Food and garden organics (FOGO)

FOGO stands for Food Organics and Garden Organics. That's your food scraps and waste from the garden. Based on our 2019 waste audits, these organics make up 46 per cent of the waste in our bins at home.

The average household spends around $2,000 a year on food that ends up in landfill. There it breaks down into greenhouse gases. About three per cent of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions comes from organic matter rotting in landfills. That is about as much as the entire country’s aviation industry.

As outlined in our Draft Don’t Waste It! Waste Management Strategy (2022-25) we are planning to expand on our current FOGO services in 2023 to ensure that all households are able to divert their FOGO materials from the garbage stream.

We are planning to deliver a hybrid waste model where some residents who have gardens and space for additional bins would be allocated a kerbside (FOGO) bin and others who don’t have the space or generate much garden material, would instead have access to a communal service, enabling them to drop off FOGO materials at communal recycling collection points in local parks and reserves and other central community locations.

In early 2023, we are planning to roll out 120L kerbside FOGO bins to residents of houses and townhouses with gardens and space to accommodate an additional bin. To inform this roll out we have assessed each property across the city, where there is a house or a townhouse, to establish whether there would be space to accommodate an additional bin.

FOGO look-up service

Use our address look-up service to find out if your house or townhouse has been allocated a kerbside FOGO bin.

We are continuing to trial organics recycling services in different parts of the City to inform a wider roll out of FOGO recycling services.

We want to test new approaches with you:

  • to support waste reduction
  • increase recycling
  • reduce contamination in kerbside bins.

Communal food organic recycling hub trial

The City of Port Phillip has some of the highest density housing in Melbourne. Households with little yard space or those living in multi-unit develops may not be able to accommodate an additional bin for recycling food waste. We are trialling recycling hubs for these households to provide them with an opportunity to dispose of food scraps and leftovers.

Starting in May 2021, we introduced communal Food Organic recycling hubs at three locations for an initial trial period of six months, until November 2021. During that time, we diverted approximately 28 tonnes of food organics material from landfill. In response to high demand for this service from the community, Council has decided to continue the trial to January 2023 and expand it to three more locations in the City in addition to the existing hubs. This will give our residents an option of six Food Organic recycling hubs across the City.

Locations

  • HR Johnson Reserve, St Kilda West
  • Lagoon Reserve, Port Melbourne
  • Next to the Rats of Tobruk Reserve, Albert Park
  • Walter Reserve, Port Melbourne
  • Clarke Reserve, Elwood
  • Hewison Reserve, East St Kilda.
  • Sol Green Reserve, South Melbourne

About the communal hub trial

Food recycling in apartments

We have been working with people in apartment buildings to trial ways for them to recycle food waste.

To help our communities living in apartment buildings to recycle food waste, we partnered with waste education service, Reground, to introduce a Food to Farm: FO collection service in three apartment buildings in our City. The food waste collected has been converted into compost and mulch products at a facility in regional Victoria.

The trial has now concluded and we are currently evaluating the project. This evaluation will inform waste management planning for future high-density developments in the city. All applicants will be notified of the success of their application soon.

Elwood FOGO service

We are pleased to announce that the Elwood FOGO service will be continuing! As previously advised, the trial was to finish at the end of June 2021, but the decision has been made to make the service ongoing for participating households.

This decision was made by Council as part of the 2021/22 Council Plan and Budget at the Special Council Meeting on 23 June.

The trial has been a huge success over the past 11 months thanks to your enthusiastic involvement and commitment, as well as low contamination rates in the collected materials.

The Elwood FOGO service is the first step in planning for how we deliver food and garden organics recycling to our community going forward, in line with Victorian Government requirements.

At this time, we are unable to extend the service to additional properties.

Why was Elwood selected?

Elwood was selected for the trial as houses generally have both the space to store an extra 240 litre bin and gardens that will produce suitable material for collection.

The trial area is a roughly rectangular area bordered by Bluff Avenue and St Kilda Street (top to bottom) and from Glen Huntly Road and Ormond Road (even-numbered households only) to Ormond Esplanade as shown in the map on the right.

This map shows the Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) bin trial area in Elwood. The area is a roughly rectangular bordered by Bluff Avenue and St Kilda Street (top to bottom) and from Glen Huntly Road and Ormond Road (even-numbered households only) to Ormond Esplanade.

Elwood FOGO service area

About the Elwood FOGO service

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