FOGO Frequently Asked Questions

 

Please feel free to browse the below set of FAQs. Just click the question to reveal the answer. Or download this PDF version to print out.

1. Why is the Shire of Dardanup implementing a change in waste management?

There are 4 main reasons we’re making this change:

  1. We’ve come to the end of our current contractor agreement and that means we have an opportunity to explore how waste can be handled better and in a more cost effective way before engaging a new contractor.
  2. Good news! We’ve been offered funding of up to $25 per Shire bin through the WA Waste Authority’s Better Bins Program to offset the cost of moving to a 3-bin, FOGO system.
  3. Various consultations with our community in recent years (Strategic Community Plan; 2050 Vision; Sustainability Advisory Group meeting) have consistently voiced interest in measures to improve sustainability and how we handle our waste.
  4. The State Government has set new state-wide targets for waste reduction and recovery under the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Act 2007. Recovery rates (% of waste diverted to landfill) in the Shire of Dardanup show we have work to do if we are to meet those targets. This change will be a big step for us in improving our recovery rates.

2. Why are we changing to a new FOGO bin system?

The Shire of Dardanup is committed to reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill. We also want to provide our community with a waste service that is:

  • Efficient and effective
  • Value for money
  • Meeting your needs and expectations of us
  • Environmentally-sensitive
  • Forward thinking and embraces new technologies such as waste to energy

We think there has never been a better time than now to achieve these outcomes as the culmination of several factors means we can provide a new FOGO service for less than $5 per household (that’s around the cost of a cup of coffee!).

You may be surprised to learn that on average, around 60% of the rubbish we put in our general waste bin is FOGO material. And once in landfill, food waste breaks down and emits greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) – a gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The waste collected in your new FOGO bin will be converted to high-quality compost for use on farms, parks and gardens and will prevent organic waste going to landfill.

The 3-bin FOGO system has been embraced by many of our neighbouring local government areas including the City of Bunbury and shires of Capel, Collie and Harvey. We feel sure Shire of Dardanup residents will embrace the system too!

3. What is FOGO?

“FOGO” stands for Food Organics Garden Organics and refers to the weekly collection of food waste, as well as natural material from your garden. FOGO waste makes up a significant proportion of general waste and can be diverted away from landfill. It can also be turned into compost, soil conditioner and mulch.

As a general rule, any waste that is from a plant or animal can go in the FOGO bin.

4. When will the roll-out happen?

The FOGO bin system rollout is expected to take place in October 2021.

5. How will the FOGO rollout work?

When we rollout FOGO in October 2021, your household will have three separate bins as well as a kitchen caddy to enable the separation of waste.

Your bin system will comprise of a 140 litre red lidded general rubbish bin, 240 litre yellow lidded recycling bin and a 240 litre green lidded FOGO bin.

Your current 240 General Waste bin will be converted into a FOGO bin. The Shire will replace the lid on your current General Waste bin with a new lime green lid. Your new converted FOGO bin will be where you place all your food scraps and garden clippings. This bin will be collected weekly, and the contents will be turned into high-quality compost.

You will receive a new kitchen caddy at the same time your general waste bin is changed over to a FOGO bin, accompanying the caddy will be compostable liners. You will find information inside the kitchen caddy that will help you use your new bins.

Your household will keep the yellow-lidded Recycling Bin, which will be collected fortnightly. A larger 360 litre yellow-topped recycling bin may be provided upon request for a small additional charge.

You will receive a new 140 litre red-lidded General Waste bin for general rubbish items that can’t be recycled or turned into compost. Items disposed of in this bin will be sent to landfill and collected on the alternative fortnight to your yellow-topped recycling bin.

You can start using your new bins straight away. Your FOGO bin will be collected weekly on your usual collection day and your recycling and general waste bin will be collected on alternate fortnights.

  • Green lidded FOGO bin collected weekly
  • Yellow lidded Recycling bin collected fortnightly
  • Red lidded General Waste bin collected fortnightly

Each week your household will put two bins out for collection, either FOGO and Recycling or FOGO and General Waste. You will find your collection calendar inside your kitchen caddy, or visit this page of our website for further information on bin collection days.

