Food Organics & Garden Organics (FOGO) Trial

FOGO TILE

RRC FOGO Bin

From October 2021, Council will be undertaking a 12-month Food and Garden Organics (FOGO) trial to find out if an organics kerbside bin is a good solution here in our region. 

The trial consists of 750 residential properties - some receiving a garden organics and food organics bin (FOGO), and others receiving a garden organics (GO) only bin. 

The trial is being funded by the State Government so will be delivered at no additional cost to ratepayers.

  How the trial will work

The trial is organised into three sample groups, each consisting of 250 participating households.  Each group will participate in one of three different service configurations.  The aim is to compare and evaluate the tonnes of material collected, contamination levels, cost and community response to each of the services.

For more details about each of the trial sample groups click on the below images:

Northside Trial Group
Gracemere Trial Group
Southside Trial Group

What happens to the food and garden waste collected during the trial?

The collected organic material is taken to a commercial composting facility in Gracemere where it is composted in open windrows for between 12-18 weeks in order to turn it into several grades of compost products.

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Can I opt into the trial?

Unfortunately not.  Trial participation is allocated to 750 households located in several neighbourhoods, chosen for logistical reasons and to ensure we capture a representative sample of the wider community.

When will the rest of the community get an organics service?

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Council will use the learnings from this trial to make a decision about the most suitable service to roll out across the whole community.  If the trial proves successful,we are aiming to be able to roll out a service to the whole community from July 2023.

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Wouldn’t it be better to reduce food waste before it gets to the bin?

Absolutely, and this is something that our whole community can be participating in right now. 

The average Australian household wastes 12.7% of its weekly grocery shop, costing each household $1,043 per year.  There are some very simple behaviours we can adopt to reduce this waste. See our "How to reduce your food waste" web page for some great tips.

 Why FOGO?

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By going FOGO, we will:

  • reduce our carbon emissions from landfill
  • reduce landfill disposal costs and significantly extending the life of the Lakes Creek Road landfill facility
  • mitigate impact of the Queensland Government’s waste levy on ratepayers
  • provide community wide environmental and economic benefits by closing the loop on organic waste
     

If well implemented, a FOGO service can reduce the quantity of waste going to landfill by up to 8,000 tonnes per year and return valuable nutrients back to the land.

This is an important early step for Council as it pursues its goal of zero waste by 2050.

 
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How do I find out more/get involved?
Updates on the trial and information on FOGO will be available on our website, via media, and social media.
Please go to this link to complete a quick survey.

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 You can contact our Customer Services Centre on 4932 9000 or at enquiries@rrc.qld.gov.au to:

 


Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

General Questions

FOGO identifier

What is FOGO?

FOGO stands for "Food Organics and Garden Organics". A FOGO bin is where you can put all of the organic material generated in our house and garden such as food scraps and garden clippings. We will then collect all of this material and our contractor will turn it into compost.

RRC FOGO Bin
What does GO mean then?

GO stands for Garden Organics.  This service is for garden waste only.

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What is the RRC FOGO Trial?

From October 2021, Council will be undertaking a 12-month Food and Garden Organics (FOGO) trial to find out if an organics bin is something that would work in our region.

The trial consists of 750 residential properties - some receiving a garden organics and food organics bin (FOGO), and others receiving a garden organics (GO) only bin.

The trial is being funded by the State Government so will be delivered at no additional cost to ratepayers.

When is the trial starting?

The trial will start in October and run for 12 months.

Why is a FOGO service needed?

Food and garden organic waste makes up around 50% of the average Rockhampton household’s waste stream.  This is a valuable material that should be used to improve the soil health here in our local community, but instead is being sent to landfill.

Returning valuable organic material to the soil is a much better outcome for our community than landfilling it. In landfill, this material does not turn into compost, instead generating methane, a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 28 times greater than that of carbon dioxide.

Council’s landfill is an extremely expensive community asset with a finite lifespan.  Filling it up with organic materials for which there is already a better alternative is a poor decision for current and future generations.

The Queensland Government has introduced a levy on waste sent to landfill.  The introduction of this waste levy means that continuing with our current model will lead to escalating costs for ratepayers.

The Australian Government has committed to introducing FOGO collection services to households and businesses by the end of 2023.  The Queensland Government is co-funded this trial to gain insights to assist with the successful state-wide rollout of organic service.

Can i buy any end product from the FOGO trial?

