What is FOGO

Council adopted its Zero Waste Strategy in 2019 recognising that zero waste to landfill is the future goal that will create a resilient community where resources are processed and utilised rather than disposed of as waste.

Composting of FOGO is part of the plan to improve the way we manage waste and diverting it from landfill has both financial and environmental benefits. 

FOGO stands for Food Organics and Garden Organics and in August 2021, it will mean you can put your food scraps and garden organics in your new green-lid organics bin for composting into nutrient rich soil and mulch.

During July 2021, all residents with a kerbside waste collection service will receive new bins, a handy kitchen caddy for all your kitchen scraps, a roll of compostable liners and information about the new three-bin service.

The new Organics green-lid bin collection service will begin from Monday 2 August 2021

 FOGO Frequently Ask Questions

What is FOGO Material?

FOGO stands for Food Organics, Garden Organics.  In a nut-shell, FOGO is organic material including food-scraps, food soiled paper and general garden waste.

  • Food organics – leftovers (cooked or raw), spoiled food, baked good, fruit/vegetable scraps, bones, seafood, dairy, cheese, egg shells, tea bags and coffee grinds
  • Garden organics – lawn/grass clippings, weeds, leaves, flowers and small prunnings
  • You can also put food soiled tissues, paper towel, napkins, paper packaging and soiled pizza boxes


What items can go in my Organics bin?

This is your handy A-Z guide of items you can put in your green-lid organics bin: 

A – J

  • Ash from wood fire (cold/inactive) 
  • Baked goods
  • Bones (chicken, fish and other small bones)
  • Branches (<1m long and 35mm thick, i.e. cut with a secateurs/loppers)
  • Breads, cakes and pastries
  • Cereal slops 
  • Cereals and grains 
  • Certified compostable items (plates, bowls, trays, knife, forks)
  • Coffee grounds and filter paper (no pods)
  • Cooking oil and fats (absorb in paper towel or newspaper)
  • Cotton balls 
  • Dairy foods
  • Dryer lint
  • Eggshells
  • Facial tissues
  • Feathers
  • Fish and chip paper
  • Flowers
  • Food scraps
  • Fruit fly infested fruit (can be tied up in an AS4736 certified compostable bag)
  • Fruits
  • General garden clippings
  • Grains
  • Grass clippings
  • Human and animal hair
  • Jelly


  • Kitchen paper towel (food soiled no chemicals)
  • Lawn clippings
  • Leaves
  • Leftovers
  • Lollies
  • Meat (raw, cooked)
  • Meat scraps
  • Napkins, paper (food soiled)
  • Newspaper
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Paper bags
  • Paper containers and takeaway boxes
  • Paper napkins (food soiled)
  • Paper plates
  • Paper towel (food contaminated or when used to wrap loose food, no chemicals)
  • Pasta
  • Pizza boxes
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Post it notes
  • Poultry
  • Printed serviettes
  • Prunings and cuttings


  • Salad and dressing
  • Seafood (including bones and shells)
  • Shredded paper
  • Small branches
  • Soiled cardboard/paper
  • Spoiled food
  • Sticks 
  • Straw and hay 
  • Take away food scraps
  • Tea bags/leaves
  • Thorny branches
  • Tissues
  • Toilet rolls
  • Tree roots (<1m long and 35mm thick)
  • Vegetables
  • Weeds
  • Wet paper/cardboard
  • Wooden toothpicks
  • Wooden uncoated chopsticks/skewers


What items can't go in my Organics bin?

Some items should never go in your green-lid organics bin. They include:

  • Plastic bags, cling wrap or any other hard or soft plastic packaging
  • Any metal objects (tin cans, foil, aluminium food trays, metal knifes/forks)
  • Biodegradable/degradable plastics
  • Nappies, personal hygiene products or medical waste
  • Animal waste or kitty litter
  • Stickers on fruit and vegetables
  • Soil, stumps and root balls
  • Branches or roots with a diameter larger than 35mm
  • Plastic plant pots, garden hoses, seedling trays or garden tools
  • Treated and painted timber, building materials, metals and glass
  • Recyclables, textiles, vacuum dust, cigarette butts
  • Chemical or cleaning products
  • Palm leaves
  • Concrete and bricks
  • Rocks, stones, pebbles, gravel
  • Plastic or polystyrene food packaging or takeaway containers
  • Glass bottles or jars
  • Recyclables
  • Vacuum dust
  • Textile material, fabrics, cloths


Why separate Organics?

On average almost 50% of the contents of your red-lid general waste bin is food and garden organics that goes to landfill, putting pressure on already limited landfill space and generating greenhouse gases. By introducing an organics (green-lid) kerbside bin collection we will divert around 1,000 tonnes of household food and garden organics away from landfill each year.

Landfills are expensive and should be the last option for waste disposal. The faster the landfill space is used, the greater the cost to the community and the environment.

FOGO is a beneficial resource and if collected and processed appropriately, it can be turned into soil and mulch that can be used in farms, parks and sportsfields. 


What's wrong with food scraps going to landfill?

Food scraps generate methane in a landfill. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas 21 times worse than carbon dioxide. Less methane production in our landfill means we are contributing to reducing our environmental impact. 


Who will be part of this change?

All residents who have a residential waste collection service (approximately 6,050 properties) will be provided with the weekly Organics collection service.

The success of the new FOGO service relies on having no contaminants in your green-lid Organics bin. FOGO is not just about choosing the right bin, it’s about changing the way we think about waste.

What is a contaminant?

Major contaminants include plastic bags, plastic wrap and other items that belong in your general waste or recycling bin.


When will the Organics kerbside collection start?

The roll-out of the new 240 litre green-lid organics bins and kitchen caddies will begin on 5 July 2021. The roll-out will coincide with a bin harmonisation project which will see replacements of all 120 litre general waste bins with new branded 140 litre red-lid bins and new 240 litre branded yellow-lid bins for recycling.

The first new collection service will start from 2 August 2021.


What will change?

Snowy Valleys Council's kerbside service is switching to a three-bin service from July 2021.  

  • Your new 240 litre green-lid organics bin will be collected weekly
  • Your 140 litre red-lid general waste/landfill bin will become a fortnightly collection alternating with the yellow-lid recycle bin
  • Your 240 litre yellow-lid recycling bin collection will remain a fortnightly collection alternating with the red-lid general waste bin 

You will be provided with a new collection schedule before the new service begins.

As well as the new 240 litre green-lid organics bin most households will also see the replacement of all 120 litre general waste bins with new branded 140 litre red-lidded general waste bins and new 240 litre branded yellow-lidded bins for recycling.

Find out more about the bin replacement project here New-Bins-for-Residents




What if I already compost and don't have garden waste?

Your green-lid Organics bin can be used for items that you might not currently compost, such as dairy, bones, meat/fish scraps and weeds.

If you have specific circumstances you can contact Council's Resource Recovery Team to discuss your options.  Call 1300 275 782 (1300 ASK SVC) during business hours or email [email protected]


Where can I get more information?

Over the coming months we’ll keep you updated on all the details of the Organics bin rollout which is scheduled to get underway in July 2021.

We will be updating this webpage regularly, adding downloadable resources and tips and tricks on how to make the most of your new three-bin system and how to help reduce waste to landfill.

 Also keep an eye on our Facebook page for weekly updates.www.facebook.com/snowyvalleysc

Households will also receive further educational material and information with the delivery of bins, kitchen caddies and compostable bags.


This project is supported by the Environmental Trust as part of the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.