FOGO, fortnightly and February 12: Here's what you need to know about Wagga City Council's new bin collection service

FRESH WHEELS: Council waste education and communications officer showcases the new bins. Delivery to Glenfield Park and Lloyd commenced today.
FRESH WHEELS: Council waste education and communications officer showcases the new bins. Delivery to Glenfield Park and Lloyd commenced today.

Wagga City Council staff are adamant significant changes to Wagga’s bin collection will not impact service delivery and leave residents with overflowing waste.

The new service, which incorporates yellow-lid recyclables, red-lid general waste, and green-lid food organics and garden organics (FOGO), launched on February 12 with initial bin deliveries to Glenfield Park and Lloyd.

The service is scheduled to begin on April 2.

Here’s a breakdown of the service delivery:

  • Green-lid for FOGO (food organics and garden organics) waste will be collected weekly.
  • Yellow-lid for recyclables, such as plastics and paper, which will be collected every two weeks. This material will be taken to Kurrajong Recycling, who will continue to process recyclable material.
  • Red-lid for general waste that can’t be recycled, which will be collected every two weeks and taken for disposal as landfill.
  • Households will also receive a kitchen caddy and 150 compostable liners to separate their food waste before placing it in the green-lid FOGO bin.

Council waste education & communications officer Alice Kent said 75,000 new kerbside rubbish bins would be distributed across Wagga before March 23 and warned residents the focus on organic waste was a “significant change”.

“Instead of putting your food waste into the general waste bin, you’ll now be able to place into your FOGO bins,” she said.

“Meat scraps, dairy scraps, and plate scrapings can go into those bins and they’ll be collected weekly.

“We do expect it’ll take a little bit of time to get the message out there … but hopefully we’ll have a lot of information out there available to residents.”

Is fortnightly collection enough?

Though the green-lid bins will be collected weekly, yellow-lid bins and red-lid bins will be collected on alternating fortnights.

This fortnightly collection for general waste has already drawn criticism from residents online, many of whom have raised issue with the time frame.

Forest Hill resident Kayla Jane expressed her concern for recycling overfill and families with young children having to deal with a fortnight’s worth of used nappies.

“I no longer have kids in nappies but it is something I know will affect other families,” she said.

“I'm more than happy for the change over but really I think it would be a good idea to have recycling collected weekly as well.

“I personally have my bin filled with in a week and end up having to put things that could be recycled in to my general waste.”

Others, like Wagga mum Nicole Smith, have voiced their support for the scheme.

“I think we will adapt well,” she said.

“We usually generate only one bag of rubbish for landfill each week.”

Who’s delivering the service?

Council commercial operations director Caroline Angel cited the new system as a “step towards the future” but there’s no guarantee a service provider will be confirmed by April 2. 

Ms Angel said the tender applications had been extended until 2pm tomorrow and expressed confidence in finding a suitable provider.

“These are quite significant documents that have to be evaluated … and we want to make sure that we do due diligence to the submissions,” she said.

“There was a very good attendance at the site meeting and ... we intend to have a service of some description by then.”

If no suitable provider is found before April 2, council will still collect the bins but it is likely the waste will be largely transferred to landfill.

Suburbs not currently listed for delivery will appear on council media in the coming weeks.