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Food and garden organics bins

Your food and garden organics service has changed

You need to sort your waste into 4 different bins. Go to our Your new bins page for more information about these changes.

  • This bin is collected weekly.
  • Households getting a new food and garden organics bin in June will have their kitchen caddy delivered separately in July and August.

How to use your food and garden organics bin

You can place food scraps and leftovers in this bin along with your garden waste.

To learn how to use the service and what happens to your food and garden organics (FOGO) waste, refer to our FOGO user guide

Food and garden organics bin collection

We collect your food and garden organics weekly, on the same day as your garbage and recycling collection.

Our FOGO bins have a light green lid and were previously called the green waste bin.

To find out when your FOGO collection day will be, enter your address below. 

For a printed waste collection calendar, contact us on 9240 1111.

There is a waste management charge in your rates that covers FOGO collection. You can find out more about this on our Understanding your rates page. The charge also includes garbage, recycling, and hard waste collection.

Can I change the size of my food and garden organics bin?

The available sizes for FOGO are 120 litres (standard) or 240 litres.

You can now change the size of your FOGO bin if the standard bin size is not suitable for your household. There will be no changeover fee, but your waste charge will change. Smaller bins cost less and larger bins cost more.

  • Put your bins out by 5:30am on your bin collection day. You can also put your bins out the night before.

    Put your bin on the kerb at the edge of your street. Make sure the bin is facing the street and that there are no objects within 30cm (such as a car, tree or another bin).

    Any waste left beside or on top of the bin will not be collected.

    If your street is a court or cul-de-sac, place your bins along the straight part of the kerb.

    Below are some diagrams that show this placement.

  • The following items can go in your FOGO bin:

    • food waste
    • leaves, twigs and branches
    • grass clippings and weeds, including noxious weeds

    Food waste includes:

    • fruit and vegetable scraps
    • citrus, onions and garlic
    • meat, bones and seafood scraps
    • coffee grounds and loose tea leaves
    • egg shells
    • dairy products
    • bread, pasta and cereal
    • leftovers
    • paper towel or newspaper that lines your kitchen caddy
  • The following items cannot go in your FOGO bin:

    • plastic bags (including compostable or biodegradable bags)
    • plastic packaging (including compostable or biodegradable packaging)
    • food packaging (including cling wrap, ties and stickers)
    • garden waste or food waste in plastic bags
    • coffee cups and plastic plates
    • plant pots
    • tree stumps, soil and ash
    • sharps and medicine
    • vacuum dust and hair (including pet hair)
    • dishcloths
    • wooden icy pole sticks
    • kitty litter, dog or cat droppings
    • nappies and baby wipes (even if labelled compostable)
    • recyclable materials
    • household rubbish
    • shredded paper (use this in your home compost bin or worm farm)
    • If you already have a FOGO bin you can collect your complimentary caddy from a Customer Service Centre for a limited time. 
    • Households getting a new food and garden organics bin in June will have their kitchen caddy delivered separately in July and August

    Damaged caddies will not be replaced by us. The caddy is a one-off complimentary item to support residents to use the service.

  • Food scraps can smell as they break down.

    A few ways you can reduce the likelihood of your kitchen caddy smelling bad:

    • Line your kitchen caddy with 1 to 2 layers of newspaper or paper towel
    • Wrap smelly food scraps in newspaper or paper towel
    • Empty your kitchen caddy into the FOGO bin every two to three days
    • Keep your kitchen caddy closed and don't overfill it
    • Wash your caddy regularly
    • Sprinkle bicarb soda (baking soda) in your kitchen caddy to absorb the smell

    A few ways you can reduce the likelihood of your FOGO bin smelling bad:

    • Put scraps like prawn shells and meat in your freezer, and transfer them to your FOGO bin close to your collection day
    • Layer your food scraps between your garden waste
    • Line the bottom of your FOGO bin with dry garden waste, leaves or twigs to stop food scraps sticking to the bin
    • Sprinkle bicarb soda (baking soda) in your FOGO bin to absorb the smell
    • Keep your bin in the shade (where possible) and don't overfill it
    • Wash your bin out from time to time with soap and a hose
  • Your food and garden organics (FOGO) waste is a valuable resource. The FOGO waste that we collect is turned into compost, which is used to enrich the soil at farms, parks and gardens.

    Collected FOGO waste goes to the Veolia organics processing facility in Bulla, Victoria, where it takes only six to ten days to be turned into soil conditioner and compost.

    The Back to Earth Initiative has created a video about the journey of FOGO waste. You can also find out more about what happens to FOGO waste on the Back to Earth website.

  • Our organics processor, Veolia, do not accept compostable bags of any type because they are a contamination risk if people use the wrong type of bag or put the wrong things inside. The knots of the bags also do not breakdown adequately in the rapid process used by Veolia, which means pieces of compostable bags can be seen in the compost and mulch products which is unwanted by farmers seeking high quality compost to use on their farms.

    Bagged waste can also be a safety risk to people whose job it is to sort the waste materials, particularly if incorrect or unsafe items are placed in the bag. So in line with Veolia’s requirements, we ask that compostable bags are not used. Veolia service most Councils in the north-west region of Melbourne, so we are not alone in being not able to accept them.

  • Currently over 50% of Merri-bek's waste that goes to landfill is food organics. When this waste breaks down it creates methane gas. This is a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Our decision to change our green waste to FOGO bins was to reduce the amount of food organic waste in landfill.

    Our food and garden organics (FOGO) service works alongside home composting. It is also an option for people that cannot or do not process their food scraps.

    The food and garden organics that we collect is turned into compost, which is used to enrich the soil at farms, parks and gardens.

  • Go to our bin repairs and replacements page for information about how to change your bin or get a new bin. This includes damaged bins, lost or stolen bins, changing your bin size or ordering a bin for your property.

    The food and garden organics (FOGO) bin is the new name for the green waste bin. If you already have a green waste bin you can start placing food in this bin along with your garden waste.

Shared bins at multi-unit developments and apartment sites

We provide shared bins for multi-unit and apartment sites across Merri-bek. These are for use by all residents at the property.

  • To ensure that everyone at a site can effectively use shared bins you need to:

    • Store the bins in a central location so that everyone can access the bins
    • Agree who will take out the bins for collection and bring them in
    • Assess if the capacity of the different bins is meeting the requirements of the site. Discuss this with your owners corporation or body corporate
    • Ensure shared bins do not weigh more than 30kg and are not overfilled as we will not be able to collect them
  • To reduce the amount of general waste produced at your development you can: