I'm giving it a go

40% of the contents of the average household red-lidded general waste bin in Wollongong is food.

This is approximately 4kg of food waste per household per week, 208kg per household per year or 17,565 tonnes per year across all households. This is the equivalent of 1,950 buses.

At the moment the contents of your red-lidded general waste bin is sent to landfill, where nothing is recovered or recycled. The presence of food in landfill generates methane, a greenhouse gas, as it decomposes in an environment without oxygen. Removing food from landfill will reduce the amount of methane produced.

We want to stop sending food waste to landfill and compost it instead.

Council has committed to working towards the New South Wales state target of increasing resource recovery rates for municipal waste to 70% by 2021/22. To achieve this target, we must change the way we collect and process our waste.

In order to investigate this Council has resolved to undertake a twelve week Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) trial in selected streets across three suburbs within the Local Government Area.

There will be no change to the collection frequency of the red-lidded general waste bin or green-lidded organics bin as part of this trial. The only change will be the addition of food waste in your green-lidded organics bin.

If you are within the trial area it’s important you participate as data collected from the trial will be used to evaluate the merits of a city-wide roll out.

Throughout the trial period, participating households will be supported with ongoing education material and access to online forums. Further information relating to this will be provided in the FOGO Trial Information Pack.

40% of the contents of the average household red-lidded general waste bin in Wollongong is food.

This is approximately 4kg of food waste per household per week, 208kg per household per year or 17,565 tonnes per year across all households. This is the equivalent of 1,950 buses.

At the moment the contents of your red-lidded general waste bin is sent to landfill, where nothing is recovered or recycled. The presence of food in landfill generates methane, a greenhouse gas, as it decomposes in an environment without oxygen. Removing food from landfill will reduce the amount of methane produced.

We want to stop sending food waste to landfill and compost it instead.

Council has committed to working towards the New South Wales state target of increasing resource recovery rates for municipal waste to 70% by 2021/22. To achieve this target, we must change the way we collect and process our waste.

In order to investigate this Council has resolved to undertake a twelve week Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) trial in selected streets across three suburbs within the Local Government Area.

There will be no change to the collection frequency of the red-lidded general waste bin or green-lidded organics bin as part of this trial. The only change will be the addition of food waste in your green-lidded organics bin.

If you are within the trial area it’s important you participate as data collected from the trial will be used to evaluate the merits of a city-wide roll out.

Throughout the trial period, participating households will be supported with ongoing education material and access to online forums. Further information relating to this will be provided in the FOGO Trial Information Pack.

  • The Power of One!

    5 days ago
    Fogo audit tag

    Now that residents in the trial areas have had a few months to get into FOGO, it’s easy to see how a busy family with four or more in the household can divert substantial amounts of food waste from landfill. The average family of four or five can fill up four compostable bags per week, a big help when every inch of the red-lidded bin is at a premium! What about the smaller households, a single person living alone or two people in a household. If they’re not generating much content, is it even worth...

    Now that residents in the trial areas have had a few months to get into FOGO, it’s easy to see how a busy family with four or more in the household can divert substantial amounts of food waste from landfill. The average family of four or five can fill up four compostable bags per week, a big help when every inch of the red-lidded bin is at a premium! What about the smaller households, a single person living alone or two people in a household. If they’re not generating much content, is it even worth it to FOGO?

    The answer is a loud YES!

    Between all the food scraps, takeout, tissues and paper around the house it all still adds up to something that goes into landfill, especially considering the volume of these odds and ends over the course of a year.

    Here are a few comments from Solo FOGO:

    I feel silly putting my green bin on the kerb with only a little bit in it
    It all adds up! Even If there are only one or two bags going into the FOGO bin, place it out for collection. To make room in your yellow lidded recycle bin you can divert all your paper and pantry cardboard (cardboard found in your pantry or freezer, contains no staples or plastic) into your FOGO bin. The kerbside collection truck is going past your place anyway and part of your waste management fees so take advantage of it!

    It takes so long to fill the kitchen caddy there’s flies or odours
    If there’s only a little food going into FOGO consider using a sealable container (like an ice cream bucket, yoghurt tub) and keep it in the fridge or freezer. This keeps your small amount of food waste off the kitchen bench and still accessible and easy to use.

    I don’t cook much
    Take away left overs, spoiled food and food scraps of all kinds can go into FOGO. Tissues, paper towel, shredded paper and newspapers can all go in. Don’t forget tea bags and coffee grounds!
    When dining out try to avoid take away cutlery and packaging. Stay and sip out of a ceramic mug, enjoy your beautifully prepared meal on a plate with proper cutlery. The environment and your health will thank you!
  • FOGO or Landfill?

    5 days ago
    Circular economy

    In all three FOGO trial areas several residents have asked about the cost of FOGO - is implementing FOGO going to cost more? Is processing all this organic material more expensive than just sending it to landfill?

