Frequently Asked Questions
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What does FOGO mean?
FOGO stands for food organics and garden organics and refers to the weekly collection of food and garden organics waste. Once collected it will then be turned into compost.
What can go in the FOGO bin?
All food organics including bread, fruit and vegetables, dairy, raw and cooked meat, bones, eggshells, coffee grinds and tea leaves, garden organics, compostable utensils, paper and cardboard.
You can also check the A-Z Waste Guide to see what you can put into FOGO.
What cannot go in the FOGO bin?What cannot go in the FOGO bin?
Household rubbish, glass, metal, plastic, rocks, stumps, clothing and building material.
What is the kitchen caddy for?
The kitchen caddy is designed to help residents separate food waste in the kitchen. Use the provided compostable liners to line your caddy and simply fill with food scraps including meat, bones, cheese, bread, vegetable and fruit peels, eggs, seafood, rice, pasta and prawns. Essentially any leftovers from meal preparation or anything left at the end of the meal can be placed in the green lid bin.
Once full, tie a knot to seal the compostable liner close and place in your green lid bin.
I have run out of comostable liners for my kitchen caddy, where can i get more?
A new roll of liners will automatically be sent to households every April. The roll consists of 150 compostable liners which allows for 2-3 compostable liners per week.
If you run out of compostable liners before April you can collect a free replenishment roll of liners from Councils Customer Service Centre, corner Baylis and Morrow Streets. If you cannot attend Council, please call 1300 292 442 to arrange delivery of a replenishment roll of compostable liners.
A limit of one roll per household per visit.
Can i use a plastic bag, or bags marked 'degradable' or 'biodegradable' to line my kitchen caddy?
Plastic bags, including degradable and biodegradable bags, will be treated as a contaminant if placed in the food organics and garden organics bin. These products are not compostable. They are essentially plastics that have the ability to decompose faster than the traditional plastic bag.
As an alternative, you can place food waste directly into the green lid bin, or use paper towel or newspaper to line your caddy or wrap food waste.
Can i place fruit fly infected fruit into the FOGO bin?
Prior to placing infected fruit in the green lid bin, collect fruit in a black plastic bag and leave in a sunny location for a few days to kill the flies. After a few days you can tip the fruit into the green lid bin and place the black plastic bag in the red lid bin.
Perhaps leave the transferring of the fruit to the green lid bin to when you place the bin on the kerbside for collection to reduce the length of time the fruit is in your green lid bin.
General kerbside waste FAQs
My recycling bin is always full, can i get an additional bin?
Households that generate large quantities of recyclable waste can upsize their recycling bin from a 240L bin to a 360L bin. Please contact Council on 1300 292 442 to discuss this option.
Remember you can also put paper and pizza boxes into your green lid bin if it has capacity. Eligible beverage containers can also be taken to a Return and Earn site for redemption rather than into your recycling bin if you wish.
Why was my bin rejected and not emptied?
There are a few reasons why your bin may have been rejected for emptying. A sticker would be placed in your bin to give you an indication as to why it wasn't emptied and would likely fall under one of the below categories:
- Placing the wrong item in the wrong bin
- The bin being overfull
- The bin being too heavy
- The bin not being a Council issued bin
- The bin was placed the wrong way around
- The contents being jammed or stuck in the bin
- Access being obstructed eg. vegetation, bin placed too far from kerb, placed too close to another bin, animal attack
It is also important to ensure that your bin is presented correctly for servicing. Please follow these guidelines for placing your bins on the kerbside:
- Place bins on the kerb before 6am on the day of collection
- Bins should be no further than 1 metre from the kerb
- Position bins so that the opening lid faces the street
- Keep a space of 50cm between bins
I have difficulty getting my bins to the kerbside, can i get assistance?
Residents who find it difficult to manoeuvre bins to the kerbside for reasons of physical limitation can access the 'infirm service'. This means the contractor will manually retrieve the bins from a collection point within the property boundary for emptying and return the bins to the property once emptied.
Please contact Council's customer service team on 1300 292 442 to discuss this option and to obtain an application form. A letter of support from your General Practitioner should be included with your application.
I have maggots in my bin, how can i get rid of them?
During warmer weather we often see an increase in fly activity. They are also looking for opportunities to lay their eggs. Warm, moist, decaying organic matter are prime environments.
The best way to manage fly larvae (maggots) is to prevent them calling your bin home in the first instance. You can do this by:
- Ensuring you place food waste in the green lid bin and present this on the kerbside for weekly servicing
- Use a green compostable liner to store meat or seafood scraps in the freezer until you are due to place your bin out for servicing
- Ensure green compostable liners and garbage bags are tied tightly, before placing them in the green and red lid bins respectively
- Wrap nappies tightly into a plastic bag, and double bag if this is your preference
- Store bins in a shady location if it is available
- Ensure your bin lids are kept closed
- Report damaged bins to Council online or on 1300 292 442
If your bin has maggots, once the bin has been serviced wash the bin out with warm salty water and leave the bin to completely dry in a sunny location.
