FOGO to go-go to June 2023

Date published: 5 October 2022

Townsville City Council will continue to collect valuable data on its Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) initiative after councillors voted at the last Ordinary Meeting of Council to extend the trial until the end of the financial year.

The trial started in October 2021 and involved 1500 households across four Townsville suburbs.

Households were given an additional bin to use to dispose of food and garden organics.

Mayor Jenny Hill said over the past 12 months Council has collected information on how participants were using the FOGO service and how effective the trial participants have been at helping to divert waste from landfill.

“Council has set out a clear goal for our city to have a circular economy that advances business and moves towards zero waste,” Cr Hill said.

“By 2026, we want to divert more than 60 per cent of household waste from ending up in landfill, the extension of this trial is an important step toward better understanding how we can work with community to achieve that.

“Initiatives like FOGO are important collaborations between Council and the community to help make our city more sustainable, reduce the amount of material in landfills and achieve efficient cost for essential services.

“By extending the trial, we can better compare data from over a longer period to see how participants’ use of the extra service evolves over time.

“This additional information will allow us to make a more informed decision on the future of waste collection across our city and help us when we work closely with local businesses to identify opportunities around the initiative.”

Townsville Water and Waste Committee chairperson Russ Cook said some of the data from the trial so far has been encouraging.

“More than 450 tonnes of organic materials have been diverted from Townsville landfills since the start of the trial,” Cr Cook said.

“About 87 per cent of the participants involved in the trial supported the initiative, and during bin checks, we recorded industry best practice contamination standards of less than 2 per cent.

“We have also worked closely with local businesses and start-ups to help them see future opportunities from FOGO collection, and we will continue to do this through the extended trial period.”

The Queensland Government and Townsville City Council jointly funded the FOGO trial.

Photo of Townsville City Council's Team Manager Waste Services Matt McCarthy and Cr Russ Cook.
Caption: Townsville City Council's Team Manager Waste Services Matt McCarthy and Cr Russ Cook.