FOGO or no-go?

The City of Bayswater has introduced a new recycling initiative known as Food Organics Garden Organics.

Under the FOGO system, household food scraps and garden organics are placed in the same kerbside bin and reused to create compost.

Although the scheme is new, not everyone is yet sold on it. Bayswater resident Aurland Baluyot says “my FOGO bin is in my garage, never been used.”

City of Bayswater Mayor Dan Bull says the City is proud to be adopting the FOGO waste management system.

“Under the State Government’s Waste Strategy 2030, all local governments in WA will move to the FOGO bin system by 2025, and we were keen to get onto it as soon as possible and so Bayswater is an early adopter.”

The move to FOGO reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves space in landfill as half of a household’s general waste bin is organic material.

“FOGO seeks to ensure we can still provide the essential service of waste collection for our local residents but do it in a way that is much more environmentally friendly,” says Mr Bull.

However, the new initiative means general waste bins will only be collected every fortnight, while FOGO bins will be collected every week.

Mr Baluyot says this is not enough.

“The red and yellow bins need to be emptied more frequently because my bins are full to the brim and I have to take rubbish to work to get rid of it.”

The City of Bayswater is not the first to roll out the initiative.

The Cities of Melville, Bassendean and many local governments down south have all introduced FOGO with limited complaints.

City of Melville Mayor George Gear says the FOGO system is highly regarded by Melville residents.

“After a successful rollout of the FOGO 3-Bin system last year identified by our community as a top three highest score in the perceptions survey, we want to continue to create a sustainable behavior change,” he says.

The organic waste collected from Bayswater FOGO bins is sent to Red Hill Waste Management Facility for processing into compost, operated by the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council of which the City of Bayswater is a part.

Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council site manager Richard Whitehead says the facility receives two or three deliveries a day of FOGO material from Bayswater and Bassendean.

“They offload loads of green waste and food organics in compostable bags into rows which are then heated from within, and the resulting material is gradually turned into compost.”

FOGO allows organic food and garden waste to become compost.
Photos: Paige Busher.

The compost produced is used back in the community, sold to farmers or used to rehabilitate land.

However, FOGO users are urged to carefully think when putting items in the bin as any non-organic material contaminates the compost.

Bayswater resident Alyssa Wild says she finds the FOGO system difficult but knows she will get used to it.

“I feel like we need a degree in garbology now because every time something needs to go in the bin I stare at it for half an hour wondering where to put it.”

City of Bayswater Mayor Dan Bull says waste education is one of the biggest things on the agenda.

Mr Bull believes the FOGO rollout has gone well, but recognises it has had a few problems.

“As with any big change there’s always a few little teething problems with it but on the whole its looking really positive.

“In terms of the phase one area we’ve had two collections and we’ve seen a dramatic decrease in the number of incorrect bins being put out from the first week than the second so people are enthusiastically getting on board with it.”

Infographic: Paige Busher.

Categories: Environment, General

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