Paper Bags for Food Recycling

Alana, Altona Meadows resident using a container to collect food scraps and then empty into the Hobsons Bay issued paper bag


You can now recycle food waste and garden waste in your green bin. This is also known as a FOGO bin – which stands for ‘Food Organics and Garden Organics’.

To make FOGO easier, Council has designed and developed paper compost bags you can purchase online and pick up at any of our council + locations.

Try your first pack for free

Every Hobsons Bay resident can register to receive their first bundle of paper compost bags for free. Head to the website to order yours.

Your free pack will contain two types of bags:

  • Lightweight bags (50gsm)
  • Heavyweight bags (100 gsm) 

How to use the Hobsons Bay issued paper bags


Line your compost caddy 

  1. Insert bag into your caddy
  2. The light (50gsm) bag will sit in the caddy. To shape the heavy (100gsm) bag to fit the caddy, once inside, push out the sides and flatten the bottom
  3. Add food waste
  4. Roll-close the top, take caddy to the food and garden organics bin and tip in 

Wrap your food scraps 

  1. Collect scraps in any lidded container
  2. Drain accumulated liquid, then transfer scraps to the paper bag
  3. Roll-close the top, then place bag in food and garden organics bin

Paper bag FAQs

How does it work?

When food breaks down it releases gases, which can have unpleasant smells, particularly when there is low oxygen in your FOGO bin. You can add more air flow to your by adding carbon-rich ‘dry’ ingredients such as dry grass clippings, dry leaves, straw, or paper. By bagging or wrapping your food in our paper bags, you are adding more carbon-rich materials to the bin, which helps balance out the odours. 


Can I only use the Hobsons Bay bags for my food scraps?

Our paper compost bags have been designed with input from our composting partner Veolia. During a successful trial with over 4000 residents they were found to work well for residents and for our composting facility. Other bags may cause issues in the composting process. Our heavy-weight paper bags are also 3 times cheaper than similar paper bags you can purchase. 

Can I use biodegradable plastic bags instead?

'Compostable' or biodegradable plastic bags don't break down in our composting facility, and can get caught in the machinery, so unfortunately we can’t accept them in the FOGO bin. This is why our compost bags are made of paper, which means they are home compostable too. Remember to keep all plastic bags out of the FOGO bin - even biodegradable ones. 



How to FOGO like a pro:

Here are some more tips to reduce odours and mess when using the FOGO bin. 

  • Line your caddy with paper bags and your wheelie bin with paper towel, newspaper or garden clippings 

  • Save up your grass clippings and dried leaves - put a generous layer of these in your bin on top of your food scraps.

  • Rinse your FOGO bin and caddy regularly, and keep them closed when they have scraps in them.  

  • Shade your FOGO bin in hot weather  keeping it in a cool spot will help deter flies and other bugs.

  • Freeze or refrigerate your smelliest scraps such as meat and seafood, then pop them in the bin on bin night. You can even keep your caddy in the fridge or freezer.