Green-lidded bins will no longer be limited to garden waste with residents across the Wollongong City local government area able to include food and organic waste in their collections from November.
Council will introduce a weekly FOGO – or Food Organics Garden Organics – collection to all households that currently have a green-lidded garden waste bin. Longer term we are also considering the introduction of a FOGO trial for multi-unit dwellings which don’t currently have a green-lidded waste bin.
“This is very pleasing news for all in our city who have asked for food organics collections to be rolled out across the city,” Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.
“The FOGO trial carried out last year in Austinmer, Cordeaux Heights and Warrawong was really positive with great feedback from participants, very low contamination rates and produced high quality compost and soil products. We’re looking to build on that success and see the rollout of this program across the city.”
FOGO is not an opt-in service but will simply be a changeover from the current fortnightly garden organics service to a weekly food organics and garden organics service from November. Red and yellow-lidded bins will continue to be picked up as normal.
From November, all households that currently have a green-lidded waste bin will have an information pack delivered to their door, along with a kitchen bench caddy and compostable liners which will make taking the food waste from the house to the bin easier. Once households receive their caddy they can start FOGOing, with weekly collection starting the following week.
“I know some people are keen to get this started and I applaud that,” Cr Bradbery said.
“However, I ask them to hold off for the moment until they’re given the go-ahead later in the year as FOGO waste collections are treated differently to general garden waste.
“Our focus moving forward is on the successful coordination of the education and logistics around this exciting initiative.
“We know, through the feedback and data collected during the three-suburb trial, that having clear information before starting is the best way to ensure the process is easy and straight forward, the aim being that we end up with a high quality compost product.”
Cr Bradbery said the decision to move forward on a city-wide FOGO program is in line with Council’s commitment to reduce emissions and to create a more sustainable and environmentally healthy city.
“At our last Council meeting we put the draft Sustainable Wollongong: A Climate Healthy City Strategy and our draft Climate Change Mitigation Plan 2020-2022 out for exhibition and community feedback. This meeting, we’ve given FOGO the tick of approval. Together these give a very clear indication of how seriously Council is considering our role and responsibility when it comes to tackling climate change especially mitigating greenhouse gas emissions,” Cr Bradbery said.
“We know we can’t sort climate change on our own, but we are stepping up for our community and putting measures in place that puts us in the best position possible to create a more sustainable and environmentally healthy city.”