From Monday 1 July 2024, the new Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) household waste management system will improve the Shire's existing two-bin arrangement by diverting organic waste such as kitchen scraps into your new lime green-lidded bin. 

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below will help to explain the new 3-bin FOGO system and answer any questions that you may have. 

Download A Guide to your FOGO System

Frequently Asked Questions

What does FOGO mean? 

FOGO stands for Food Organics, Garden Organics and refers to the weekly collection of food scraps and garden organics, which once collected will be turned into compost. A handy way to think about FOGO is ‘If it didn’t live or grow, it isn't FOGO’. 

When will the Organics bin service start?  

You will be advised of the specific start date prior to the roll-out however the Shire will begin implementing this service from 1 July 2024. The service will be delivered to all households with an existing domestic Rubbish and Recycling bin service. 

Why are we moving to FOGO? 

The less we send to landfill, the better for our environment. Right now, up to half the contents of our red lid general waste bin is organic material that ends up in landfill. Under the FOGO system, we can divert this material from landfill and turn it into compost. 

The WA State Government requires all local governments in Perth and Peel to move to FOGO by 2025. The Shire's adoption of FOGO is part of our ongoing commitment to reduce waste and reduce greenhouse gases. 

Why is the Shire of Mundaring introducing a FOGO bin?  

As the population grows, so does the amount of waste generated. It is important that we take action on our waste now.  

The new organics bin service will divert a significant amount of organic waste from landfill, and will instead recover the material, turning it into compost. Organic waste is a problem in landfill as it produces methane, a harmful greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Although, many residents within the Shire have chickens or home composts, our last compositional audit of resident kerbside bins showed that over 50% of the material in the general waste bin is organic waste that could be composted. Turning the FOGO into compost reduces the impact on the environment and allows waste to become a usable product. 

The Western Australian State Government have set targets for 75% of waste to be diverted from landfill by 2030. The new 3-Bin kerbside system incorporating the FOGO bin will assist the Councils and their communities in achieving these targets. The FOGO Bin has already been successfully introduced in several local government areas (including rural areas) and more are joining this sustainability initiative. Everyone can help reduce the impact of waste and improve environmental outcomes by using their kerbside bins correctly.  

The Western Australian Government is also requiring all councils to use a FOGO three bin system to create a standard bin system across the State. This consistent approach to waste management will reduce confusion for residents when outside the Shire or travelling across the state and in turn reduce the amount of contamination in the kerbside bin, maximising the amount of material that can be recovered.

What changes will happen to my bin service?

If you currently have the two-bin system, your household will soon have three separate bins: a general waste bin, a FOGO bin and a recycling bin.  

You will have a 240 litre lime-green lidded FOGO bin, for all your food scraps and garden clippings, which will be turned into high-quality compost and collected weekly. You will keep your yellow lidded recycling bin, which will continue to be collected fortnightly. You will have a 140 litre red lidded general waste bin for general rubbish items that can’t be recycled or turned into compost, which will be sent to landfill and collected on the alternative fortnight to your yellow lidded recycling bin. If you find your household is struggling with capacity issues after you start using the new bins, contact us to see if a solution can be provided to you. You may also be provided with a kitchen caddy when your new bins are dropped off. The caddy will be attached to your lime-green lidded FOGO bin. Inside the kitchen caddy will be a roll of compostable liners for use in your kitchen caddy and information to help you use your new bins. 

Why are the bin lid colours changing?

The bin lids are changing to comply with Australian Standard colours for waste binsThis will assist in delivering consistent messaging across the State and enabling improved source separation and reduced contamination of waste streams. 

What can go in the FOGO lime-green lid bin? 

All food organics including: 

  • Vegetable and fruit scraps 
  • Meat and bones 
  • Seafood 
  • Eggshells 
  • Teabags and coffee grinds 
  • Dairy products 
  • Take away food (no containers) 

Garden waste: 

  • Grass clippings 
  • Pruning, cuttings, trimmings 
  • Twigs and sticks 
  • Palm fronds 
  • Weeds 

Other compostable items, including:  

  • Animal droppings
  • Hair 
  • Paper products with food oil on them (e.g. pizza boxes) 
  • Tissues, paper towel and shredded paper 

What can't go in the FOGO lime-green lid bin? 

Everything that you put in your FOGO bin will be composted, so if it won’t compost it shouldn’t go in. If it didn’t once live or grow, it’s not FOGO. 

Please don’t put these items in your FOGO lime-green lid bin: 

  • Products you currently put in your yellow lid recycling bin 
  • Plastic bags (bread bags, shopping bags or garbage bags) 
  • Plastic packaging (bubble wrap) 
  • Nappies 
  • Personal hygiene products 
  • Treated and painted timber 
  • Building products 
  • Metals 
  • Glass 
  • Plastic plant pots, garden hoses, seedling trays or garden tools - the only 'garden products' that can go in, are things grown in the garden (green waste/garden organics) 
  • Textiles (e.g. old clothing or cloth nappies). 

What will happen to the waste I put in my FOGO bin? 

Your lime-green lid FOGO bin will be emptied weekly. The organic waste will be taken to Red Hill Waste Management Facility for processing into compost. The better you sort your food waste in the kitchen, the better the quality of the resulting compost. Remember no glass, metal or plastics can go in your FOGO bin as this will contaminate the compost. Only use the compostable bags provided by the Shire in your caddy or line the kitchen caddy with newspaper. 

Who will use the compost made from my FOGO waste? 

