Compost conscious councils around Australia are starting to roll out the FOGO program. Depending on where you live, you may have heard of it or may even be using it. In the Northern Rivers region where Subpod is based we have access to it, with a total of 21 councils around New South Wales using FOGO.
Today we want to discuss what the program is and what it offers residents. We also ask the question you all want to know the answer to… should you go FOGO instead of home composting?
What is FOGO?
FOGO stands for Food Organics Garden Organics, and is basically a kerbside collection service for food scraps and other organic materials. Kinda similar to your bin for garden waste, except the FOGO bin swallows much more, from grass clippings to pet pooh and all food waste.
You put the waste into your FOGO bin and it gets collected by your local council. Then what happens? The specifics will depend on where you live, as different councils will have different processes. But the waste will go to an industrial composting facility and undergo a rapid composting process under high temperatures. The nutrient-rich compost created can then be used as a natural fertiliser in parks or similar spots around town.
If you’ve been a Subpod follower for any length of time you’ll understand the harmful effects of food waste. When it ends up in landfill, it creates methane as it decomposes. This harmful greenhouse gas is 28-times more powerful than Carbon Dioxide and is responsible for more than a quarter of global warming today.
Any steps that we can take to reduce methane in the environment are good steps in our book!
But there are other issues associated with food waste in addition to the methane problem. According to the Australian Government, these include:
- A cost to the economy of around $36.6 billion each year.
- 7.6 million tonnes of food wasted annually across the supply and consumption chain. This is around 312-kilograms per person, equivalent to around $2,000 to $2,500 per household per year.
- Food waste accounts for approximately 3% of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.
- We use around 2600 gigalitres of water to grow food that is wasted.
Those are some pretty hard hitting and far reaching stats!
How Far Has FOGO Come?
Initially the government came out and said they want the whole nation to go FOGO by the end of 2023. This has now been extended to the end of the decade, so realistically it’ll be a while before the whole of Australia enjoys this service.
At the moment, only 30% of Australians have access to FOGO. The majority of these are in New South Wales and Victoria, with only one council in Queensland, none in the Northern Territory and 4 in Western Australia being on board so far. Safe to say there’s a long way to go before complete adoption.
FOGO or Home Composting?
2030 is a long time away, so luckily there is another easily implementable alternative to dealing with your food waste. Thanks to Subpod, no matter what kind of property you live in you can start home composting today. One of our worm farm compost bins is simple to set up, and thanks to Modbed it can occupy smaller spaces in your home such as the balcony.
The great thing about Subpod is food waste can go into it on a daily basis. This means it doesn’t sit in a bin outside, or in your freezer waiting for FOGO collection day. Your kitchen compost caddy fills up with food waste and you transfer it to your Subpod for the hungry worms to turn into nutritious compost!
There’s something really fun and engaging about home composting that you simply don’t get with the FOGO program. It’s a great family activity that helps you bond with your kids over doing something positive together, like helping the environment. It feels great to feed your worms, observe the composting process as it happens and watch your food waste disappear!
What’s more, the garden space around your Subpod is getting fertilised by the worms and microbes as they move around, helping create lush and healthy plants. The compost created can then be spread around the rest of your garden. Feed the soil, feed the world!
Do something about your food waste today, and have a look at our home composting worm farms now! Check them out here.
Want to Start Your Own Worm Farm?
Check out our easy to use home compost systems.