FOGO and compost

Illustrated FOGO items banner  

What is a FOGO?

FOGO stands for Food Organics and Garden Organics. The introduction of FOGO means that from 11 November 2019, households that already have a green waste bin will be able to place food scraps as well as garden waste into their bright green lidded organics bin. From 11 November, all Green Waste bins officially become FOGO bins. Hobart City residents who don’t currently have a green waste/organics bin can request a service using our online FOGO Bin application form. Alternatively you can print out the application(PDF, 39KB), complete and submit it in one of the following ways: 

  • email: coh@hobartcity.com.au
  • post: City of Hobart, GPO Box 5003, Hobart Tasmania 7001
  • in person: Customer Service Centre, 16 Elizabeth Street, Hobart

Benchtop kitchen caddies will be provided to all FOGO service recipients.

Information on what can go in the FOGO bin can be found here(PDF, 192KB).

The material collected will be taken to an industrial composting facility outside of Hobart where it will be transformed into a quality compost that meets Australian standard AS 4454-2012.

What can go in the FOGO bin?

What can go in the FOGO bin?
Include Don’t include
✔ Food scraps & left overs ✖ Plastics and plastic bag & liners without composting certification*
✔ Dairy products ✖ Nappies
✔ Meat, bones & egg shells ✖ Rocks/Concrete/Ceramics
✔ Cooked food ✖ Large branches & stumps
✔ Coffee grounds & tea leaves ✖ General waste or recycling
✔ Paper towel & tissues ✖ Metals
✔ Soiled paper & cardboard ✖ Treated timber & building materials
✔ Grass clippings ✖ Textiles
✔ Weeds
✔ Small branches
✔ Pet poo & cat litter (organic)  
✔ Compostable cups, plates & cutlery*  
✔ Certified compostable bags*  

 *Compostable bioplastic products that are certified under one of the following certifications; AS 5810, AS 4736, ASTM D6400, and EN13432 can be placed in your FOGO bin. Look for a label on the product or ask your supplier for certification. Bags and serving-ware (e.g plates & cutlery) made from natural fibres such as wood, paper, bagasse and cardboard can be placed in your FOGO bin.

Why is a FOGO service being introduced?

Compost and mulch pile

We know that approximately 50% of the average household waste bin in Hobart is food and a further 10% is garden waste. By collecting the organic material generated in Hobart homes and businesses and composting it into nutrient rich soil, the FOGO service reduces waste to landfill and the release of greenhouse gas emissions. The compost is later used within agriculture and horticulture therefore ‘closing the loop’ and assisting the City in moving towards our aim of zero waste to landfill by 2030.

The introduction of FOGO is the second step in the City’s plan to get organics out of waste bins following the successful introduction of the garden waste kerbside collection in 2016.

The Green Waste service collected over 700 full trucks of green waste every year. The introduction of FOGO has the potential to capture up to 4,000 tonnes of organic material and turn it into valuable compost rather than sending it into landfill.

Who will receive a FOGO bin?

All residents in Hobart City currently possessing a Green Waste bin will automatically have their service upgraded to a FOGO service. This means that they will receive a kitchen caddy and will be able to start to place food waste as well as the usual garden organics in their 240L bright green-lidded organics bin.

Residents that would like to opt-in can do so using the online FOGO Bin Application Form.

Residents currently using a Green Waste bin can choose to opt-out using the online FOGO bin opt out application.

How much will my FOGO bin collection cost?

There will be no change to the rates for 2019/20 as a result of this service change.

The current garden service charge is $50 per bin per year.

It is likely that there will be a small increase on the $50 charge in 2020/21, and the City will use the next 6 months to monitor costs and savings to determine any changes to the rates notices for 2020/21.

When will my FOGO bin be collected?

Every fortnight on the opposite week to recycling. If you already have a green bin for garden organics, continue to put your bin out on the same day as per your usual schedule. Kerbside waste and recycling services will remain unchanged.

To check your rubbish, recycle and FOGO collection days please select the relevant calendar Bin Calendar 1(PDF, 36KB) or Bin Calendar 2(PDF, 36KB).

Can I use bin liners?

To reduce the risk of contamination it is preferred that FOGO users put their scraps in loose. All FOGO service recipients receive a kitchen caddy to put their food scraps in which can then be transferred directly into the 240L FOGO wheelie bin when full or ready for collection. Plastic bin liners contaminate loads. Residents can use a piece of paper towel to line their kitchen caddy or can fold a purpose made liner from newspaper. Find Instructions for a DIY newspaper liner here(PDF, 124KB). It is strongly preferred that residents opt for no or paper liners, however if a certified compostable bioplastic liner must be used then it must be certified under one of the following certifications: AS 5810, AS 4736, ASTM D6400, and EN13432.

Will my bin smell?

Not if you follow these few handy tips:

  • Freeze fish & meat waste and put in your FOGO bin the morning of collection
  • Try making a kitchen caddy liner from newspaper, DIY newspaper liner instructions here(PDF, 124KB)
  • Use a sprinkling of bicarbonate soda to deodorise your bin
  • Layer your food waste with garden waste such as lawn clippings & leaf litter
  • Rinse you bin out regularly & let it dry completely
  • Keep your bin in the shade if possible

Further questions?

Check out our FAQs(PDF, 169KB) and FOGO flyer(PDF, 409KB).

Contact coh@hobartcity.com.au  Ph. 6278 0273.

Composting at home

The McRobies Gully Waste Management Centre (the tip) processes garden waste to produce mulch and certified organic compost. The City sells this mulch and compost and also uses it in parks and at the tip. 

Food waste comprises nearly half of the rubbish in an average household rubbish bin.

If you compost your food waste you’re diverting it from landfill where it takes up valuable space, and rots and emits harmful methane gasses. Around 3% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from organic matter rotting in landfills.

Home composting_illustration by Rachel Tribout

As part of efforts to achieve zero waste to landfill by 2030, the City has released a free booklet called ‘Home Composting in Hobart’. Produced by Good Life Permaculture, with illustrations by local artist Rachel Tribout, the booklet provides strategies and techniques for composting food waste. It covers topics from worm farms to keeping chooks, as well as advice for common composting problems and how to build a no-dig garden.

You can download the booklet(PDF, 3MB) or get a printed copy at the Customer Service Centre, 16 Elizabeth Street, Monday-Friday, 8.15 am – 5.15 pm. 

The following flyers are also available to download: Composting Tips Flyer(PDF, 720KB)Large Compost Piles Flyer(PDF, 635KB) and Chicken Flyer(PDF, 761KB)

If you would like to buy compost or mulch, you can collect it yourself or have it delivered to you. For general compost enquiries and deliveries call 0408 217 630.

For bulk orders please call 0429 803 135. Mon – Fri 7.30 am – 4 pm.

For all fees and charges please refer to our Fees and Charges page.