    The answer is simple – across Australia and around the world, every council has found FOGO to be more cost effective than landfill and the savings start from the first FOGO load.

    To meet Environment Protection Authority (EPA) standards all landfills must be lined and capped to reduce harmful impacts on the environment and human health caused by
    ...

    In all three FOGO trial areas several residents have asked about the cost of FOGO - is implementing FOGO going to cost more? Is processing all this organic material more expensive than just sending it to landfill?

    The answer is simple – across Australia and around the world, every council has found FOGO to be more cost effective than landfill and the savings start from the first FOGO load.

    To meet Environment Protection Authority (EPA) standards all landfills must be lined and capped to reduce harmful impacts on the environment and human health caused by pollution from waste. The process for landfilling waste including the liner, compaction of garbage with heavy equipment, application of daily cover material, and ongoing leachate and gas management is costly.

    As food waste deteriorates in landfill it generates unpleasant odours and methane gas. Even with careful management vermin are drawn to deteriorating food waste which poses further maintenance issues. Minimising food waste in landfill ensures the air space is used more efficiently for materials that cannot be recycled and minimise potential impact to the surrounding environment.

    Existing Infrastructure, New Approach
    Wollongong City Council already has a three-bin system for residents which includes the disposal of Garden Organics (GO). Trucks are collecting garden organics every fortnight from your premises.

    With Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO), the collection truck takes the bin contents to SOILCO in Kembla Grange which has been processing both GO and FOGO.

    The FOGO material collected is processed in a series of enclosed composting tunnels where temperature, moisture and oxygen levels are controlled. This is completed to ensure pasteurisation, which is the process in which all weeds, seeds and pathogens are removed. The result is a high quality, carbon rich soil conditioner that can be used to enhance local parks and gardens.

    This is the beginning of a better way to manage our waste and resources. Transition to a circular economy will provide long term economic, social, and environmental benefits for Wollongong City Council.
  • FOGO Trial what's happening next?

    19 days ago
    Read all about it

    Throughout the FOGO trial, we’ve welcomed your feedback and worked to improve our education and processes to help customers. We’ll be using what we’ve learnt through this trial in planning waste collection services into the future.

    We have made some changes during this trial for the benefit of our customers. Here are some of the changes we have made based on your feedback:

    • The FOGO collection trial will continue within the existing areas until further notice.

    • We encourage you to continue using the compostable bags provided. They are also available from all...

    Throughout the FOGO trial, we’ve welcomed your feedback and worked to improve our education and processes to help customers. We’ll be using what we’ve learnt through this trial in planning waste collection services into the future.

    We have made some changes during this trial for the benefit of our customers. Here are some of the changes we have made based on your feedback:

    • The FOGO collection trial will continue within the existing areas until further notice.

    • We encourage you to continue using the compostable bags provided. They are also available from all leading hardware outlets and various supermarkets. You just need to make sure they’re compliant with Australian Standard AS4736 (refer to stamp on your kitchen caddy). Alternatively, you can use wastepaper to wrap your scraps.

    • We will continue with waste education and information shared via pop-up kiosks in shopping centres, libraries, schools, community centres. We’ll also continue to highlight FOGO through print and online media.

    • We have launched an updated survey (attached) to capture what residents think at this point in the trial. You can also complete this survey online https://www.research.net/r/WCCFOGO

    I understand there’s more work to do and thank you for your support and enthusiasm for this trial.

    If you have any questions or seeking further information regarding the FOGO collection trial, contact REMONDIS Harbour Cities on 1300 362 360 or education@wollongongwaste.com.au.


  • It's the Little Things!

    about 2 months ago
    It's the little things %28002%29

    It’s the Little Things!

    Recent stats show food makes up about 40% of the average household red-lidded general waste bin. Add this up Australia-wide and it’s easy to see how tonnes of food are dumped into landfill every day. Why not turn food waste into a resource? FOGO is an easy way to immediately start diverting food content from landfill.

    Many Wollongong households involved in the FOGO trial have already noticed the diversion of contents from the red-lidded general waste bin. In addition, many households that already fill their recycling bin to the brim can...

    It’s the Little Things!

    Recent stats show food makes up about 40% of the average household red-lidded general waste bin. Add this up Australia-wide and it’s easy to see how tonnes of food are dumped into landfill every day. Why not turn food waste into a resource? FOGO is an easy way to immediately start diverting food content from landfill.

    Many Wollongong households involved in the FOGO trial have already noticed the diversion of contents from the red-lidded general waste bin. In addition, many households that already fill their recycling bin to the brim can enjoy diverting some of the pantry cardboard and paper into the FOGO bin as well. All these small changes to household waste practices add up to a big reduction in what goes into landfill.