Each participating household will be eligible to receive a 20 litre bag of finished compost.  Unfortunately, it is not cost effective for this trial to service wider public demand, but all product will be for sale on commercial basis through contracted processor NuGrow.

Where can i give feedback on the trial?

A component of the trial is to gather community feedback.  Throughout the trial a series of surveys will be available to provide your feedback.  Visit our website at www.rrc.qld.gov.au/fogo or scan the QR code to go to the survey.  Additional feedback is welcome at any time by contacting our Customer Services helpdesk on 4932 9000 or at enquiries@rrc.qld.gov.au

 

Trial Participants

FOGO trial identifier

When do I get my bin?

Your new bin will be delivered in the final week of September.  The bin will be a 240 litre bin, same size as your existing kerbside bins.  It will be easily distinguishable from your other household bins by its lime green lid.

Do I need to be home to get my new bin?

No, bins will be delivered on your final collection day of September. However, if you are receiving a FOGO service (rather than a GO service) you will need to present your general waste bin on the kerbside in this final week of September so that we can swap it for a 140L bin.

Is there any additional cost to me?

No, there will be no additional charges associated with being a participant in this trial.

Can I opt out of the trial or change what sample group I am a part of?

Unfortunately not.  Trial participation is allocated to 750 chosen households located in specific neighbourhoods chosen for logistical reasons and to ensure we capture a representative sample of the wider community.

You can of course choose not to use your FOGO bin.  However, this trial does provide our community with a unique opportunity to help set the agenda for our region and the rest of Queensland, so we would encourage participation so that we can gather full and accurate user data.

If you do have concerns or difficulties with the service we most definitely want to hear your feedback.  That is the purpose of this trial.

I don't need a FOGO bin.

You may feel that you don't need a FOGO bin. Perhaps you compost at home, feed your scraps to the chooks, or mulch your garden waste at home.

There are however quite a number of household items that cannot be easily dealt with at home, for example compostable packaging, or items not suitable for home compost such as citrus, meat, dairy and cooked leftovers.

Of course, if you really don't have a need and therefore don’t present your bin for collection, then this is invaluable information to help inform this trial and any future community wide roll-out.

Do I need to present my bin every week/collection cycle?

No, it is not compulsory to present your bin every week. We do, however, encourage you to use your bin as much as possible over the course of the trial and present your bin no matter how full it is.

Who will be collecting my bin?

Rockhampton Regional Council is utilising its own fleet of collection vehicles and in-house operators to conduct the additional collections for the trial.  The materials will be taken to the NuGrow composting facility in Gracemere where it will be processed into a range of compost products for on-sale to local farms.

What happens if I move house?

The kerbside bin and the kitchen caddy is assigned to the property and not the individual. Both the bin and the caddy therefore should remain at the property.

If you are moving into a FOGO trial neighbourhood, please get in touch with council and we will organise a visit to explain to you the scheme.

Will I get to keep my organics bin once the trial has finished?

That is not going to be possible unfortunately.  Once the trial is complete in September 2022 all participants will be transitioned back to their regular service until such a time as Council is ready to commit to a whole of community roll-out.  More information on how this transition will happen will be provided to participants closer to the trial conclusion.

How do I present my new bin at kerbside?

Please place your bin out on the evening prior to your collection day. Ensure that your bins are spaced 30cm (a ruler length) apart and 1m from any trees, cars or other obstructions. Bin lids should be fully closed and the lid opening should be facing the road.

More specific FAQs about each trial area are addressed on each of the participant information pages (links above)

Bin Health Inspection Program

RRC FOGO Bin

 

I got a tag on my bin, what does it mean?

Council is conducting bin health inspections to monitor the success of the trial and distribute education materials if needed about what can and cannot go in the bin.

Did the bin health inspectors come on my property?

No, the bin health inspectors only lift the lid and look inside bins that have been presented to the kerb for collection.

I’m not happy with the idea of people rifling in my bin.

The bin health program inspectors only do a quick observation of the material towards the top of the bin. They do not rummage through bins, nor are any records kept of personal information.

What is the point of the tags?

The tags are designed to give feedback to residents about the contents of their bin.  If their bin is free from contamination, the tag will be ticked as being ‘clean’ from contamination.  If incorrect items are observed in the bin, the tag will be ticked as contaminated and further educational materials will be provided to the householder.

I got a contamination tag/flyer, will I be fined?

Fines will not be issued.  The tag and associated letterbox flyer are designed as educational resources, as part of the bin health program, to advise residents of what items are accepted in the bin.

 


This project is proudly supported by the Queensland Government.

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