What about nappies, won't they smell?
Unfortunately nearly all bins smell, particularly ones containing nappies.
A study was undertaken by Lake Macquarie City Council into odour associated with the fortnightly collection of the general waste bin and nappies. The study concluded that the smell of a general waste bin was no worse after two weeks than it was after one week.
If you have young children in nappies, or members of the family that rely on absorbent hygiene products, there are some simple measures you can take to minimise odour:
- If possible, tip the contents of the nappy down the toilet before disposing
- Wrap the nappy into itself using the tabs
- Seal nappies tightly in plastic bags (you may try double bagging or using scented bags if you wish) before placing in the general waste bin
- Store the red lid bin in the shade and out of direct sunlight if possible
- Make sure your red lid bin lid closes properly and there are no cracks in the bin sides. If your bin is broken or cracked, contact Council to request a repair or replacement
- You may consider using general odour neutralizing products in your red lid bin, including cat litter, crystals or bicarbonate of soda
- Place some odour neutralising products in the foot of a stocking and hang it on the inside of the red lid bin, tying the stocking to the bin lid handle
- Consider using modern cloth nappies or reusable pads and menstrual cups
How can i get rid of chemicals or unwanted medicines?
Unfortunately, no such wastes are permitted to be disposed of through the kerbside collection bins, or at any of the waste management facilities in the Wagga Wagag local government area.
A specialist hazardous chemicals collection is coordinated by the NSW Government in our region every two years. To find out when the next Household Chemical CleanOut will be, head to the NSW EPA's website.
Some pharmacies have a collection point for unwanted medicines. Speak with your pharmacist about medication disposal.
Incorrect disposal of chemicals and medicines either down the drain or sewer harms our environment.
How can i get rid of paint and paint packaging?
Empty paint tins can be placed in the kerbside recycling bin, simply remove the lid from the paint tin and allow the paint to dry. As the paint dries it shrinks. Remove the dried paint from the tin and place this in the general waste bin. The empty paint tin and lid can then be placed in the kerbside recycling bin.
A maximum of 100 litres of paint in containers of up to 20 litres can be taken to Gregadoo Waste Mangagement Centre for free under the Paintback program.
For further information on products accepted under the scheme visit the Paintback website.
How do i dispose of gas bottles and fire extinguishers?
Pressure vessels including gas bottles, camping stove gas bottles and fire extinguishers should never be placed in your kerbside bin.
Appropriately dispose of your unwanted pressure vessels through the Gregadoo Waste Management Centre. Please refer to the accepted wastes and fees for current disposal fees for these items.
Please inform weighbridge staff if you have pressure vessels as part of your load so that you can be directed to the special waste drop off area at Gregadoo Waste Management Centre.
I need to get rid of old tyres, where do i take them?
Tyres are collected as a specialist waste at Gregadoo Waste management Centre.
Tyres cannot be landfilled and are taken away by a contractor for recycling.
Smaller tyres still on rims are accepted at Gregadoo Waste Management Centre.
What are the charges at Council's waste management facilities?
Current fees and charges can be located under the Accepted waste and fees page.
What are the opening times of the tip?
Gregadoo Waste Management Centre is open seven days a week, 7am to 4.30pm.
Gregadoo Waste Management Centre is not open on selected public holidays, with additional closures possible during the Christmas and New Year period.
Please refer to Councils closure advertisements for further information.
What happens to refrigeration and air conditioning equipment?
When disposing of a fridge, freezer or air conditioning unit it is important that the item is degassed to prevent harmful gases such as Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) being released into the environment.
Refrigeration and air conditioning equipment is degassed on site at Gregadoo Waste Management Centre where the gas is captured and sent away for reprocessing and re-use.
What happens to styrene and polystyrene?
Styrene and polystyrene products are recyclable, but cannot be placed in your kerbside recycling bin.
This type pf product has traditionally not been economical to recycle due to the product being bulky but light, and therefore expensive to transport to a recycling facility.
Gregadoo Waste Management Centre invested in a densifier which essentially melts the styrene down into smaller, compressed blocks making it easier and more economically viable to transport for recycling.
Styrene and polystyrene can be dropped off at Gregadoo Waste Management Centre for free.
How are mattresses recycled?
Up to 75% of a mattress can be recycled.
Mattresses collected at Gregadoo Waste Management Centre are transported to a facility in Canberra where the mattresses are stripped down into their individual components.
The steel springs are recycled into roof sheeting, the foam is used in carpet underlay and the timber and husk is used for mulch, weed matting and animal bedding.