    Has the FOGO trial changed your outlook on what really needs to go into the red-lidded general waste bin?


  • Engineered Timber is NOT for FOGO

    about 2 months ago
    Warrawong fogo contamination treated timber %28002%29

    Engineered Timber is NOT for FOGO!

    Engineered timber, also known as composite wood, man-made wood, or manufactured board, are manufactured by binding or fixing the strands, particles, fibres, together with adhesives. Formaldehyde and other nasty chemicals are found in resins that act as a glue in the manufacture of pressed wood products. Treated or engineered timber, all fall under the broad category of Building Waste and cannot be put into the FOGO bin. It is essential that these products are taken to a licensed waste disposal facility.

    Your FOGO bin is for Food Organics and Garden Organics. It’s a great...

    Engineered Timber is NOT for FOGO!

    Engineered timber, also known as composite wood, man-made wood, or manufactured board, are manufactured by binding or fixing the strands, particles, fibres, together with adhesives. Formaldehyde and other nasty chemicals are found in resins that act as a glue in the manufacture of pressed wood products. Treated or engineered timber, all fall under the broad category of Building Waste and cannot be put into the FOGO bin. It is essential that these products are taken to a licensed waste disposal facility.

    Your FOGO bin is for Food Organics and Garden Organics. It’s a great way to reduce food waste going to landfill by comingling it with grass clippings, branches and other green waste. When it comes to timber and wood, it can be tricky to identify what’s fine for FOGO and what is not.

    If you require further information about what can go in your FOGO bin please contact Remondis Australia on 1300 362 360 or education@wollongongwaste.com.au



    .



  • School Holidays and FOGO

    2 months ago
    School holodays   fogo

    School Holidays and FOGO

    FOGO is a fantastic way to take care of all the peels, scraps and leftovers from the kids’ snacks, especially during school holidays! Here are a few FOGO-savvy ideas to keep in mind over the break:

    • All food is for FOGO – leftover pizza and take away, chips, biscuits, even lollies are fine for FOGO. Just make sure to remove any plastic wrappers and put this in your soft plastic recycling.
    • Emptying the FOGO kitchen caddy is an easy chore for kids. Encourage them to be in charge of taking full compostable bags out to the...

    School Holidays and FOGO

    FOGO is a fantastic way to take care of all the peels, scraps and leftovers from the kids’ snacks, especially during school holidays! Here are a few FOGO-savvy ideas to keep in mind over the break:

    • All food is for FOGO – leftover pizza and take away, chips, biscuits, even lollies are fine for FOGO. Just make sure to remove any plastic wrappers and put this in your soft plastic recycling.
    • Emptying the FOGO kitchen caddy is an easy chore for kids. Encourage them to be in charge of taking full compostable bags out to the green-lidded organic bin to do their bit around the house and for the environment.
    • For activity days when the kids are out and about consider sending them with snacks in a re-useable plastic container, any peels crusts and leftovers can be sent home in the containers and popped into the kitchen caddy.
    • Spring time is the perfect time of year to talk about how FOGO and compost turns into nutrient-rich soil for gardens. It’s easy to start a few seeds at home, even for a window box garden. Check out the school holiday programs offered at Wollongong Botanic Gardens and the UOW Early Start Discovery Space to offer young one’s opportunities to interact with nature and learn about the environment.

  • Who's got the FOGO MOJO?

    2 months ago
    Kgs household

    Who’s got the FOGO MOJO?

    You have just completed your second FOGO collection. Well done, the amount of FOGO material is rising.

    The amount of waste (red lidded bin) in Austinmer is also decreasing, however remaining static in Cordeaux Heights and Warrawong. This could be due to the spring clean-out that occurs every year. Ideally we would like to see the amount in the red lidded bin decrease as the food waste moves into the FOGO bin. Keep up the great work, don’t forget its good to go FOGO!

    And the results are!!!!

    Warrawong residents are on fire! Even though...

    Who’s got the FOGO MOJO?

    You have just completed your second FOGO collection. Well done, the amount of FOGO material is rising.

    The amount of waste (red lidded bin) in Austinmer is also decreasing, however remaining static in Cordeaux Heights and Warrawong. This could be due to the spring clean-out that occurs every year. Ideally we would like to see the amount in the red lidded bin decrease as the food waste moves into the FOGO bin. Keep up the great work, don’t forget its good to go FOGO!

    And the results are!!!!

    Warrawong residents are on fire! Even though less households are presenting their FOGO bin for collection their kgs of food and garden organics per households are higher.








  • FOGO Trial Survey Results

    2 months ago
    Thank you for taking our survey

    Great Results for FOGO Trial Survey!

    Introduction

    IRIS Research was commissioned by Wollongong City Council to conduct a waste management survey of residents before the collection trial of the Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO).

