Food organics pilot and fortnightly bin collection kicks off in Belconnen

Max O'Driscoll 23 November 2021 16
composting truck

Rubbish collection will become fortnightly under the trial. Photo: ACT Government.

The long-awaited food organics and garden organics (FOGO) bin collection pilot has begun, with Belconnen, Bruce, Cook and Macquarie the first four suburbs to receive the service.

As part of the pilot, participating households are asked to put food scraps in their kitchen caddy which is then emptied into the FOGO bin along with the garden waste.

The pilot will determine contamination levels and get a better gauge on what percentage of Canberrans’ rubbish is made up of compostable items. Multiple apartment complexes will also be a part of the pilot.

Having the use of the new green bin does, however, mean that the rubbish service in the four suburbs will move from weekly to fortnightly collection. The FOGO bin will be collected weekly as part of the pilot.

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Projects and Partnerships Coordinator at Canberra Environment Centre Zoe Anderson welcomed the FOGO service.

“Our stance at the environment centre is that we want sustainability to be easy for everyone and that separating organic waste out of our waste stream preventing it from going to landfill is a really effective way of assisting everybody in being sustainable,” said Ms Anderson.

FOGO kitchen caddies will be provided as part of the pilot. Photo: ACT Government.

She added that it provided a “great opportunity” for people living in apartments who otherwise would be unable to compost.

She wanted to stress the urgency of avoiding contamination of your organics, particularly from toxic chemicals.

“It is really important not to contaminate the FOGO bins and that’s because the products that we’re making from the food and garden waste is going to be a landscaping product. It’s going to be compost and we will hopefully be able to use it on landscapes around Canberra,” said Ms Anderson.

The items that should go in the FOGO bin are:

  • Leftovers and cooked food
  • Yogurt, cheese and eggs
  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Meat/fish scraps and bones
  • Bread, grains and cereals
  • Certified compostable liners
  • Grass clippings
  • Pruning, cuttings, trimmings
  • Twigs and sticks
  • Palm fronds
  • Weeds.

Items that shouldn’t go in the FOGO bin are:

  • Plastic bags
  • Teabags
  • Animal droppings
  • Cat litter
  • Hair
  • Paper
  • Tissues and paper towel
  • Oyster shells
  • Plastic products
  • Sanitary products
  • Treated timber
  • Metals
  • Glass
  • Textiles and old clothes.

Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel said that with 93 per cent of surveyed Canberrans indicating support for the FOGO collection, the pilot will help determine how to roll out the service to all of Canberra.

“FOGO will help Canberrans to take everyday action on climate change by turning food and garden waste into nutrient-rich compost, thereby reducing methane gas being generated from our landfill. Once implemented city-wide, this has the potential to reduce waste emissions by up to 30 per cent,” Mr Steel said.

All households in the pilot should have received educational material, an updated collection calendar, a kitchen caddy, compostable bin liners and a FOGO bin.

For further information, visit City Services.

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16 Responses to Food organics pilot and fortnightly bin collection kicks off in Belconnen
Scott Harvey Scott Harvey 1:05 pm 27 Nov 21

Most people don't buy organically grown fruit and veg therefore the scraps aren't organic either.

You cannot add non organic material to living organic soil and claim it's still organic.

Onelia Herriot Onelia Herriot 10:38 pm 26 Nov 21

Can all townhouses and houses please qualify for it, not just some?!

May Mac May Mac 6:42 pm 25 Nov 21

No teabags?

    Peter Campbell Peter Campbell 10:42 pm 25 Nov 21

    Some of the teabags we have put in our compost bin did not decompose. I think they have some sort of synthetic fabric bag rather than paper.

    Chris Ellis Chris Ellis 9:05 am 26 Nov 21

    Peter Campbell you are right teabags contain plastic.

Gay McGuire Gay McGuire 7:27 pm 24 Nov 21

I’m elderly live in an over 55s Retirement Village. I have to take my household to a waste area with bins & hopper. I’m then expected to sort it all out collapse boxes it really is too much. I have purchased half size wheelie bin from Bunnings & created my own system. It was a lot easier having my own household bins & pushing out to the kerb.

Now you want to make it more complicated when most rubbish ends up in landfill anyway.

    Chris Ellis Chris Ellis 9:06 am 26 Nov 21

    Gay McGuire your organic waste will be used to make compost. If it decomposes in landfill it creates green house gases.

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