If you find your household is struggling with capacity issues following the change to the new bin system, you may contact the Shire who can assist with a range of solutions.

6. What is this costing?

Based on new contract prices and a State Government Grant, the cost to ratepayers will be less than an additional $5 per household on existing waste charges. (Or around the cost of a cup of coffee!)

7. What can I put in each bin?

For a full A-Z list of recyclable materials, visit Watch Your Waste website via this link.

Green lidded FOGO bin, collected weekly.

All food organics including raw and cooked meat, bread, dairy, bones, shells, and garden organic waste. The contents of this bin will be composted so it is important to keep contaminants like plastic and glass out of this bin. All food waste goes into your FOGO bin either in a compostable liner, wrapped in newspaper or loose in the bin. Please make sure food that is to be disposed of is removed from packaging before being placed in the bin as any plastic packaging can contaminate the compost.

You can also place pet droppings and kitty litter into this bin either straight into the bin or in a compostable liner. Biodegradable plastic liners are not for use in your new FOGO bin as they don’t break down naturally like the compostable ones.

Yellow lidded recycling bin, collected fortnightly.

Recyclable materials only, including:

  • Paper (excluding shredded paper)
  • Cardboard (flattened)
  • Glass (clean and empty, with lids removed)
  • Plastic containers and plastic bottles (clean and empty, with lids removed)
  • Aluminium cans (clean and empty)
  • Steel cans (clean and empty).
  • All items should be clean, dry and empty with lids removed and placed in the bin loosely, please do not wrap items in a rubbish bag.

The following items should not be placed into your yellow lidded recycling bin:

  • Plastic bags and plastic film
  • Nappies
  • Meat trays and polystyrene
  • Clothes and textiles
  • Garden and food waste
  • Gas bottles and aerosol cans
  • Electronic waste and batteries
  • Ropes, cables and hose
  • Materials in bags

Red lidded General Waste bin, collected fortnightly

Items to be disposed of in this bin include general rubbish that cannot be composted or recycled, such as nappies, polystyrene, plastic bags and soft plastics.

8. I am still unsure about what I can put in each bin.

Click here for a complete A-Z list detailing where to put your FOGO, Recycling and General Waste materials.

9. Why is the size of the general waste bin changing?

On average, around 60 per cent of the waste we put in the General Waste bin is FOGO material. When food and garden waste is sent to landfill, it generates harmful methane gas and contributes to higher processing costs through landfill fees.

Using your new FOGO bin as suggested means there will be a whole lot less going into your General Waste bin. And your FOGO materials can be converted into high quality, valuable compost.

All food waste including leftovers, peelings, cooked and raw meat, bones, shells, bread, seafood and dairy products can go into the FOGO bin, along with paper products like tissues, napkins, shredded paper, soiled newspaper and soiled pizza boxes.

10. What if I need a bigger bin?

The addition of a FOGO bin to your waste collection service means 3 bins and more total bin capacity. If you’re sorting your waste correctly, research and experience shows a smaller General Waste bin should be adequate for most households.

However if your household has special circumstances which require a larger General Waste Bin, you are welcome to make this request in writing stating the details of your special circumstances (eg medical condition, large family, other extenuating circumstances), by emailing records@dardanup.wa.gov.au and your request will be considered by our Waste Management Team.

11. Our household doesn’t produce much food or garden waste. Do we still need the FOGO bin?

You may be surprised by what is classified as FOGO waste. For example, did you know that used pizza boxes can go straight into your FOGO bin?

Even if you think your household does not produce a large quantity of food or garden waste, residents are encouraged to use the FOGO bin to ensure as much organic waste as possible is recovered. Any food and garden waste that is sent to landfill generates harmful methane gas and equates to higher processing costs through landfill fees.

All your food waste including leftovers, peelings, cooked and raw meat, bones, shells, bread, seafood and dairy products can go into the FOGO bin, along with paper products like tissues, napkins, shredded paper, soiled newspaper and soiled pizza boxes.

