Community survey gives FOGO the nod

BRIGHTON Council is implementing a Food Organics, Garden Organics (FOGO) service to all residents who currently have a kerbside collection in the Municipality.

BRIGHTON Council is implementing a Food Organics, Garden Organics (FOGO) service to all residents who currently have a kerbside collection in the Municipality.

The decision to proceed with a service was unanimously made at the April meeting of Council and was based on a positive response from the community.

Those who responded had a strong awareness of FOGO, with 79 per cent having heard of FOGO before completing the survey.

The decision to proceed with a service was unanimously made at the April meeting of Council and was based on a positive response from the community.

For a community that has not yet had direct exposure to a FOGO service, the understanding of FOGO is solid, with 48 per cent describing their level of knowledge as good/very good and 32 per cent describing it as average.

Brighton Council general manager James Dryburgh said the survey results showed the likelihood of using the FOGO service overall was strong, with 77 per cent of respondees extremely or very likely to use the service.

“Council’s FOGO service will be an opt-out service, and at this stage, it is anticipated the service will be rolled out to all households that currently have a kerbside collection service in the Brighton Municipality. All of these households will receive a 240-litre FOGO wheelie bin and kitchen caddy. 

“We anticipate a trial period of two months for all eligible households to experience FOGO with no charge. There will be an opportunity to opt-out after this time,” Mr Dryburgh said.

Council will be encouraging everyone to recycle their food and garden waste to help reduce landfill and reduce overall waste management costs for ratepayers. However, it understands that some people might not need, be able to use or afford the FOGO service. 

Residents/ratepayers can apply to have an exemption during this period based on being a home composter, financial hardship or exceptional circumstances.

A total of 56 per cent of residents said they were Not at All Likely/Unlikely to opt-out, 23 per cent not sure/undecided, and 21% said they were extremely/very likely to opt-out.

The exact cost to ratepayers for the service has not been finalised but will be approximately around the $2.90 per fortnight price point.

“Based on the community survey results, there is strong support and positive sentiment in the community for the introduction of a FOGO service in the Brighton Municipality,” Mr Dryburgh said.

“The introduction of a FOGO service will need a community education campaign to ensure the program’s success, but we expect the long-term benefits such as cost reductions for Council and ratepayers along with reducing waste to landfill, will outweigh the initial investment the service itself.”

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