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Council bins green waste fee

Council bins green waste fee
21 May 2020

Green waste tags will be a thing of the past under the introduction of a universal FOGO service for residental properties.
Kerbside FOGO bin
Green waste tags will be a thing of the past under the introduction of a universal FOGO service for residental properties.

City of Mount Gambier residents will no longer have to pay an additional fee to subscribe to the kerbside FOGO (food organics/green organics) bin service from 1 July 2020 with Elected Members this week endorsing a plan to absorb the cost of the service into general rates for residential properties.

To date the service has been provided by Council on an ‘opt in’ basis whereby residents subscribe through an annual payment of $85.00. Under the change residents will only be required to pay an initial fee to cover the cost of the official green organics bin if they do not already have one.

The most recent kerbside bin audit conducted by Council staff indicated that on average 45 per cent of household waste going to landfill is organic matter that could be diverted and recycled through composting.

All new subscribers who opt in to the service by purchasing the bin will also receive a kitchen caddy with compostable liners to assist with diverting food scraps away from landfill.

“The kitchen caddy is an easy way for residents to sort their waste at the sink which will mean less organic matter entering landfill via the general waste bin,” City of Mount Gambier General Manager City Infrastructure Nick Serle said.

“Organic matter is a big contaminant of general waste bins and happens to be integral to the process of bio-organically breaking down other green matter to turn it into compost.”

With 6,853 households currently subscribed to the service and the number set to increase, it is forecast the change will represent a loss of more than $500,000 from Council’s operating revenue that will be absorbed through rate revenue. The loss will be offset slightly with Council recently receiving $32,954 towards the initiative via the State Government Kerbside Performance Plus (Food Organics) Incentives Program.

“This is a large investment however we are confident the savings and environmental benefits that will result from less organic matter entering and contaminating landfill will far outweigh the initial loss of income,” Mr Serle said.

Council voted unanimously in favour of the initiative that will be backed up by a waste education campaign currently under development. The campaign will be rolled out later this year and aims to assist residents to dispose of household waste correctly through the various streams.

“This is a really positive step in line with our overall goal of reducing waste to landfill,” City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin OAM said.

It is anticipated that by reducing the barriers to accessing the FOGO service that residents will be able to experience first-hand how easily they can reduce their volume of general waste simply by sorting it into the appropriate stream.

“I really encourage our residents to take advantage of this opportunity to opt in if you do not already have a FOGO bin,” Mayor Martin said.

“Just by utilising the kitchen caddy system I am confident our residents will see a big reduction in their general waste each week.”

“By working together we can really make a difference towards responsible waste management which is so important for our future, both environmentally and financially.”

With the current subscription ceasing as of 30 June 2020, residents that already have an official green waste bin will not have to take any action to continue receiving the service as bin tags will no longer be required. Residents who wish to opt in can contact Council to arrange payment and delivery of a green waste bin with kerbside collection available from 1 July 2020.

Residents are encouraged to ensure they are only disposing of accepted matter through the green waste system to ensure the viability of the service.

“The technology installed on the waste trucks enable the contents of all bins to be closely monitored and residents are reminded to do the right thing so the service can continue to be provided to all households,” Mr Serle said.


Existing green waste (FOGO) subscribers do not need take any action to ensure their service continues from 1 July 2020, simply continue to place your bin kerbside from 6:00am on collection day. Collection will remain fortnightly.

From 1 July 2020. Those who wish to opt-in and purchase a bin can phone Council on 8721 2555 to arrange the purchase.

Phone Council to arrange over the phone on 8721 2555 or come in during opening hours.

**Please note due to COVID-19 the Council offices are currently accessible in person from 10:00am to 2:00pm Monday to Friday only. The phone lines are open 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday.

No, under the changes bin tags will no longer be required.

Any new subscribers are required to buy a bin from Council for a cost of $85 to ensure bins comply with specifications for collection by the collection trucks and are correctly coloured to provide easy visual identification by the truck drivers. Any non-compliant bins will not be picked up by the truck drivers.

Lawn clippings, garden prunings, twigs, leaves, small branches, food scraps, tissues and paper towel and items marked ‘compostable’ such as takeaway containers and coffee cups are just some examples of items that can be disposed of through the FOGO bin.

For more information, see:

Remember, if it didn’t grow, it doesn’t go in your FOGO bin.

Council’s most recent bin audit indicated that household general waste bins contain more than 44% green waste/food waste that could be disposed of through the green waste service. Through use of the green waste bin for garden waste and food waste households are anticipated to see a reduction in the volume of material in their general waste bins. Garden and food waste disposed of through the green waste bin can then be processed through a commercial composting process and turned into valuable alternate material such as fertiliser.

Watch this short video for more information about the process.

The collection will continue to be fortnightly, rotated with your recycling bin. Find your collection day schedule here.

Previously Council offered the service on an opt in basis to ensure only those who required the service were subscribed, however with an increased focus on reducing organic material from landfill Council is opting to absorb the cost of the service in general rates to increase the accessibility to the service and encourage all households to appropriately dispose of their food and garden waste.

Households are entitled to one kitchen caddy per FOGO subscription. If you have not received a kitchen caddy for your household previously please contact Council to arrange. New subscribers will be provided with a kitchen caddy with delivery of their new 240L bin.

Rolls of compostable kitchen caddy bags are available at most major supermarkets including Woolworths and Coles and hardware stores such as Bunnings and online at

Bags must be labelled compostable, not biodegradable.

Simply contact Council on 8721 2555 or visit the Customer Service Counter at the Civic Centre to arrange a one-off payment of $85 to purchase the bin.

If you are currently receiving a kerbside collection service from City of Mount Gambier you will be eligible for a FOGO service at no additional cost (excluding initial bin purchase).

Sending waste to landfill is over four times the price of sending organic waste to commercial composting. Thus putting your food waste and garden waste in the FOGO bin instead of general waste bin will save the community money. One of the many costs associated with sending waste to landfill is a State Government levy of $70 per tonne. Sending organics to commercial composting does not attract a levy. When buried in landfill organic matter emits harmful greenhouse gases, and also creates leachate – both have the potential to pollute the environment. By putting your organics in the FOGO bin you are helping the environment.