12. We already compost at home, why do I need the FOGO bin?

As a home composter you’re already making a great contribution to waste reduction in our Shire, so thank you! We think you will find your new FOGO bin useful for things you can’t put in your home compost bin like bones, meat, seafood and pizza boxes.

13. What if I don’t want the new FOGO bin? Can I opt out?

Unfortunately not. Once rolled out, the FOGO service will become the standard collection service for the majority of the Shire of Dardanup. We encourage all households to consider the impact of waste in both the Shire and globally and participate to the best of their ability in sorting waste at the source and limiting waste contamination.

We are here to help you, if you have concerns or wish to discuss any issues that may restrict you from participating in the new system, please contact the Shire of Dardanup on (08) 9724 0000 or email records@dardanup.wa.gov.au

14. I don’t have room to store a bin that I am not going to use.

The Shire of Dardanup encourages everyone to participate to the best of their ability and get behind the FOGO program by sorting their waste correctly and placing food organics and garden organics into the green lidded FOGO bin.  If you already compost, you can still utilise the FOGO for other organics that can’t be placed in your compost bin such as bones, meat, seafood shells and pet waste.

We can reduce waste together by sorting at home we’ll improve our recycling record and remove organic waste from landfill and create high quality compost for use on farms and gardens.

We are here to help you, if you have concerns or wish to discuss any issues that may restrict you from participating in the new system, please contact the Shire of Dardanup on (08) 9724 0000 or email records@dardanup.wa.gov.au

15. How do I prevent odours from my FOGO bin?

Placing a layer of dry material at the bottom of the FOGO bin will prevent food scraps and other FOGO material from sticking to the bottom of your bin. Using a natural deodoriser such as coffee, lemon or vinegar work well, sprinkling some bicarbonate of soda in the bottom of the bin works to reduce odours also. Washing your bin after it is emptied also helps to reduce the buildup of odours.

More ideas to reduce odours from your FOGO bin:

  • Put your green FOGO bin out for collection each week, even if your bin isn’t full
  • Keep your green waste bin in the shade
  • Do not overfill your FOGO bin; make sure you can close the lid properly
  • Layer food waste in between garden prunings

16. Can I use biodegradable liners in my kitchen caddy if I run out of compostable liners?

Unfortunately, biodegradable and compostable are not the same. Many items labelled as ‘degradable’ and ‘biodegradable’ are still partially made with plastic and break down into harmful micro-plastics.

Only liners/bags and other products displaying these symbols and certified Australian Standard numbers can go into the FOGO bin.

Liners/bags made from a mixture of plant and plastic materials must be placed in your red-lidded general waste bin, as they cannot be recycled.

17. What happens if I run out of compostable liners?

These are commercially available at hardware stores such as Bunnings and MJ Goods in Treendale.

18. Do I have to use the provided kitchen caddy?

Please feel free to use any method to collect your food waste. If the provided kitchen caddy is not your preferred option, feel free to separate your food waste by another method. Please consider repurposing the caddy or returning it to the Shire offices for distribution to another household.

If you do not wish to use the compostable liners provided by the Shire, you can place your FOGO waste directly into the green lidded FOGO bin or wrap your food waste in newspaper first before placing it into the FOGO bin.

If you don’t wish to use any form of liner or wrapping for your food waste, you can place the items directly into your FOGO bin.

19. Does the change in our waste service impact the proposed expansion at the Banksia Road waste facility?

No. These are separate issues.

20. What happens to the compost created from the FOGO waste?

Organics waste produces mulch, compost and soil conditioner which is then made available back to the open market.  The Shire doesn’t conduct this process, but does take an interest in ensuring that its FOGO waste is processed to reduce waste to landfill.

21. How do I obtain the FOGO compost to use in my garden?

Currently, the Bunbury Harvey Regional Council (BHRC) at Stanley Road processes FOGO waste and makes the by-products (soil conditioner, mulch, compost) available for sale to residents and businesses.

To purchase compost, contact BHRC on 9797 2404 or email them at admin@bhrc.wa.gov.au

22. What happens to contaminated waste?

Contaminated waste occurs when items are sorted into the wrong bin. Contaminated waste is redirected to landfill which damages our community efforts to reduce waste and can attract additional costs from our contractor.

23. Why is recycling correctly important?

Recycling correctly reduces our rates of contamination, avoids additional charges for processing our waste and reduces the amount of our waste that ends up in landfill.

Current contamination rates in the Shire of Dardanup show we have work to do in meeting new waste targets set by the WA State Government and reducing our impact on the environment.

By sorting your waste at home and placing it in the correct bin, you can help reduce contamination rates and keep costs down. You’ll also help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, improving our overall environmental impact.

24. What does ‘contaminated recycling’ mean?

Contaminated recycling occurs when items that cannot be recycled are placed in the yellow lidded recycling bin. When a collection of recycling is contaminated with food waste and items that should not be in the Recycling bin, the materials are instead sent to landfill and the Shire of Dardanup attracts a contamination charge.

25. Where can I download the Shire of Dardanup’s waste calendar?

Download the Shire of Dardanup’s waste calendar here and look out for your handy calendar in your rates pack.

26. What do I do with disposable nappies?

Disposable nappies should always be placed in your General Waste bin. Soiled nappies and incontinence products should never be placed in the recycling or FOGO bins as they end up contaminating the recycling and composting process.

There are some steps you can take to minimise odour:

  • If possible, tip the contents of the nappy down the toilet before disposing
  • Wrap the nappy into itself using the tabs
  • Seal nappies tightly in plastic bags (you may try double bagging or using scented bags if you wish) before placing in the general waste bin
  • Store your red lid general waste bin in the shade and out of direct sunlight if possible
  • Make sure your general waste bin lid closes properly and there are no cracks in the bin sides. If your bin is broken or cracked, please contact the Shire to request a repair or replacement
  • Consider using modern cloth nappies.

If you have more than one child using nappies and find that your general waste bin fills up quickly, contact the Shire of Dardanup Waste Management Team to discuss a solution that suits you.

27. I live in a rural area. How will the new FOGO system affect me?

Homes in Dardanup West and Crooked Brook zoned “small holdings” will be converted to the new 3-bin Fogo service while homes zoned “rural” will remain on a 2-bin service.

28. Will we still get a green waste and bulk hard waste collection?

Yes. As in previous years there will be one bulk hard waste and two bulk green waste collections each year.

29. Why hasn’t the community been consulted?

The community was consulted regarding the possible move to FOGO in 2016 as part of an online survey regarding ongoing waste management. At the time, the service was going to add more than $60 per year to existing waste charges for residents. Now we can offer this exciting new service for less than $5 per year on additional waste charges.

In the five years since, there has been significant change on both a local and global level that has resulted in the Shire of Dardanup’s decision to proceed with FOGO:

  • In 2018, China announced restrictions on importing recyclable materials. As a result, the Council of Australian Government (COAG) has banned the export of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres. This means that we now need to find local waste management solutions as we can no longer export these recyclables to China.
  • The State Government’s Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy set a recovery rate target of 60% (waste diverted to landfill) by 2030.
  • There has been continued advocacy from the Shire of Dardanup community for improved sustainability, as noted in the community consultation sessions for the Strategic Community Plan and 2050 Vision.
  • The Shire of Dardanup’s neighbouring local government authorities of Bunbury, Capel, Harvey and Collie have successfully implemented a 3-bin FOGO system that has been embraced by their communities. FOGO has also become the best practice standard for local government waste management in the Perth metropolitan region.

The Shire of Dardanup is committed to reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill by implementing the new FOGO system.

30. How do I find more information?

31. Can I provide feedback on the Shire of Dardanup’s waste services?

Yes, you can provide feedback on the Shire of Dardanup’s Draft Waste Management Plan at any time. The Plan was endorsed by Council on 24 June 2020 which includes consideration of community feedback.