Randwick City Council in Sydney’s east is set to become the first inner city council in NSW to offer a food waste recycling service for all households.

The new service being introduced in March 2021 to 55,000 households, will offer combined food scraps and garden waste collection in the same green lid bin, leading to a significant reduction in food waste being sent to landfill and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Called FOGO (an acronym for Food Organics Garden Organics), the new service will send the material collected to a compost processing facility to create nutrient rich mulch for use on NSW farms.

“Reducing the amount of food waste we send to landfill is a major waste minimisation priority for Randwick Council,” explained Randwick Mayor Danny Said. “Food scraps make up approximately 40% of the garbage currently disposed of in our red lid rubbish bins. Diverting this waste is a key way that we can support our entire community to reduce waste sent to landfill as well as the greenhouse gas emissions associated with it.”

The FOGO waste collection service will accept all food scraps, including those that can’t be used in home compost or worm farms, such as meat, bones, dairy, citrus, cooked leftover food and paper products such as tissues, pizza boxes and paper towels. Garden waste such as grass clippings, prunings, flowers and leaves will also go in the FOGO bin.

“FOGO provides us with a great opportunity to turn waste into a valuable resource. All of the organic waste from the green lid bins will be turned into compost, which will be used on farms and in public spaces such as our parks or sportsfields.”

A waste collection survey conducted by Randwick Council in 2019 found there is strong community support for FOGO with more than 55% of respondents saying they supported the collection of food waste and garden waste in the same bin.

“The key to the success of FOGO is high community participation rates and low contamination rates,” explained Randwick Mayor Danny Said. “This will ensure we are able to divert the greatest amount of food and green waste from landfill. We’re in the process of delivering a community education campaign that will help our residents to know which items go into which bins.”

All households will be given a new green lid FOGO bin as well as a kitchen caddy and compostable caddy bags, which can be used to collect food scraps.

Randwick Council is the second NSW metropolitan council to introduce the FOGO waste collection service (Penrith was the first for single unit dwellings in 2009) and the 43rd council in NSW.