Confused about Council’s food and garden organic waste recycling system? Here’s a few facts

Since rolling out FOGO in November 2020 the community has embraced switching to the new food organics and garden organics system.

As residents continue to adapt to the new process, Wollongong City Council has pulled together a fact check that busts some community questions about FOGO.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said Council has delivered over 80,000 FOGO caddies to residents.

“With four months of FOGO practice up our sleeves, we know that most of our residents are enthusiastic and keen to get FOGO right, and reduce their food waste going to landfill,” he said.

“Rolling out FOGO to all households with an existing garden organics collection is an ongoing process and the positive feedback and questions are a strong indicator of how engaged our community is with FOGO. I want to congratulate and thank all of our residents for their continued support for this great new initiative.”

Here are the answers to questions commonly asked about FOGO:

Top 10 FOGO Facts

1. What do I line my FOGO caddy with?

Bin liners are completely optional! Some residents choose put their food waste straight into the FOGO caddy. To keep your caddy odour-free, simply rinse it out at least once a week after you empty it into your green-lidded bin.

If you do want to use a bin liner, make sure it’s compostable. Only compostable bin bags can break down in the FOGO system. Look for the seedling logo and the Australian Standard number AS 4736 when you purchase bin liners.

2. Where do I buy more compostable liners?

Every home that’s received a caddy has also received a roll of 150 green compostable bin liners. We’re also planning on delivering another roll of compostable liners to all participating residents in the next financial year.

If you can’t wait until then, you can purchase additional compostable bin liners at most supermarkets, grocery stores and some hardware stores. Simply, make sure whatever liner you purchase is compostable and has the Australian Standard number AS 4736 and seedling logo.

3. Can paper go into FOGO?

Food soiled paper and cardboard can go into your caddy and then into your green-lidded organics bin. That includes food-soiled paper towels, pizza boxes and paper bags from the bakery. Unsoiled paper and cardboard are recycled in your yellow-lidded recycling bin.

4. Can I line my FOGO caddy with newspaper?

Although you can line your FOGO caddy with newspapers, we’re encouraging residents to recycle old newspapers in their yellow-lidded recycling bin. Recycling newspapers helps reduce the pressure on virgin forestry resources.

5. What about pet waste, nappies, tissues and other hygiene and medical products?

We don’t accept any of these items in FOGO. Pet waste such as animal poos, and kitty litter are not accepted in your caddy. The same goes for soiled nappies, tissues and other medical waste like medicines. Instead please put this waste in your red-lidded bin.

6. Can I still put my garden organic waste in my green-lidded bin?

Yes! Garden organic waste such as untreated timber, leaves, grass clippings and small branches go into your green-lidded bin as per usual. However, plastic and biodegradable bags, rocks and soil, garden hose and planting pots belong in your red-lidded bin.

7. How often does my green bin get emptied?

Green-lidded bins are now emptied weekly. Even if there’s only a small amount in your green-lidded bin, make sure you put it out to be emptied every week.

8. Does this mean my red and yellow bins pick up frequency will reduce?

No, this hasn’t changed. You’re red-lidded and yellow-lidded bin pickups will be emptied weekly for red-lidded bins and fortnightly for the yellow-lidded bin.

9. My FOGO caddy or green-lidded bin is broken. How can I request a new one?

You can have your broken FOGO caddies or green-lidded bins repaired or replaced by contacting the Remondis customer service team on 1300 362 360.

10. My green-lidded bin is consistently full, and I need another. What do I do?

If your green-lidded bin is too full, too often you can arrange for an additional 240 litre bin to be sent to your property. The cost of an additional bin will be collected through an update to your property’s rates payments. Request an additional green-lidded bin today by visiting the Remondis website or calling their customer service team on 1300 362 360.

Have a specific FOGO question? Visit the Wollongong Waste website or contact the Remondis Customer Service team on 1300 362 360.

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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