FOGO impact felt

Mayor Jim Child has served the Yarra Ranges alongside deputy mayor Sophie Todorov for the last 12 months. Picture: SUPPLIED.

By Jim Child

It’s been just over a month since we began FOGO collections in Yarra Ranges, giving the community the opportunity to ensure food scraps and garden waste stays out of our landfill.

I’m extremely proud to announce that, after the first month of collections, we’ve seen a reduction of landfill waste of about 41 per cent, compared to last October.

Now, I know that change is never easy, and this is one of the biggest changes we’ve ever had to the bin system since recycling began.

It’s required a change of thinking, a change to how we do things at home and changes to our routine, but I’m proud of the way our community has embraced the new collections.

The food and garden organics you put in your FOGO bin will be composted and used to enrich soil in parks, gardens and farmland, which is far better for the environment and will help us to prepare the next generation as best as possible.

The need behind the FOGO bins is simple. We all need to do more to protect the environment. The approach of the past – sending things to be buried in the ground, where they’ll stay forever – has to be avoided wherever possible.

Everything we buy and use has to end up somewhere, and the simple reality is that if what you have doesn’t get re-used in some way – through repairing, recycling or composting – it ends up in landfill.

We’re all responsible for the things we use, but initiatives like the FOGO bin help our community members to get rid of hard-to-compost items like meat, dairy, bones and weeds. They are then processed and will be used to help grow something new, which is a fantastic result.

I’d like to sincerely thank our community for how quickly they’ve embraced this change – by asking questions, by giving it a go and understanding the need for this change.

If you’d like to know more about FOGO, or see a list of what can go in your bins, please visit

On a separate note, this column will be published on the day we as Councillors elect our Mayor for the coming year – the last year of our 2020-24 Council Term.

I’d like to thank the community for their trust, their support and their engagement over my last two years as Mayor.

We’ve had a few years unlike any other, and I’m proud of how we’ve navigated many unprecedented and unexpected problems together, as one community.

I look forward to welcoming in our new Mayor tonight, 14 November, and supporting them, with you, for the next 12 months.