The compost produced from the contents of your FOGO bins can be used back in the community (on your own gardens or on the Council’s parks and gardens). Or it could be sold as a soil improver/compost for landscaping on large infrastructure projects or for rehabilitating land. 

The potential uses for the compost will depend on its final quality, so it's important to separate your waste well and keep plastic, glass and metal out of the FOGO bin.  Any non-organic items will contaminate the compost and affect the quality of the final product. 

What are the environmental benefits of the FOGO system? 

Moving to FOGO will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save valuable space in landfill. When sent to landfill, organic waste breaks down in an oxygen-free environment and produces a harmful greenhouse gas called methane. Methane is 25 times more harmful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Under the FOGO system, food organics, garden organics and other compostable items are collected from households and processed in an oxygenated environment, which produces far less methane. The result is compost that allows the nutrients from your waste to be returned to the earth. 

FOGO also saves on landfill space and landfilling results in resources being lost instead of being reused or recycled and gives us all the opportunity to be smarter with our waste and sort our waste correctly. Keeping the food and garden organic waste out of landfill helps the planet by reducing the amount harmful methane being emitted.

I already compost, use bokashi or have a worm farm at home, do I need a FOGO lime-green lid bin? 

You can continue to use your compost bin, bokashi bin or worm farm. You can use your FOGO bin for items you can’t put in your home compost bin such as bones, meat and seafood. If you use bokashi, you can put the material from the bokashi bin into the FOGO bin after it has composted (if you have nowhere to bury it). You are still able to use your lime-green lid kerbside bin for garden waste, along with food waste, which will continue to be useful for residents with gardens, once the material has been composted. Also worms can be fussy eaters and often don’t like onion, citrus, and potato peel and other organic materials that can go in your FOGO bin. 

When do I get my free kitchen caddy and how do I use it? 

A free kitchen caddy, compostable caddy liners and instructions will be delivered to each eligible household from July 2024 The caddy is a small countertop style bin with a lid and handle, designed to be kept on your kitchen bench for collecting your food scraps. 

To use your caddy, insert a provided compostable liner and start collecting your kitchen scraps such as vegetable peels, meat scraps, eggshells etc. After 2-3 days, or once the liner is full, tie a knot in the top to seal it and transfer the liner and its contents into your FOGO kerbside bin (lime-green lid). Put out the FOGO bin for weekly collection on your normal bin day. Using a compostable liner will reduce the need to wash the caddy and reduce odours. You can also line your caddy with newspaper as this will break down in the composting process. You can continue to put garden waste into the lime-green lid kerbside bin, along with your food waste. 

Can I use a plastic bag, or bags marked 'degradable' or 'biodegradable' to line my kitchen caddy? 

No. Plastic bags, including degradable and biodegradable bags, will contaminate the FOGO bin, as they are not compostable - they are essentially plastics that decompose faster than a traditional plastic bag but eventually break down into microplastics (very small pieces of plastic) that can pollute the environment. 

Instead, place only bags marked as 'certified compostable' with the symbol shown below, in your lime-green lid FOGO bin. Or as an alternative, you can place food waste directly into the FOGO bin or use paper towel and newspaper to line your kitchen caddy or to wrap food waste. 

How can I reduce smells and insects in my FOGO bin? 

Tips to reduce smells and insects: 

  • Use the compostable caddy liners or wrap your food scraps in newspaper before placing them in the kerbside bin. 
  • Store bins in the shade or out of direct sunlight. 
  • Put your FOGO bin out for collection every week, even if it's not full. 
  • Put layers of dry materials such as lawn clippings and shredded paper in between layers of kitchen waste to absorb any smell. 
  • Keep food scraps that tend to smell, such as fish bones, wrapped in newspaper in the freezer, until the night before bin collection 
  • Clean your bin with hot soapy water 
  • Sprinkle baking soda, kitty litter (unused), vinegar or clove oil into the bottom of the bin (when empty). 

Will my FOGO bin smell? 

The Organics bin will be collected weekly so shouldn’t smell any more than your rubbish bin does now. Your general waste bin will be collected fortnightly. Most things that cause smells in the general waste bin can go in the green organics bin, with a couple of exceptions, such as disposable nappies. Wrapping food scraps in newspaper helps reduce smells or you can use compostable bags. Layering food waste with dry materials, like lawn clippings & paper can help. Freeze particularly odorous food scraps, like seafood, and put them in the organics bin the night before collection. Nappies should be placed in the general waste bin. Emptying the poo down the toilet and securing the nappy in a plastic bag will minimise odours. Research has shown that nappies smell progressively worse for four days and then do not smell any worse (or better) after that. So, a rubbish bin with nappies in it smells no worse after 14 days than it does after 7 days.   

Can I opt out of having 3-bins and remain with just the 2-bin system?  

No. Once rolled out, the 3-bin FOGO service will become the standard collection service within the metropolitan area and we are encouraging all households to participate to the best of their ability. Residents are welcome to contact us and discuss any concerns.    

Why will you be auditing and checking our bins?  

We will be performing bin auditing and bin tagging to ensure households are using their bins correctly. To increase recycling and source separation so the right items go in the right bin, reducing contamination and diverting the waste from landfill.

How do I find out more information? 

For further information, you can contact the EMRC Waste Education team on (08) 9424 2222 or via email at WasteEducation@emrc.org.au or you can contact the Shire of Mundaring on (08) 9290 6666 and speak with the Waste Team or email shire@mundaring.wa.gov.au.