FOGO (Food organics garden organics)
FOGO for the future
All councils in NSW are required to provide a food recycling service by 2030. The FOGO food recycling service delivers positive environmental and economic outcomes for our community and future generations.
The new service avoids the equivalent amount of greenhouse gas emissions as taking 8,360 cars off the road for a year.
Using the new FOGO food and garden organics bin is one easy thing everyone can do to protect our environment and our community for future generations.
Halve your waste to landfill
Did you know that up to 60% of your red lid waste bin can be recovered, recycled or composted?
51% of the red lid bin can be recycled through the green lid bin - food scraps (47%) and garden organics (4%) should go into the green lid FOGO bin. Remember to remove packaging from food!
7% of the red lid bin can be recycled through the yellow lid bin - pizza boxes, aerosol containers, cardboard and paper packaging can be recycled through the yellow lid bin.
Hazardous wastes like household batteries, paints and motor oils should never be placed in household bins. Check out the full list of hazardous wastes that can be dropped off for free at one of our Community Recycling Centres, located at Leichhardt and St Peters.
Check out the A-Z: What goes where? to test your knowledge.
Check these pages for tips on how to reduce what goes in your red bin:
What is FOGO?
FOGO is a combined Food Organics, Garden Organics (FOGO) food recycling service that turns your green lid bin contents into compost for farmers. Your green lid bin accepts all food scraps including meats, dairy and bones with your regular household garden organics.
What do I need to FOGO?
You will need a container to collect your food scraps in the kitchen and a green lid wheelie bin that gets collected weekly.
You don't need the Council supplied benchtop bin to start! You can use any container that suits your kitchen size or aesthetic.
We recommend using a container that can be stowed under the sink, in the fridge or next to your chopping board or knife block as a reminder to use it.
If you don't have a green lid FOGO bin, you can order a 120L or 240L wheelie bin at no additional cost.
Order a FOGO wheelie bin
Why do I need to FOGO?
All councils in NSW are required by the state government to provide a food recycling service by 2030, and Inner West Council is one of the first Sydney councils to do this. Using your FOGO food recycling bin helps our environment to:
- Halve waste that goes to landfill
- Turn food and garden organics into compost to support farmers and grow better quality produce to feed our families
- Reduce the impacts of climate change
How do I FOGO?
You can use any container to transfer your food scraps – including meats, dairy, and bones – into the green lid FOGO food recycling bin.
Once you receive your kitchen benchtop bin and compostable liners, you will be able to easily transfer your scraps from kitchen to kerb:
- Line your kitchen benchtop bin with the compostable liners provided, newspaper or paper towel, or put it in ‘nude’ (loose)
- Collect food scraps, expired food and old takeaway food in your kitchen benchtop bin
- Empty into your green lid FOGO food recycling bin as needed
- Cover your scraps with leaves, branches or grass clippings. This will keep your FOGO food recycling bin smelling fresh
All expired, stale, rotten or freezer burnt foods must be removed from their packaging before going in the FOGO food recycling bin.
Only use certified compostable liners. No plastic or ‘biodegradable’ bags or liners.
If using compostable bags, consider twisting them closed instead of tying, as the knot takes longer to break down/compost.
How can I check my bin collection days?
Visit the waste calendar page.
What can go in my FOGO bin?
Remove all packaging and place the following food in the green lid FOGO bin:
- All food including rotten fruit or vegetables, stale or mouldy bread, or leftover meals that didn't get eaten in time
- Garden organics
- Compostable liners that comply with Australian Standards (AS4736) for commercial composting
Any type of food can be placed in your green lid FOGO bin. For example:
Fruit and vegetable peels and scraps
Meat, chicken, seafood (except oyster shells) and small bones (cooked and uncooked meats)
Dairy products (cheese, yoghurt etc.)
Bread, pasta, rice, cereal
Tea bags and coffee grounds
Eggs and eggshells
Out of date food (processed or fresh)
Twigs, small branches, tree bark
Flowers, garden weeds and garden prunings
The following items CANNOT go in the FOGO bin:
Pet poo or pet poo bags
Fibre-based materials, such as bamboo, timber or cardboard packaging and cutlery, paper towels and serviettes
Compostable or biodegradable packaging
Vacuum cleaner dust, washing machine or dryer lint
For more information check the NSW EPA website.
I'm concerned about fortnightly garbage collections. What can I do?
We understand that a shift to fortnightly red-lid bin garbage collection can feel like a big change for some, so we have a few supports in place to help everyone manage.
Council is offering an additional booked collection of red-lid garbage bins (in the alternate week to the scheduled pick up) to assist households whilst they transition to the weekly FOGO and fortnightly garbage.
You can also join the list for a free, larger 240L red bin. Call 9392 5000 to register.
Or contact Waste Busters – they're our helpful team who will look at your waste and give you tips on how to create space in your red-lid bin and make FOGO work for you. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
We encourage you to call Council to discuss any solutions to suit your particular situation.
Check out Council's A-Z: What Goes Where waste guide for more ideas on how a wide range of items can be recycled, reused, donated or sold, rather than thrown in the red lid garbage bin.
What if I have nappies, incontinence pads or pet waste?
Unfortunately, the chemicals and plastics in disposable nappies and incontinence pads mean they can't be disposed of in the green-lid bin and must be sent to landfill. The same is true of pet waste and most commercial cat litter products.
We understand that some families may find this transition challenging and so are offering an additional booked collection of red-lid garbage bins (in the alternate week to the scheduled pick-up) to assist households whilst they transition to the weekly FOGO and fortnightly garbage collection.
We also want to provide some reassurance based on the experience of other councils who have introduced food recycling and fortnightly red-lid bin collections. They have found that odours from nappies, incontinence pads, period products and pet waste are reduced significantly if wrapped or bagged securely before disposal in the red bin. Evidence also indicates that these odours do not increase from week one to week two.
An additional booked service can be made here:
You might also like to check out the details of our reusable nappy rebate here:
Are my rates changing?
No, your rates are not changing. While the red lid garbage bins are collected fortnightly, the green lid FOGO bins are collected weekly. Same amount of waste, collections and trucks – just food is in a different bin. We will need just as many staff and trucks on the ground as before.
When will I receive my kitchen benchtop bin?
Council has provided all households with a starter kit which will include a kitchen benchtop bin, a pack of compostable bin liners and a "how to" flyer.
If you haven't received your starter kit, you can order one here. Otherwise you can reuse an ice-cream container, yoghurt tub or upcycle an old tupperware container to collect your food scraps.
Extra compostable bin liners are available free at Council service centres, or for purchase at supermarkets throughout the Inner West.
Do I have to use a compostable liner?
No you don't! Putting food in loose without using a liner is the most environmentally friendly way to FOGO. If you choose to put food in loose, here's some tips to get you started:
- Use an airtight container to collect your scraps. This minimises smells in your kitchen
- Store your container near your knife block, under the sink, in your fridge or next your bin as a reminder to use it. Make sure it is stored away from direct sunlight
- Empty your container regularly in the warmer months (2 to 3 times per week)
- Cover food scraps in your green lid wheelie bin by layering these with garden organics to help absorb liquids, reduce odours and avoid the attraction of pests
If you're new to FOGO, liners can make food recycling easy and mess-free. We recommend emptying your benchtop bin 2-3 times per week in the summer months to reduce smells and ensure liners don’t decompose in your kitchen benchtop bin.
Where can I get compostable liners?
Council will provide you with a pack of compostable bin liners as part of your FOGO starter pack.
Compostable liners are also available from Council service centres, libraries and mobile customer service stalls held throughout the community, from Tuesday to Saturday.
You can also purchase compostable bin liners from major supermarkets, independent grocers and hardware retailers. Make sure you purchase green liners with the seedling logo or marked "AS4736".
Can I use any green bag to collect my food?
No - regular plastic bags and "biodegradable" or "degradable" bags, without the seedling logo or marked "AS4736" are not suitable. These bags will not decompose and will contaminate the compost used by farmers to grow food.
Reporting a lost or stolen bin?
Visit the replacement bin page for details.
Want to learn more?
See the full list of FOGO FAQs