Food organics and garden organics (FOGO)

Council is excited to announce that we will now be accepting food waste in your organics bin from Monday 5 October 2020.

On average, almost half of all garbage bins are filled with food waste. These valuable resources are being sent to landfill and lost forever. The introduction of food waste into the organics bins will mean that we can recycle more of your waste and send less to landfill.

Every time you use the organics bins for your food and garden waste, you are reducing the production of harmful greenhouse gases and landfill space. Thank you for helping us to achieve this goal.

While we transition to this new service, you may have some questions. Below are some common questions.

 

Council’s organics processor cannot accept any type of bags in their system, including compostable or biodegradable bags. If you would like to wrap up food prior to placing it in your organics bin, please use a single sheet of newspaper or paper towel. Alternatively, you can layer garden materials over your food waste in the bin.

There will be no changes to the cost of your organics service as a result of introducing food waste.

Your bin will continue to be collected fortnightly, on the alternate week to your recycling collection.

If you currently compost your food waste at home that's great, and we would encourage you to continue doing this.

The organics bin will allow you to recycle your meat and bones and other organic materials that usually cannot go into a home composting system.

Waste audits have found that just over 50 per cent of waste thrown in the garbage bin each week is food scraps and garden waste materials.

When food and garden waste is sent to landfill, these valuable resources are lost. They also break down slowly releasing methane gases – a harmful greenhouse gas. Diverting food and garden waste into the organics bin will help prevent this from happening.

By providing you with the option to put loose food waste into your organics bin, Council is committed to providing you with services that ensure a sustainable future for Hume.

No – it is very important that food waste is placed ‘loose’ into the bin. Items such as plastic and compostable bags, wrappers, food containers and other general waste items cannot be processed.

Any odour can be effectively managed by taking a few simple steps:

  • Store your organics bin in shady spot
  • Layer your food waste with garden materials such as dried grass clippings and leaves
  • Wrap your food waste in a small paper towel or newspaper before placing it in your bin

You can also store all your food waste in a tub in your freezer until the night before collection and then you can empty your food waste straight into the bin.

It is taken to a purpose-built composting facility, where it can be processed into mulch and nutrient rich compost that improves soil health, fertility, and productivity for use within the agricultural and horticultural sector.

 

FOGO stands for ‘Food Organics Garden Organics’ and describes the materials that can go into your organics bin from October.

Food Organics (FO) is any food waste material generated from meal preparation and plate scrapings. Garden Organics (GO) is all green and brown garden material such as grass clippings, weeds, flowers, hedge trimmings, small twigs and branches etc.

 

The changes to your organics bin services start from Monday 5 October 2020. Until then you can continue to use your Organics Bin for garden materials as normal.

 

Thank you for filling your organics bin with garden waste and keeping it out of landfill.

To make sure you can still divert your food scraps away from landfill, consider setting up a backyard compost system for some of your excess garden materials and food waste in addition to utilising your organics bin.

Food waste doesn’t actually take up a large amount of volume in your bin so you may be surprised what you can fit in.

The organics bin should complement your backyard composting systems, allowing you to divert all food and garden waste away from landfill.

No, it’s not compulsory to use the organics bin for all food. Food waste will still be accepted in your garbage bin; however, all this material ends up in landfill. We are encouraging everyone to opt-in for an organics bin and help as best they can to divert this waste from landfill.  Every little bit helps.

 

You can find out more about ordering a new organics bin by going to our Bin collection services page. Please note this upgrade will include a cost of service change.

Find out more about changing the size of your existing organics bin by going to our Bin Collection Services page. Please note this upgrade will include a cost of service change.

Food scraps can be stored in an old ice cream container with a lid (or similar) before being taken out and emptied into the bin. We recommend food waste storage containers are emptied regularly and rinsed between uses. Food scrap containers can be stored in the fridge during warmer months and recycled and replaced when necessary.

We will be offering a limited number of kitchen caddies from February to eligible residents, so that food scraps can be captured, stored, and transported to household organics bins for collection.

Keep an eye out for more information about the service changes – details will also be regularly updated on our website and Facebook page.