Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO)

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We have changed what can go in your FOGO bin

Households within the Idalia and Burdell FOGO collection service areas should have now received a newsletter, fridge magnet, FOGO bin lid and caddy lid stickers to assist with changes to what can now FOGO!

Moving forward, the FOGO bin can be used ONLY for the following:

  • food
  • garden organics
  • compostable liners.

The below items are no longer accepted in FOGO bins:

  • paper (including newspaper)
  • cardboard
  • tissues
  • paper towel
  • compostable packaging (excluding caddy liners).

This change was made to help Council improve the quality of the FOGO compost and make it easier for residents to reduce contamination.

FOGO aims to reduce the amount of organic material that ends up in landfill. This material currently makes up approximately 46% of the average Townsville general waste red lid bin. Council aims to divert this material from landfill to work towards our goal of zero waste to landfill by 2030.

Townsville City Council and the Queensland Government launched a trial food and/or garden collection service to 1,500 pre-determined households across Townsville in October 2021. As part of this trial, selected households received either a new Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) bin or Garden Organics (GO) bin.

The trial was designed to be as representative of the broader demographics of Townsville as possible, with the intent to understand challenges with the implementation of a FOGO service and its effectiveness. Originally planned as a 12-month trial, the service has been extended until at least 30 June 2023. A key focus of the continued service will be to maintain and increase participation within the trial areas. A target of 90% participation has been set, with the mid-trial rate at 69%.

The roll-out of the Food Organics Garden Organics (FOGO) / Garden Organics (GO) bins is an action outlined in the Australian Government’s National Waste Policy. The Queensland Government’s Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy also supports the diversion of organic material from landfill.

What is FOGO and GO?

FOGO is food organics and garden organics generated within your home and garden.

GO is garden organics only generated within your yard and garden.

Households that are part of the FOGO trial will receive a:

  • Kitchen caddy
  • Roll of compostable kitchen caddy liners certified AS 4736
  • New 240-litre FOGO lime green lid wheelie bin for food organics and garden organics.

Households that are part of the GO trial will receive a:

  • New 240-litre GO lime green lid wheelie bin for garden organics only.

For participating households, the fortnightly collection capacity is increasing by 240 litres with the addition of a FOGO/GO bin. During the service, extended until 30 June 2023, the existing total waste collection of 720 litres will increase to 960 litres every fortnight.

How do I provide feedback on the FOGO and GO trial?

If you are a trial household in Burdell, visit here.

If you are a trial household in Idalia, visit here.

If you are a trial household in Vincent and Heatley, visit here.

Who is in the FOGO trial?

Three areas within Burdell (FOGO), Idalia (FOGO) and Vincent/ Heatley (GO service only) will participate in the trial. Find below maps for each trial areas:

How many households are participating?

Approximately 1,000 households will participate in the FOGO trial in the Burdell and Idalia areas.

Approximately 500 households will participate in the GO trial in the Vincent and Heatley areas.

The Queensland Government contributed funding to enable Council to conduct the FOGO and GO trial.

How do you know if you are part of the FOGO or GO trial?

Introductory packs were mailed to all participating households in early August.

Refer to the maps of the trial areas for more details.

When will the FOGO trial commence?

The trial commenced in October 2021 and will continue to 30 June 2023.

Why FOGO and GO?

  • The Australian Government have set an action to introduce FOGO and/or GO collection services to households and businesses by the end of 2023. The Queensland Government co-funded this trial to assist council to understand the potential for full scale rollout and how FOGO / GO systems operate in Queensland communities.
  • FOGO makes up around half of the average Townsville households waste stream and is a valuable material that can be converted to compost or used to improve soil health.
  • Returning valuable organic material to the soil is a better outcome than landfilling it. In landfill, organic material does not produce compost but instead consumes expensive landfill space and generates methane, a harmful greenhouse gas.
  • Council’s landfill has limited capacity, and all efforts to conserve this asset need to be made to defer future increases to waste management costs.

FOGO Frequently Asked Questions


For tips and advice on how to start composting at home, visit our composting page.

Progress Reports