More and more councils across the country are struggling to deal with their FOGO bin rollout as they look to meet the government's target of halving the amount of organic waste sent to landfills by 2030.
In Western Australia's town of Bassendean, a petition was launched on November 3 by locals begging for the council to revert back to weekly general waste removals, more than a year after first introducing a three-bin system which sees food organics and garden organics (FOGO) picked up weekly while general rubbish is picked up fortnightly.
Across the Nullarbor, the Yarra Ranges council are grappling with their own October 2 move to the three-bin system, complaining of "piles of rubbish" being left around the neighbourhood as a result of the move.
Kerbside collection of organic waste is set to be rolled out in NSW and Victoria by 2030, for metropolitan residents in South Australia and Western Australia by 2025 and for Canberra residents by 2023, in line with targets set by the National Waste Policy framework.
Western Australian suburbs 'deeply concerned'
Locals in northeast Perth launched a petition more than a year after their move to reduced general waste pick up and added FOGO bins, stating that while they "fully support" these efforts, it's equally important to have a "reliable and efficient" system.
"We, the residents of the Town of Bassendean, are deeply concerned about the current state of our general rubbish disposal system," the petition reads. "The inadequacy of the current system is leading to overflowing bins, littering, and even unwanted pests in our neighbourhoods".
Despite the concerns raised, Bassendean council told Yahoo News Australia the rollout of the new system was "embraced" and successfully completed in early August 2020, with an extensive education campaign 18 months before it was introduced.
"Although the petition does mention overflowing bins and garbage dumped in public spaces, there has not been a noticeable increase," a spokesperson said. "Previously, the town was recovering only 17 per cent of its kerbside waste streams [and] with the introduction of FOGO, the recovery increased to over 50 per cent".
Victorian councils fighting public dumping after move
Yarra Ranges Council, just southeast of Melbourne started rolling out the three-bin system last month, but locals have been left unimpressed with what has happened since.
"Rubbish [is] piling up at home next to the bin," one local shared to their suburb's Facebook group.
"There is no excuse for this," said another frustrated community member.
This comes after reports of locals in some Melbourne councils turning to dumping bags of rubbish at public parks after several councils cut general waste bin collections in half in July, 2022.
Hobson Bay Council, in Melbourne's southwest, implemented fortnightly general waste collection in early 2020, but by late 2021, they had reverted to weekly pick-ups following ongoing dissatisfaction and intense heated debate from locals.
NSW locals 'fed-up' with FOGO rollout
According to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, the state government is providing up to $46 million in funding to introduce FOGO services.
A FOGO program was first trialled in late 2014 and early 2013 with 600 households in the Randwick council zone and was well received by participants at the time. Since then Randwick have implemented the new system permanently.
In Sydney's Inner West, the recent transition has brought with it immense controversy, with fed-up members of the community coming out in droves to slam the rollout they claim has been flawed with so many "mixed messages" causing confusion.
"[I] just want the council to collect my stinky bin when they say they will," one person said online, with hundreds of locals agreeing.
What is the National Waste Policy Framework?
The National Waste Policy provides a framework for waste and resource recovery in Australia. It outlines five principles for waste management that aims to make Australia a circular economy, where materials are reused and waste is eliminated.
"FOGO is revolutionising household waste. It’s a new service that will let households put food waste into green lid bins with their garden waste, where it will be composted and given a new life, instead of ending up in landfill," former NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage James Griffin said in a statement earlier this year.
The 2019 National Waste Action Plan drives the implementation of seven targets, including the below:
Reduce total waste generated by 10% per person by 2030
Recover 80% of all waste by 2030
Phase out problematic and unnecessary plastics by 2025
Halve the amount of organic waste sent to landfill by 2030
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