Food and Garden Organics service (FOGO)

Your food organics garden organics bin (lime-green lid) is used for the collection and recycling of food waste, grass clippings, prunings, weeds, leaves and other garden waste. 

When will my food organics garden organics bin be collected?

FOGO bin graphic We collect food organics garden organics (FOGO) bins fortnightly on your general waste collection day, every alternate week to your mixed recycling bin.

Check your next FOGO bin collection day

Printable calendar

See a printable waste calendar

Food organics garden organics (FOGO) guidelines

  • Place garden material loosely in your FOGO bin so that it will be emptied completely.
  • Do not use any plastic bags, wrapping or string to contain or bundle your garden waste material.
  • Do not overfill your bin, as this can lead to spillage and litter problems. Please ensure your bin lid stays closed.
  • Only use Council-supplied compostable liners for your food waste. Alternatively, you can place your food waste into your bin loose, or you can wrap your food waste in 1-2 sheets of newspaper or paper towel.
  • Place garden material with a heavy moisture content (such as freshly mown grass clippings) near the top of your bin to prevent sticking. A good hint is to mow your grass as close to collection day as possible and put the clippings on top of pruning or twigs.
  • Keep your bin under 40kg or it may not be collected. How will you know? It will be very difficult to move. The heaviest material is generally grass clippings, especially when it’s wet.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I receive my annual supply of FOGO kitchen caddy liners?

Your annual supply of FOGO kitchen caddy liners will be delivered from Wednesday 13 March to Wednesday 17 April 2024, if you did not previously decline to receive them. You will receive one roll of 150 liners (approximately one year’s supply).

Please contact Council if you have not received your liners by Thursday 18 April.

If you run out of liners before your delivery, you can collect more, free of charge, from Council’s Realm and Croydon Customer Service Centres.

If you no longer want to receive an annual supply of liners, please contact Council before Friday 1 March.

What can go in my FOGO bin?

 

Find out how to get rid of all your unwanted waste and household items using our alphabetical guide (A to Z).

Items that can go in your FOGO bin

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps, including those that are not traditionally composted at home, including citrus, garlic, onion and chilli 
  • Plate scrapings, leftovers, mouldy and expired food 
  • Bread, rice, pasta and cereals 
  • Nuts, grains and seeds 
  • Meat and bones (raw and cooked) 
  • Soft seafood shells including prawn and lobster shells 
  • Dairy and eggs 
  • Loose tea leaves and coffee grounds 
  • Desserts, pastries and cakes 
  • Council-supplied liners  
  • Leaves 
  • Grass clippings 
  • Small branches and logs (up to 10cm in diameter and 40cm in length) 
  • Sticks and twigs 
  • Weeds and flowers 
  • Garden prunings  

Download the list of what can go in your FOGO bin:

What can go in my FOGO bin - acceptable items(PDF, 95KB)

Items that cannot go in your FOGO bin

  • Liners not supplied by Council 
  • All food packaging including stickers, elastic bands and plastic wrap/cling wrap 
  • Compostable or biodegradable packaging  
  • Nappies and sanitary items  
  • Animal waste and kitty litter  
  • Textiles and fabric, including natural fibres 
  • Hard seafood shells, including oyster shells and clam shells  
  • Liquids including cooking oil and milk 
  • Teabags and coffee pods 
  • Vacuum dust 
  • Treated and painted timber 
  • Ash, rocks and soil 
  • Bricks and building materials  
  • Disposable baby and makeup wipes, including those labelled as biodegradable or compostable  
  • Plastic items and plastic bags  
  • Polystyrene  
  • Metals and wire  
  • Gardening items, including plant pots, gardening tools, garden hoses 

Why can’t I put pet waste in my FOGO bin? 

Animal waste can often carry parasites which can be damaging to human health. To ensure the safety of the workers at our processing facility, pet faeces is not allowed. Pet medications, such as worming tablets, can also remain active during the composting process and enter our food chain. 

If you want to keep your pet waste out of landfill you can set up a home composting system just for pet waste, called an Enso pet poo composter.  Join our Compost Revolution program to receive up to 60% off your system and have it delivered to your door for free.  

Why can’t I put compostable packaging in my FOGO bin? 

