Contamination big issue with FOGO rollout – Australia

Contamination big issue with FOGO rollout – Australia

Posted on April 22, 2023 by DrRossH in BioPlastics, Landfills and Disposal


As the national executive officer for the Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA), I am on record as stating that one of the biggest issues facing the Australian organics recycling industry is contamination, contamination, and contamination. 

The supply of quality feedstock to the processor gate is a key – in many ways, the key – component of the organics recycling supply chain. Clean, source-separated feedstock without plastics, chemicals and other contaminants is central to the growth of organics recycling rates”. 

The Roadmap continues, “The single greatest issue facing the industry is the contamination of feedstocks, overwhelmed by plastics. Other contamination includes glass, metals, treated timbers, and persistent chemicals, which do not readily break down in the composting process (or in nature)”.

The introduction of FOGO, while considered an important contributor to increasing the diversion of organics away from landfill, is unfortunately presenting itself as a major contaminant source.

There are most likely many reasons for this, including:

  • A generation of community members who have become accustomed to co-mingling their waste streams especially when one bin (or maybe two) was all that was available.
  • Consequently, FOGO is a new service for many households who need time to adjust and learn/be educated what can and what cannot be included in FOGO.
  • A lack of understanding/awareness of the ‘why’ this is important and the consequences, for getting it both right and wrong!