    A telephone based survey was used to collect 242 responses from residents of the trial suburbs including Austinmer, Cordeaux heights and Warrawong. In addition, 543 paper based responses were collected and included in the sample, bringing the total number of responses to 785.

    Description

    Austinmer

    Cordeax Heights

    Warrawong

    Total

    Number of households in the trial

    545

    493

    562

    1600

    Completed telephone surveys

    92

    92

    58

    ...

    Great Results for FOGO Trial Survey!

    Introduction

    IRIS Research was commissioned by Wollongong City Council to conduct a waste management survey of residents before the collection trial of the Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO).

    A telephone based survey was used to collect 242 responses from residents of the trial suburbs including Austinmer, Cordeaux heights and Warrawong. In addition, 543 paper based responses were collected and included in the sample, bringing the total number of responses to 785.

    Description

    Austinmer

    Cordeax Heights

    Warrawong

    Total

    Number of households in the trial

    545

    493

    562

    1600

    Completed telephone surveys

    92

    92

    58

    242

    Returned paper surveys

    239

    184

    120

    543

    Invalid paper surveys

    25

    34

    36

    95

    Total number of residents engaged

    358

    349

    242

    949


    Key Findings





    • Households are aware that fruit and vegetables and grass clippings, leaves and small branches are considered organic waste. Other types of organic waste require further action to raise awareness.
    • Most households (51%) currently deal with organic waste by combining it with other waste in the red lidded bin.
    • Households with larger red bins tend to fill them up more than those with smaller bins.
    • Eighty-three percent (83%) of respondents consider reducing landfill as “very important”.
    • In total, 89% of respondents approve of the FOGO system.
    • Ninety-one percent (91%) would use the proposed kitchen caddy.
    • Ninety percent (90%) would use the proposed compostable bin liners.
    • Community education on waste reduction and leading the community on sustainability issues are the methods of reducing landfill with the highest level of support.























  • Bin Odour

    2 months ago
    Fogo in bins 6

    As the weather heats up there are several things you can do to ensure your green waste and FOGO bins don’t develop an unpleasant odour.

    • Your FOGO kitchen caddy should be kept out of the sun.
    • To minimise flies and odours try emptying your kitchen caddy each day.
    • Tie a knot in the end of the compostable bag before placing into your green bin.
    • If possible, keep your green bin stored in a shady ventilated area. This helps slow decomposition which keeps smells at a minimum.
    • In addition to using compostable bags, you...

    As the weather heats up there are several things you can do to ensure your green waste and FOGO bins don’t develop an unpleasant odour.

    • Your FOGO kitchen caddy should be kept out of the sun.
    • To minimise flies and odours try emptying your kitchen caddy each day.
    • Tie a knot in the end of the compostable bag before placing into your green bin.
    • If possible, keep your green bin stored in a shady ventilated area. This helps slow decomposition which keeps smells at a minimum.
    • In addition to using compostable bags, you can wrap meat scraps and bones in newspaper, paper towel, letterbox brochures or pantry cardboard.
    • Ensure the lid on your bin remains shut and has no cracks or splits in the lid or bin. Please ring Remondis on 1300 362 360 for free repair or replacement.
    • Try to hose your bin out every few weeks, or consider rinsing the inside with lemon juice, baking soda or vinegar.
    • Layering your food scraps among your garden material and freezing scraps until bin day can also be helpful.

  • FOGO is a GO!

    3 months ago
    First load

    First FOGO collections are now complete in Austinmer, Cordeaux Heights and Warrawong.

    The trial is off to a fantastic start. Based on visual audits (approx. 100 households per area) carried out on the green-lidded bin over the past two weeks, estimated participation rates in the trial are as follows:

    - Austinmer: 62%

    - Cordeaux Heights: 76%

    - Warrawong: 68%

    Well done everyone, and its only our first week!

    We have seen some contamination in the green-lidded bin.

    The picture below shows the contamination is mainly plastic bags. Once shredded is really difficult to remove.

    Only bags displaying AS4736 are accepted....

    First FOGO collections are now complete in Austinmer, Cordeaux Heights and Warrawong.

    The trial is off to a fantastic start. Based on visual audits (approx. 100 households per area) carried out on the green-lidded bin over the past two weeks, estimated participation rates in the trial are as follows:

    - Austinmer: 62%

    - Cordeaux Heights: 76%

    - Warrawong: 68%

    Well done everyone, and its only our first week!

    We have seen some contamination in the green-lidded bin.

    The picture below shows the contamination is mainly plastic bags. Once shredded is really difficult to remove.

    Only bags displaying AS4736 are accepted. Please remember to refer to the User Guide that was issued with your kitchen caddy and check the sticker on top of your green-lidded bin for what can and can’t be placed in the green-lidded bin.