Although some packaging material is labelled as compostable, it cannot be placed in your FOGO bin. It is impossible for workers or machinery to distinguish between packaging which is compostable or non-compostable when it moves through the processing facility. This is why we please ask you to keep this material out of your FOGO bin and only place food and garden waste in it. 

Why can’t I put paper or cardboard in my FOGO bin? 

Your FOGO bin is not designed to replace an existing collection stream, such as recycling. Paper and cardboard can be placed in your blue-lidded recycling bin to be recycled into new paper and cardboard products.  

You can also place plain paper and cardboard in your home composting system. Do not place any glossy paper or waxed cardboard in your home composting system. These can go in your recycling bin.   

Do I need to remove food from its packaging before placing it in my FOGO bin? 

Yes. Please remove all packaging, such as rubber bands, fruit stickers and cling wrap from your food waste before placing it into your FOGO bin. If you have food in containers, please empty the food waste into your FOGO bin and place the container into your recycling bin or garbage bin (depending on what type of packaging it is).  

What will happen to my food and garden waste?

Once it is collected by our waste trucks, food and garden waste from Maroondah households is taken to an industrial composting facility in Dandenong South, called BioGro. Your food and garden waste is then turned into a high-quality compost, used by Victorian farmers to help grow our food.

Organic waste collected in FOGO bins is processed to create nutrient-rich compost for use on Victorian farms, parks and gardens. You can view videos to see some of the examples of how your compost is used on the Back to Earth Initiative YouTube channel.  

What do I do if I already compost or have a worm farm?

Please continue to compost your food scraps at home. This is the best outcome for our environment.  

We know there are many households already home-composting or feeding their scraps to pets, and the new service isn’t designed to replace these great low-waste habits. The new service will complement home composting and will allow for other food waste, like dairy, meat, spoiled food and leftovers to be diverted from landfill as well. 

Any food that you do not currently compost (such as meat, seafood, bones, citrus, dairy) can be placed in your FOGO bin, so you can divert even more food waste from landfill. 

In the meantime, Council has a range of pet poo composters, food waste fermenters, worm farms and compost bins available for up to 60 per cent off through our Compost Revolution program 

FOGO kits

What's in a FOGO kit?

  • Kitchen caddy - a 7L container with a lid that can sit on your kitchen bench or under the sink to collect and store food waste.
  • Roll of 150 compostable liners - to line the caddy and contain the food waste. Only Council-supplied liners can be used with the kitchen caddy.
  • Information pack - containing all you need to get started. 

 

How do I use my kitchen caddy and compostable liners?

You can use a Council-supplied compostable liner to line your kitchen caddy, to help you collect and transport your food scraps to your FOGO bin. You may decide not to use the compostable liners provided. If you do not use the liners, you can use 1-2 sheets of newspaper or paper towel to line your caddy to help absorb any liquids. Or you can place your food scraps directly into your kitchen caddy without any form of lining.

If you use the Council-supplied liners, tear a liner off the roll and then gently rub the liner between your fingers to separate the edges of the bag. Place the liner in your kitchen caddy, securing the bag around the edge of the caddy.

Empty your caddy every 2-3 days, or when your kitchen caddy reaches three-quarters full. If you fill all the way to the top of the caddy, the bag may get too heavy and split as you try to remove it from the caddy. So, try not to overfill it. You can then carry your kitchen caddy to your FOGO bin and:

  • Tip the contents of your kitchen caddy directly into your FOGO bin (with or without a compostable liner)
  • Tie a loose knot at the top of your compostable liner and place it into your FOGO bin
  • Fold over or twist the top of your compostable liner and place it into your FOGO bin

Do I have to use the Council-supplied liners?

You do not have to use the Council-provided liners if you do not wish to. You can place your food scraps directly into your kitchen caddy or other container. You can also line your kitchen caddy with 1-2 sheets of paper towel or newspaper to absorb any liquids.

If you do wish to use liners, only the Council-supplied liners are accepted in the FOGO service. Please do not purchase any other brands or types of liners from the supermarket or other stores to use. Plastic, biodegradable or compostable liners which are not provided by Council cannot be placed in your FOGO bin, as they will cause contamination. Using Council-supplied liners only will ensure the end product is safe to use on Victorian farms.

