Council trial making high-rise composting a reality

Sean Car

In an Australian-first, the City of Melbourne has introduced its Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) collection service in high-rise buildings through a 12-month pilot program.

Around 80 per cent of City of Melbourne residents live in high-rise apartments, making the service a crucial step forward in the council’s sustainability goals. 

For the first time, the service is available to residents of participating apartment buildings of six or more storeys, with two buildings – on Spring St in the CBD and Curzon St in West Melbourne – having already begun trialling the service.

The other four buildings, of the six selected through an expression of interest process to take part in the 12-month pilot, are yet to be announced and will begin their trials soon.

The service gives access to on-site dehydrators, used to reduce the volume of waste by up to 80 per cent, and to process organic waste into nutrient-rich organic fertiliser, which is then converted into high-quality compost for use in parks and gardens across the municipality. Residents will also be able to use a portion of the fertiliser in their own gardens.

“We’re proud to be leading the way for FOGO services in Australia by bringing this leading pilot program to new heights for the very first time at this scale," Lord Mayor Sally Capp said. 

“Almost 45 per cent of landfill from high-rise apartments is made up of organic waste. We know that getting this number down and finding simple ways to live more sustainably is important to our community.” 


By embracing our pilot food organics collection service, Melburnians living in apartments can help us set a new standard for climate action – and significantly reduce food waste and greenhouse gas emissions.


The council's environment portfolio chair Cr Rohan Leppert said, "We’re thrilled to be expanding our FOGO services into high-rise apartments – meaning more Melburnians can put their food waste to good use and create a greener future.”   

“Transforming organic waste into nutrient-rich compost reduces our environmental footprint, while helping to maintain and improve our city parks and gardens.” 

The high-rise pilot is being delivered in partnership with Enrich360 and Eco Guardians, as part of the council’s Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy to divert 90 per cent of waste from landfill by 2030.  

Owners’ corporations can now apply to take part in the next FOGO high-rise project. Click here to apply.

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