Council Statement

Council statement - Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO)


I’d like to clarify misinformation about the cost of a Food Organics and Garden Organics – or FOGO - bin and the transparency of the decision-making process to introduce the trial.

Figures of $467 a year for the FOGO collection service have been misconstrued.

There has been no decision to progress with a region-wide FOGO collection service however a preliminary business case estimated the full collection service – including weekly FOGO and fortnightly waste and recycling collection – would cost $467.

If that estimate is accurate, and with current waste collection charges for waste and recycling sitting at $383 per annum, the cost would be about an extra $84 per year, per household or $1.61 per week.

Council would also be advocating for State or Federal Government support prior to commencing a FOGO service to reduce the financial burden on ratepayers.

But those figures aside, there is a huge price to pay if we do nothing at all.

Bin audits have revealed that more than half of what is being disposed of into landfill from kerbside collection bins is FOGO.

The amount of Queensland Waste Levy paid to the State Government on landfilled household waste will begin to progressively increase and is forecast to cost the region’s homeowners an additional $27,000,000 over the next nine years.

We awaited this advice before progressing plans for a FOGO trial so we understood the full cost of inaction.

Furthermore, landfills are expensive undertakings with a limited lifespan. Initiatives which help us to divert valuable resources from landfill increase the life of the current landfills and have the potential to save millions of dollars.

In regards to the process – Council has been exceedingly transparent in its approach to undertaking the trial.

In October 2022 a draft business case was presented to the Council meeting and made available to the public in the agenda.

At that time, Council agreed to have this draft peer reviewed.

It returned to the full Council meeting in February this year at which point Council agreed to undertake the trial.

Undertaking the FOGO trial will allow Council to gather essential data in its consideration of a region-wide rollout of a permanent FOGO collection service.

Participating households will be surveyed door to door at the beginning of the trial and again during the trial. Audits will be undertaken throughout so that Council can collect this essential data.

Council is also currently undertaking a Waste Reduction and Recycling Plan survey which gives residents the opportunity to provide feedback on a range of initiatives, including the proposal to introduce a permanent FOGO collection service.

The draft plan contains a wealth of information around these matters and I encourage everyone to read it and complete the survey.

We are committed to undertaking this process in a prudent manner but we also need to act now to ensure our community keeps pace with the changing waste management landscape.

For anyone seeking more information there are FAQs on Council’s website.