Why are Council supplying kitchen caddies and liners?

Council is supplying eligible households with a kitchen caddy and roll of 150 compostable liners to make it easier to collect food scraps in the kitchen and carry them to your FOGO bin.

Using Council-supplied compostable liners will help keep your caddy clean and tidy and your food scraps contained in your FOGO bin.

Only Council-supplied liners may be placed in the FOGO bin, as they’re made from plant-based materials, that break down into compost and have been tested and approved by Council’s organics processing facility. Plastic, biodegradable or compostable liners which are not supplied by Council cannot be added to the FOGO bin.

Non-compostable liners are one of the main contaminants of the FOGO service.  By allowing only one liner type and colour, it’s easy for the processor to remove any other plastic bags which could contaminate the compost.  Using only Council-supplied liners will ensure the end product is safe to use on Victorian farms.

Will Council continue to supply liners to residents? What do I do when I run out of the supplied liners?

Council will provide eligible households with a roll of 150 compostable liners every year in March/April if you did not previously decline to receive them (approximately 1 year’s supply). If your household runs out, top-up liner packs are available at Council’s Realm and Croydon Customer Service Centres.

If you no longer want to receive an annual supply of liners in March 2024, please contact Council before Friday 1 March.

I ran out of compostable liners. How can I get more?

Council will provide all eligible households with a roll of 150 compostable liners every year in March/April. If your household runs out, top up liner packs are available to collect from Council’s Realm and Croydon Customer Service Centres

I opted out of a FOGO kit, but I have changed my mind. Can I please order one?

You can collect a FOGO kit from the Croydon or Realm Customer Service Centres

I opted out of a FOGO kit but I would still like to use the liners/caddy?

You can pick up a kitchen caddy and a roll of liners from the Croydon or Realm Customer Service Centres

I’ve moved into a new property and the previous owner/tenant opted out of a FOGO kit. Can I please order one?

You can collect a FOGO kit from the Croydon or Realm Customer Service Centres

FOGO tips and tricks

How do I keep my kitchen caddy clean?

  • Empty your kitchen caddy into your FOGO bin every 2-3 days. 
  • Keep the lid of your kitchen caddy closed. 
  • You can also store meat and dairy scraps in a container in the freezer and empty these into your FOGO bin the night before your bin is collected, rather than placing in your kitchen caddy daily. 
  • Every time you empty your kitchen caddy into your FOGO bin, give your kitchen caddy a rinse.
  • Sprinkle bi-carb soda in the bottom of your kitchen caddy to keep it smelling fresh.
  • Your kitchen caddy is dishwasher safe. Place it in your dishwasher for a deeper clean once a week. 
  • Use the Council-supplied compostable liners to line your kitchen caddy and contain your food scraps. 
  • If you do not wish to use the Council-supplied compostable liners, you can line your kitchen caddy with 1-2 sheets of paper towel or newspaper. This will help to absorb any liquids. 
  • Do not place hot foods directly into your kitchen caddy. Allow food scraps to cool before you place them into your kitchen caddy.  

How can I keep my FOGO bin clean? 

You can keep your bin clean and fresh by: 

  • Regularly washing your bin out with a garden hose.  
  • Placing a layer of garden waste (e.g. dried grass or leaves) at the bottom of your FOGO bin before adding any food waste. This will help absorb any liquids and prevent food waste from sticking to the bottom of your bin.  
  • Storing meat and dairy scraps in a container in the freezer and emptying these into your FOGO bin the night before your bin is collected.  
  • Layering your food waste with garden waste, starting and ending with garden waste.  
  • Sprinkling bi-carb soda in the bottom of your bin to help absorb any odours. 
  • Keeping your FOGO bin in a shaded area with the lid closed.  
  • Collecting your food waste in the Council-supplied compostable liners. This will help contain the food waste in your FOGO bin and prevent food waste from sticking to the sides of your bin.  

Read more on how to keep your FOGO caddy and bin clean in our fact sheet:

FOGO hints and tips(PDF, 85KB)

Will my FOGO bin attract pests?

No. If you keep your bin lid closed, it will not attract pests more than any other bin. 

