3-Bin FOGO News and Updates

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Find out about the 3 Bin trial

3 Bin Trial

On Monday October 9, the City of Melville rolled out a trial of a 3-Bin Food Organics Garden Organics or FOGO system to around 7,000 households. The trial was part of a joint project between the City of Melville, City of Fremantle, Town of East Fremantle and Southern Metropolitan Regional Council (SMRC) and changed the way you sort your waste at home.

Summary of Observations

The rollout of bins to the 3-bin FOGO trial participants began on 9 October 2017, with collections of the new bins starting on 16 October.

Residents who didn’t receive their bins during the first week received them this week.

SMRC Officers took to the streets to check how everyone was going with the new system in the first week, having a look into some of the bins presented for collection across the trial area.

Some of the key observations included:

  • Most of the FOGO bins contained food and garden waste, with relatively low levels of contamination such as plastic bags or recyclables.
  • The number of compostable green bags containing food in the bins seemed high, however where large amounts of garden waste were also in the bin it was hard to judge.
  • Many paper items too soiled or damaged to recycle such as tissues and heavily soiled paper and cardboard products were found in many FOGO bins.
  • Where people had put the wrong items into their FOGO bins, it was mainly in large amounts i.e.; where the bin was completely full of bagged rubbish and recyclables..
  • There were some areas with several contaminated bins in the same street or block.
  • A number of non-compostable dog poo bags were seen in the FOGO bins. The council has received compostable dog poo liners and they will be going into parks in the trial areas shortly.
  • Many households presented their red bins incorrectly during the first week and we found people had been confused by the wording of the sticker on the red bin
  • Recycling bins were mostly full with only a few instances of bagged recycling and the majority of people had put the right things in.

Throughout the first week a lot of enquiries were general questions able to be answered by customer service staff about the collection of bins, what goes where and requests for larger recycling bins or replacement compostable liners or caddies.

The majority of more complex enquiries during the first week of collections were to do with the red-lidded bins as a number of residents found they needed more capacity over the fortnight.

Many of these households had young children in nappies, or were from larger families.

We were able to help out several of these households with a second red bin following a check by Waste Services.

The direct interaction with residents during bin inspections has been positive, with all residents enthusiastic about the trial.

In the first month of the trial, residents made a great effort in adjusting to the new system with the majority putting the right things in the right bin, with low contamination rates observed in the FOGO loads and more than 220 tonnes of FOGO material processed.

In the first two weeks of collections, SMRC Officers took to the streets to check how everyone was going with the new system, having a look into some of the bins presented for collection across the trial area.

We saw food and garden waste in most of the FOGO bins with a high number of compostable bags used for food scraps, as well as many paper items too soiled or damaged to recycle like tissues and heavily soiled paper and cardboard products.

Recycling bins were mostly full with only a few instances of recycling tied up in a plastic bag and the majority of people had put the right things in.

Although we saw some overfull red bins on their collection week, most of those inspected were between half and ¾ full.

We also saw that some people had put their red or yellow bins out incorrectly, although this improved over the month as people got used to the new routine.

Where people had put the wrong items into their FOGO bins, it was mainly in large amounts i.e.; where the bin was completely full of bagged rubbish and recyclables, while red bins that were not used correctly often had food waste and recycling in the bin.

Throughout the month, a lot of enquiries were general questions able to be answered by customer service staff about the collection of bins, what goes where and requests for replacement compostable liners or caddies.

The change to fortnightly recycling collection also generated a lot of enquiries, with many residents taking up the offer of the larger 360L recycling bin to help with more capacity over the fortnight.

A number of residents were also enquiring about the rubbish bin as they found they were running out of room before the collection day. We were able to help out several of these households with a second red bin after a visit from Waste Services to have a look at the contents of their bins to make sure they were putting the correct items in there.

While it has been a big change from the two-bin system and some are finding it difficult, we have also had some great feedback over the past month from a lot of residents saying they are now much more aware of their waste habits because of the trial and are making positive changes.


Learn more about the bin audit education program, what happens to your waste and how you can request for a larger recycling bin in the December newsletter, available here.

The efforts of households participating in the 3-bin FOGO trial are paying off with positive results recorded across the trial program.

So far, we’ve diverted more than 66.5% of all household waste from landfill across the whole trial area, already achieving above the state government target of 65% by the year 2020!

