Geraldton’s FOGO trial sees improvements in waste disposal, according to city council

Jamie ThannooGeraldton Guardian
More Geraldton residents are getting a green tag on their bins.
Camera IconMore Geraldton residents are getting a green tag on their bins. Credit: City of Greater Geraldton

Geraldton’s organic waste disposal trial has shown great improvement with a significant drop reported in contamination levels, according to the city’s council.

The City of Greater Geraldton said more participants were using their Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) bins correctly and not contaminating them.

Lime green-lidded FOGO bins were provided to 500 participants to dispose of green waste in 2020.

Mayor Shane Van Styn said waste contamination had been a major issue for the program but most participants were now properly separating their waste.

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FOGO such as food scraps and garden waste can be composted rather than sent to landfill, but only if separated from other rubbish.

Earlier this year, half of the FOGO bins were being filled with contaminated waste, but Mr Van Styn said now only about 5 per cent of households were putting general rubbish in the bins.

FOGO bin usage had also increased.

Mr Van Styn said ongoing feedback with participants was key.

“In the last couple of months we’ve ramped up our communications with participants about what they are throwing into their FOGO bins and it’s working as nearly all of them are now separating their waste correctly,” he said.

City education officers were added to the program to improve awareness and coloured feedback tags are given to participants on collection days — green tags are for a good job, grey tags mean some improvement is needed and contaminated bins get taped closed. If this happens three times, those participants are out of the trial.

The council decided in May to extend the trial for another year despite opposition from some councillors.

Mr Van Styn flagged the trial could be expanded to more households if it was successful.

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