More FAQ's about the FOGO service

Why did Council introduce a FOGO service?

Implementing a FOGO service in Maroondah is one of the biggest opportunities we have to reduce carbon emissions, support sustainable food production and achieve our strategic aim of halving waste to landfill by 2030.

Over 40 per cent of waste collected in Maroondah is food waste. In landfill, food releases methane, a harmful greenhouse gas that is 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide. The FOGO service will divert food waste from landfill and turn it in to nutrient-rich compost for use on Victorian farms and gardens.

According to the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria Policy, all Victorian Councils must introduce a food organics garden organics service, and standardise their bin lid colours, by 2030.   

Reducing waste to landfill by introducing a food organics garden organics service is one of the priority actions of Maroondah’s Waste, Litter and Resource Recovery Strategy 2020-2030.

Request an additional food organics garden organics bin

You can request additional general waste, mixed recycling or food and garden organics bins, or second full suite of bins.  Conditions apply so please contact Council on 1300 88 22 33 to check if you’re eligible.

See fees and charges

Will there be any changes to when and how often my bins are collected?

No. There will be no changes to the frequency or day of your collections with the introduction of the FOGO service. The FOGO bin and mixed recycling bin will continue to be collected fortnightly and your general waste bin will continue to be collected weekly.

We will continue to monitor and review the performance of the FOGO service. If Council considers changing the frequency of the waste services, community consultation and research will be undertaken prior to any service changes. 

Since the FOGO service has started, I have noticed my general waste bin isn’t as full. Can I change the size of my general waste bin?

The standard bin size for Maroondah residents is a 120L general waste bin. Now that you are placing your food waste into your FOGO bin, if you find that your general waste bin is not as full each week, you can downsize to an 80L bin. A $72 discount applies to the 80L bin, and it is perfect for those with limited bin storage space, waste-wise households, singles, couples or small families. Contact Council to change the size of your general waste bin. The charge is applied pro-rata if you change your service during the financial year. 

If you are a tenant, you will need to contact your landlord or real estate agent to arrange a change of bin size on your behalf.

My FOGO bin is already full each fortnight, I won’t have space for food waste as well, what should I do?

If you find that your FOGO bin is full each fortnight, you may wish to consider establishing a home composting system.

A home composting system can complement the use of your FOGO bin, by using additional garden waste and food waste to create compost for your garden, in addition to using your FOGO bin. Council offers Maroondah residents up to 60% off a range of home composting systems delivered for free to your door via Compost Revolution. Visit Council’s Compost Revolution website for more information and to order.

You might be surprised how much food waste can fit in your FOGO bin. Food scraps are dense and do not take up a lot of volume in your bin. To maximise the space in your FOGO bin, try layering your food waste with garden waste.

If you find you still have an excess of garden and food waste materials, you can order an additional garden waste bin. Conditions and fees apply so please contact Council to check if you’re eligible. A second FOGO bin will cost an additional $230 per year. If you are a tenant, you will need to contact your landlord or real estate agent to arrange a change of bin service on your behalf.  For more information about Council’s waste charges see our fees and charges

I do not have a FOGO bin. Will these changes still affect me?

The FOGO service is not available for businesses, schools and other non-residential properties. Only households with a current residential waste collection service are eligible for FOGO at this time.

If your property is serviced by a private waste collection contractor, these changes will not affect you.

Speak to your owners corporation or landlord to discuss your options for recycling food waste. If you would like to start composting at home, visit the Compost Revolution webpage to receive up to 60 per cent off the price of a range of home composting systems.

If you have a Council-provided waste service, but do not currently have a food organics garden organics bin, please contact Council on 1300 88 22 33 to check if you’re eligible.

Braille bin stickers

Braille bin stickers are available to residents who are blind or have low vision to help identify:

  • General rubbish bin
  • Mixed recycling bin
  • Food and garden organics bin

The stickers measure 10cm x 2cm and can be stuck to the lid, the side or front of the bin.

Stickers can be collected from Council’s customer service centres at Realm and Croydon. If you or someone you know needs a sticker to be posted, please email maroondah@maroondah.vic.gov.au or contact us on 1300 88 22 33 or (03) 9298 4598

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