Waste Wise Schools program to help educate on FOGO


As part of the roll-out of FOGO, the program was extended to include a free FOGO service to schools, supported by a Brighton Council-run sustainability and waste education program.

The goal was for students to become FOGO-savvy and start using FOGO caddies at school, then take that knowledge and experience home to create better organic waste management in both settings. Personal waste management is mainly a habit-driven behaviour, an ‘automatic’ activity that you don’t have to think too hard about.

Changing personal habits such as putting food scraps into a caddy instead of the rubbish bin, requires awareness, education and emotional satisfaction derived from performing the new habit. Importantly, it’s repeating the behaviour numerous times before it will become the new default habit. Fostering environmentally sustainable habits early, such as in childhood gives it the best chance of becoming the default behaviour, without having to work too hard to ‘teach an old dog new tricks’ as an adult.

Gwen Harper, from JustWaste Consulting, was contracted for eight hours a week during school terms to take on the role of Brighton’s Waste Education Officer, working in tandem with Brighton Council’s Climate Resilience Officer Alison Johnson.

Waste Wise Education, Gwen Harper at Bond Place.

So far, all six primary schools in our Municipality were introduced to the new Council role and free FOGO offer and all six primary schools completed a waste management survey. Three schools have already agreed to start a FOGO trial in early 2022 and two school trials pencilled in for Term 3.

The focus is to encourage schools to sign up to FOGO, engage in more sustainable waste management practices at school, and to support teachers and students by running educational and fun activities on FOGO, waste and sustainability.

Schools can strive for three levels of recognition. 1. Waste-Aware, 2. Waste-Beware and 3. WasteWise, with each level dependent on the number and type of activities and/or policies they have at school that supports better waste education and waste management.

FOGO TOP TIPS

Here are some great tips for reducing smells in your FOGO bin:

• Put your FOGO bin out every two weeks, even if it’s not full.

• Wrapping food scraps in newspaper can help reduce smells.

• Layering food waste with dry materials, like leaves, shredded paper and soiled cardboard will help absorb liquids.

• If possible, let lawn clippings and garden cuttings dry out to prevent moisture build up.

• Freeze particularly odorous food scraps, like seafood and meat, and put them in the organics bin the night before collection.

• Keep your bins in the shade and ensure lids can close properly by not overfilling the bin.

For more tips and information on your FOGO service visit: www.brighton.tas.gov.au/property/fogo