Over the past couple of months, we’ve provided an extra helping hand to more than 1,200 houses in the trial areas, providing direct feedback and extra information on using the new system through a bin audit education program. Households involved in the program had their bins inspected and were provided with either a ‘happy’ or a ‘sad’ faced tag, outlining what goes in which bin. Over the six-week period, residents in all five areas showed great improvement with the percentage of the right things in the FOGO bin increasing by 16%, recycling by 9% and general waste by 20%.

Although officers saw the right things in most bins during the program, there were some common items placed into the wrong bins.

FOGO bin:

  • Plastic bags used instead of compostable liners – Plastic bags will not break down during composting, so compostable liners or newspaper should always be used to wrap food before placing it in the FOGO bin. Replacement liners are available from City of Melville.
  • Food left in plastic packaging – Plastic and polystyrene packaging will not compost, so please remove food from packaging before placing in the bin.
  • Plastic and metal garden tools or items such as plant pots and hoses – Please be sure to separate these items from your garden waste and dispose of them in the correct bin.

Recycling bin:

  • Recycling tied up in plastic bags – Tied up bags can’t be opened by staff at the sorting facility and will go to landfill, so please place all recyclables loose in the bin.
  • Clothing and other textiles – Textiles can’t be recycled through our facility, if they are still in usable condition they can be donated through charity shops. If not they should be placed in the red-topped general waste bin.
  • Food scraps – All food scraps, including meat, bones and shellfish, should go into your FOGO bin either in a compostable liner, wrapped in newspaper or loose in the bin
  • Recyclable items like plastic bottles and trays – Plastic meat trays and bottles can be given a quick rinse and placed into the recycling bin
  • Batteries, light globes and fluoro tubes – Hazardous items such as batteries and light globes should not be disposed of in your kerbside bins. To find your closest drop off point for these items, visit recycleright.wa.gov.au.

General waste bin:

  • Food scraps – All food scraps, including meat, bones and shellfish, should go into your FOGO bin either in a compostable liner, wrapped in newspaper or loose in the bin
  • Recyclable items like plastic bottles and trays – Plastic meat trays and bottles can be given a quick rinse and placed into the recycling bin
  • Batteries, light globes and fluoro tubes – Hazardous items such as batteries and light globes should not be disposed of in your kerbside bins. To find your closest drop off point for these items, visit recycleright.wa.gov.au.

There is still room for improvement and the team has moved on to five new areas in April to help the community put the right thing in the right bin.

A recent survey has shown the 3-Bin Food Organics, Garden Organics (FOGO) trial to be producing some of the best results in the country.

Authorised by the Southern Metropolitan Regional Council (SMRC) and conducted by independent research company Catalyse. The FOGO survey was mailed to all households participating in the trial and was well responded with 1,952 (30%) of residents providing valuable feedback.

A wider survey was mailed to 5,000 random selected residents across the Cities of Melville, Cockburn, Kwinana, Fremantle and the Town of East Fremantle, and 1,000 hard copy surveys were distributed to each of the five SMRC Councils. 826 residents completed the survey.

The findings showed strong support towards the new system with:

  • 79% of respondents wanting the 3-bin FOGO system to continue
  • 94% of respondents rating weekly FOGO collections positively
  • 87% of respondents rating fortnightly recycling collections positively
  • 69% of respondents rating fortnightly general waste collections positively
  • 80% of respondents satisfied that they received the right amount of information about the new system

Workshop for Trial Participants

The City of Melville and the Recycle Right Team from the South Metropolitan Regional Council (SMRC) hosted 4 workshops for participants of the trial.

The workshops were held at Blue Gum Community Centre, Willage Community Centre, AH Brack Library and Bull Creek Community Centre.

The sessions were interactive and people shared how they manage household waste currently.

38% said they recycled what they could.

25% use their own shopping bags rather than the plastic bags provided by shops.

19% had a compost heap in their gardens.

19% don't buy pre-packaged fruit and Veg.

The group shared their knowledge on what makes up organic waste, what can be recycled and items that can't be recycled or composted.

Lots of questions were put to the specialists, including:

What happens to fluorescent tubes, clay garden pots and other items? Which milk containers can be recycled?

Q&A

Questions and tips from the 3 bin trial

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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About The Trial