Inner West Council FOGO bins and fortnightly garbage collection slammed by residents who claim an influx of rats and maggots

Residents in Sydney’s Inner West have rubbished recent bin changes, with many claiming the controversial waste decisions have caused an influx of vermin near their homes.

Outraged residents have taken to social media to voice their concerns about food organics and garden organics (FOGO) waste bins and recent changes to garbage collection, arguing that it has caused the number of rats, flies and maggots to explode in areas such as Ashfield and Summer Hill.

The FOGO rollout is now complete in the Inner West Council area, with residents now asked to place their food scraps in their green bin along with garden waste to be turned into compost.

Residents were promised the changes will reduce carbon emissions and save ratepayers millions in landfill fees.

The Council has also cut back collection of regular red-lid rubbish bins from weekly to fortnightly for most residents in a bid to encourage the use of FOGO bins.

Irate residents have claimed that the dual changes have driven a rise in pests and are begging the council to increase bin pick-ups.

“In all my years living in this area, I’ve never had so many flies and never a rat in my yard. Thanks, FOGO for the smell you bring to our houses and the pests that follow,” one person wrote on social media, sparking a debate over the bin service.

“The issue is the red bins still are full by the time for collection. Everyone is requesting a bigger red bin to support fortnightly collection. The green FOGO bins get collected weekly and are barely half full. I think this is a waste of resources,” another person wrote.

Many were concerned with negative health impacts associated with a rise in vermin, with one person arguing the number of rats in the area was “reaching a disgusting level that council needs to address”.

“[Mayor] Darcy Byrne needs to accept that this is not working and bring back the weekly red bin collection before all the diseases that flies, rats and maggots bring start appearing,” one woman wrote.

It’s not the first time residents have been in uproar over bins, with many residents expressing outrage over the fortnightly bin collection change when it was first introduced.

Birchgrove resident David Lannan took issue with the forced changes when they were first introduced to his neighbourhood in September.

“We’re still going to have to put everything in the existing red bin and it’s just going to be picked up every two weeks,” he continued.

“It’s just going to be smelly and yucky, and not going to give the outcome that they’re looking for.”

In the wake of the changes, Inner West councillor for the Balmain ward John Stamolis conceded the council could have engaged more with residents, before bringing forward the program from March 2024.

“The engagement on the issue was cut short and the feedback from residents didn’t occur to the extent that it ideally should have,” he said.

“Now I think it’s incumbent upon the council to put in place those systems that will do that once it’s introduced.”

Inner West Council has been contacted for comment about residents’ concerns.

Originally published as ‘Rats, maggots’: Inner West Council’s bin move slammed after vermin infiltrate

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