Monday, June 10, 2024

FOGO Service - Monthly Update (Inner West Council Meeting 9 April 2024 Agenda)

Item No:              C0424(1) Item 13

Subject:              FOGO Service - Monthly Update           

Prepared By:      Helen Bradley - Manager Resource Recovery Planning 

Authorised By:  Peter Gainsford - General Manager

RECOMMENDATION: That Council receive and note the report.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE: This report supports the following strategic directions contained within Council’s Community Strategic Plan: 1: An ecologically sustainable Inner West


This report includes the monthly updates on services, statistics and initiatives on FOGO.


The new weekly opt in red lid garbage collection commenced on 18 March [20240 as per the March Council resolution. Work has commenced on the FOGO service review and phase two communications with external consultants. Council procurement is underway for the delivery of 75 bag packs of compostable liners to all households during May and June 2024.


Council commenced the FOGO food recycling service on the 9th October 2023 and as of the 25 March had collected 8,267 Tonnes of FOGO. This equates to 15,409 tonnes CO2, equivalent emissions of taking 13,426 cars of the road.

The tonnages collected for the month of February (short month) was 1,452 which is greater than our modelling suggested of approximately 1,122 tonnes per month if we recovered half of the available food from the garbage bin.

In the first 5 months of the FOGO service (October to February inclusive 2023/24), compared to the same period in 2022/23;

·    Garbage tonnage has reduced by 3,924 tonnes

·    FOGO (Garden and FOO previously) tonnage has increased by 4,164 tonnes.

This suggests a transfer of approximately 4,000 tonnes of food from garbage to FOGO over the first five months of FOGO.

As is demonstrated on the graph below, FOGO tonnage is increasing at a greater rate than garbage disposal, compared to the same months last financial year. Note that summer is peak generation across all streams, with lowest seasonal generation in winter.

Industry standard for missed bins is 0.5% of total services which would equate to approximately 890 missed for the Inner West each week. For the week ending 22 March, Council missed services averaged 442 per week across all streams (Garbage, recycling and FOGO), with more than half of these being for red lid garbage collections, of which about 50% are accounted for by residents reporting a missed service in the off week for garbage.

The number of weekly waste phone calls and customer requests are gradually reducing, and we are averaging about 183 calls per day (917 for the week) in the week ending 22 March 2024 from a peak of 800 per day in October 2023, 34 of these calls were FOGO related, averaging 7 per day.

Council has been promoting access to the online waste calendar as the single source of truth for residents confirming their bin collection details, with the waste calendar pages receiving more than 372,330 views (3 October 2023 to 22 March 2024). This is now reflected in the number of residents presenting their red or yellow bin on the wrong week for collection, which has reduced to around 5% of households. This is being addressed through education to households via the collection crews and waste busters.

Assistance for residents adjusting to FOGO

1.   Upsizing Red Lid Garbage Bins.

To help assist residents who are struggling with a fortnightly collection of the 120-litre red lidded bin, Council is offered a 240-litre bin. Council has delivered 4,488 upsized 240-litre red lidded Garbage bins since FOGO commenced.

2.   Booked Overflow Red Lid Garbage Bin Collection

Optimo, Council’s current booking system for clean-up bookings, has been active since 9 October 2023 to support residents that would like to book the alternate week collection. Council clean-up and extra red-lid bin collection - Inner West Council (

The booked system gives residents opportunity to adapt waste sorting behaviour before committing to an upsizing of bin. 1,200 bookings are available on each collection day and bookings are steady at an average of 85 per day during the month to 25 March, equating to approximately 780 households using the service per fortnight. Only 10% of bookings are associated with using the opt in service 3 or more times since the service commenced.

3.   Weekly opt in garbage collection service

The website was updated to provide information about how to register for the weekly opt-in service. All residents that had called council previous wanting the weekly service have been contacted and either called back by call centre staff or emailed where phone numbers were not provided.

On 18 March 2024, as per the council resolution, residents were able to register for the opt-in weekly garbage collection service. Households with the greatest need were prioritised for the service first (starting from 25 March) if they had a disability or medical condition creating increased demand on waste, large households of 5 or more and children with nappies. The remainder service commences from Monday 8 April.

Residents call customer service to register, who ask a series of questions and determine priority. A blue ‘weekly’ sticker is placed on the top of the red lid garbage bin to identify the bin to collection crews.

At 28 March, 489 requests had been received from residents registering for the opt in weekly red lid garbage bin collections:

·    317 priority (service commenced 25 March)

·    172 standard (service commencing 8 April)

Comparison in FOGO performance for variable bin sizes and collection frequency will be measured as part of the service review which will include audits and review of tonnages. We will continue to monitor requests and measure customer satisfaction in the Inner West community satisfaction survey.

4.   Waste Buster activity

In the week ending 22 March, Waste Busters reported the following:

·    Contacted households of 22 contaminated FOGO bins rejected by resource recovery service crews. Reviewed and improved the bin rejection and follow up process with resource recovery service crews.

·    Resolved 26 resident FOGO enquiries

·    Engaged with over 135 residents at Bairro Portuguese Festival on Saturday 23 March.

·    Developed materials for the upcoming behaviour change bin tagging phase, targeting locations of greatest contamination.


Rebate for Reusable Nappies, Sanitary and Incontinence products

$30,000 was allocated by council resolution for the nappy and sanitary rebate which opened on 9 October to enable households to try subsidised reusable nappies or sanitary products and reduce the amount of garbage in their red lid bin. In February the rebate was expanded to include the acceptance of reusable incontinence products.

Residents buy the items of their choice and submit their simple application and their receipt to qualify for the rebate (up to $150 for reusable nappies and $100 for sanitary or incontinence products).

Inner West Council's Rebately | Home

On 25 March 2024, three hundred and eighty-nine rebates had been claimed total cost $23,273):

·    Reusable cloth nappies – 101 claims to the value of $8,184

·    Reusable sanitary products – 287 claims to the value of $14,990

·    Reusable incontinence underwear – 1 claim to the value of $90

FOGO Community Champions

The final phase of the Community Champions work is about to commence with an EOI opening to train 50 community members as FOGO experts to enable them to influence and support people in their local area and networks.

Compostable liner supply and delivery

Council currently offers collection of compostable liners (bags) at Inner West Customer Service Centres and libraries.

An initial pack of 40 compostable liners was provided to FOGO households as part of the starter kit. Based on usage of 3 liners per week this is a 13 week/3-month supply to end December 2023.


All single dwellings (approximately 50,000 houses) were delivered a roll of 75 compostable bags in December 2023. Based on usage of 3 liners per week this is a 25 week/6-month supply to May 2024.

Council officers are preparing options for Council's consideration for future supply of compostable bags noting below the current policy of Randwick and Penrith.

·    Randwick Council currently offers 6 monthly delivery of bags and encourages residents to buy their own, use paper or go bag free in the interim Order new FOGO caddy liners - Randwick City Council (

·    Penrith offers quarterly delivery (opt-in) and promotes pick up from council offices and libraries. FOGO FAQ - Penrith City Council (

Compostable Liner Delivery – May/June 2024

Procurement is underway for the delivery of a roll of bags to each household in May/June 2024.

Compostable Liner Supply – May 2024

Procurement is complete and bags ordered for the supply of 75 bag packs of compostable liners for delivery in May.


The costs for the delivery of composable liners will from the existing domestic waste budgets with any shortfall funded from the Domestic Waste Reserve.


The number of weekly opt in collections are currently being undertaken within the existing day labour budget.

Source: 9 April Council Meeting Agenda


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