other wheelie bins, give it a hose out from time to time and an occasional dusting of bi-carbonate soda can help if your bin is starting to smell.
VERY IMPORTANT: Never put plastic bags in your caddy or FOGO wheelie bin, not even degradable, biodegradable or ‘plant based’ bags. They can still contain plastic and breakdown to become ‘micro-plastics’ that end up in the soil.
Plastic bin liners can easily contaminate FOGO loads. It is strongly preferred that residents opt for no plastic liners at all and use paper instead. However, if a certified compostable liner must be used then it must be certified under one of the following certifications: AS 5810, AS 4736, ASTM D6400, and EN13432.
Look for the following symbol on the packaging:
The FOGO bins are collected fortnightly. Please put your FOGO bin out for collection on the alternate week to when your rubbish and recycling bins are collected. For example, if your rubbish and recycling is collected on a Tuesday, please put your FOGO bin out on the alternate Tuesday. Your FOGO waste is taken to Barwicks in Bridgewater to begin the journey to becoming compost for gardens and farms throughout Tasmania.
Your FOGO bin cannot weigh more than 80kg as the truck cannot pick it up. You may need to remove some contents and leave for next collection.
Please be conscious of not placing too much heavy matter in your FOGO bin.
A couple of tips are:
- Let your green waste dry out before you place it in your bin.
- Don’t collect your lawn clippings in the mower catcher but rather let the clippings mulch back into the lawn.