What Is Fogo?
You might have heard the term “FOGO” pop up in the past year when discussion turns to waste, but do you know what it actually means?
A NEW THREE-BIN SYSTEM
FOGO – or Food Organics and Garden Organics – is often used when talking about a three-bin system where any waste that once lived (like food scraps and garden waste) is diverted from landfill and then processed to make into compost for use in parks, gardens and in agriculture settings.
It’s a relatively new approach to waste management in Western Australia. FOGO, because it also diverts large volumes of food waste, goes a step further than the ‘green waste’ bin that some, but not all WA councils and shires, have had in operation over the past decade.
The FOGO bin, with its lime green lid, is supplied to residents together with a yellow-topped recycling bin and a smaller red-topped bin for general waste. The FOGO bin is typically collected each week, while recycling and general waste are collected on alternate weeks.
WHAT’S THE VALUE OF FOGO COLLECTIONS?
Compostable materials (ie food and garden organics) are estimated to make up somewhere between 25% and 65% of the waste WA households throw away each week. Once composted, these organics can be used to help improve soil quality and reduce water use. A much better outcome than sending it to landfill!
SO WHAT GOES IN A FOGO BIN
All food scraps, including fruit, vegetables processed foods, meat, bones and leftovers, can go in this bin. So can grass clippings, flowers, weeds, herbs, small branches and leaves.
This bin will be composted so you can also put small amounts of paper towels and compostable plates in there too, but it’s essential to keep plastic, aluminium, glass and anything labelled ‘biodegradable’ out.
One way to think about it is: If it didn’t grow, or it wasn’t alive it’s not FOGO
WHERE DOES FOGO GO?
The contents of FOGO bins are generally transported to a nearby waste composting facility where they are turned into compost. Diverting food waste from landfill in this manner can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and groundwater pollution risks, as well as lessen the appeal of landfill sites for pests as there is less food on offer for them.
HOW IS FOGO DIFFERENT TO MY HOME COMPOST?
Although it can differ between local government areas, most FOGO bins accept items which aren’t usually compatible with home composting systems, such as bones, meat and seafood.
FOMO FOR FOGO?
FOGO is still relatively new in WA, but its presence is growing and it is proving to be a GREAT way for householders and local government alike to own their impact!
The State Government is committed to encouraging all councils in the Perth and Peel regions to provide FOGO services to households by 2025.
If FOGO isn’t coming to your neighbourhood soon, why not take matters into your own hands and take a look at how you can become a home composting champion!