Learn More About Penrith's 3-Bin Waste Service

Learn More About Penrith's 3-Bin Waste Service

The 3-Bin Waste Service is designed so that our waste goes back into the community wherever possible. For instance, Penrith’s organic waste is recycled into high-grade compost that is used on local parks and gardens, recyclables are remade into new products, such as glass to make roads, and the small amount of waste leftover is buried in landfill.

Other benefits of this service include:

  • saving you money
  • reducing the amount of reusable waste going into landfill
  • offering a greater total bin capacity for each household than under the 2-bin waste service
  • allowing Penrith Council to assist residents in reducing the amount of waste going to landfill and for Council to meet targets set by the State Government for all local councils to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill

The green-lidded Food Organic Garden Organics (FOGO) bin

All the organic material you put in the FOGO bin is collected and manually sorted by people and then turned into compost for our local parks, gardens and sports fields. It’s important that we ensure we place the right items in this bin that can naturally break down and prevent injury for our sorting staff.

Penrith was the first metropolitan city in Australia to introduce the FOGO service in 2009! Penrith’s progressive attitude and passionate commitment towards FOGO has reduced a huge amount of reusable material from being buried in landfill, and instead is being turned into a nutrient-rich compost product. Together, we never waste a chance to be great with FOGO. 

In 2005, Council found over 30% of FOGO material was going into the red-lidded residual bin. When FOGO material goes to landfill, it releases methane gas when it breaks down, which leads to environmental issues. Since starting the 3-bin system, Penrith has seen a great reduction in the amount of FOGO material being placed in red-lidded residual bins, with the community's resource recovery rate increasing from 21% to 66%, meaning 66% of this can be made into a product and used as compost.

In July 2019, the FOGO bin was introduced to rural communities in Penrith, with suburbs including Agnes Banks, Badgerys Creek, Berkshire Park, Castlereagh, Cranebrook, Kemps Creek, Llandilo, Londonderry, Luddenham, Mount Vernon,  Mulgoa, Orchard Hills and Wallacia. The introduction of FOGO is an important step in the community’s journey to improving resource recovery. By sorting waste correctly, residents continue to contribute to Penrith’s reputation for being progressive leaders in waste.

In July 2023, a FOGO service was introduced to 160 multi-unit dwelling complexes as part of a trial program. This service will gradually be rolled out to all multi-unit dwellings in 2024 so that the whole Penrith community can contribute to helping our environment by diverting organic waste from landfill.

Did you know that the 3-bin FOGO system supports home composting?

FOGO and home composting share a few similarities, but they’re ultimately not the same. There are some food scraps and organic items that can’t go in your home compost, but can go into your FOGO bin, including meat, fish, bones, dairy, cooked grains, oils and, weeds and citrus fruits. Commercial composting systems, like our FOGO bin service, accepts all food and garden waste anything that can naturally break down.

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How often is the FOGO bin emptied?

  • Weekly: This bin is for food scraps and garden clippings, which are classified as putrescible waste and is required to be collected more frequently to prevent odour.
  • If you have a large garden/lawn, a second bin can be requested at an additional cost. Alternatively, if you have a small garden/lawn, you can request a smaller bin.

What can I put in the FOGO bin?

  • Since these organic items are commercially composted, the FOGO bin, can take more than your regular household compost bin. These items include all garden vegetation, meat bones, dairy, citrus fruits and oils. 
  • If you’re cooking in the kitchen and have a lot of scraps left over, all you have to do is scrape your leftover food into your Council-provided green compostable bags (line your kitchen caddy organics bin with these bags if you have one) and drop it in your FOGO bin. These green bags can be broken down in the composting process and keep your kitchen caddy clean.
  • Please ensure that you do not use any other compostable bags but the Council-provided green compostable bags so that they can be broken down properly in our composting process.
  • If you are cleaning up your yard, please remember to put all garden waste direct into the bin. Do not use plastic bags as they do not break down in the composting process.
  • The organic material from the FOGO bin is made into valuable compost which can be used again on local community sports grounds, gardens and parks.


BonesFlowersPlant cuttings
Branches (broken up)Food leftovers and scrapsShellfish waste
Bread, cereals, grains, nuts and seedsFruit and vegetable scrapsTea leaves
Chewing gum/bubble gumGarden trimmings and pruningsTwigs and sticks
Chicken bones, skins and scrapsGrass cuttingsVegetable scraps
Cooking oils/fats (frozen)Hair and furWeeds
Coffee groundsLeaves 
Dairy productsMeat 
Egg shellsPalm fronds and nuts 
Fish and bonesPaper bags 

Download a 3-bin waste sorting guide

Please visit The Waste Spot, Council's online destination for all of your waste-related requests.

The yellow-lidded recycling bin

The recyclable items from the recycling bin get separated into different types of materials and are remade into new products, Council even uses the glass collected in these bins to make roads!

Yellow Lidded Recycling Bin

How often is the yellow-lidded recycling bin emptied?

  • Fortnightly: A weekly collection is not available however, larger bins or additional recycling bins can be requested at an additional cost.

What can I put in the yellow-lidded recycling bin?

  • Please follow these simple recycling steps: "Know it", "Empty it", "Rinse it", "Sort it"! Know what can be recycled, empty contents out, rinse containers and bottles, and sort it in the correct bin.
  • To reduce size and bulk, items such as cardboard and drink containers can be squashed or crushed before being placed in the bin.
  • Please do not use plastic bags in this bin as they cannot be recycled at the facility.


BooksJunk mailPlastic bottles/tubs and jars
Bottles and jars (plastic or glass)Laundry detergent bottlesPoppers
Cardboard boxes and rollsMagazinesShampoo and conditioner bottles
Cereal boxesMargarine tubsSteel and tin cans
Coffee tins and jarsMilk bottles/cartonsTake-away containers
Computer paperMotor oil containers (empty and clean)Tetrapaks
Cream cheese tubsNewspapersToilet roll and cardboard tubes
Drink cans/bottlesOffice paperWine/beer bottles
EnvelopesOil containers (empty and clean)Wrapping paper
Food cansPet food cansYoghurt containers
Glass bottles and jarsPhone books 

 Download a 3-bin waste sorting guide

Please visit The Waste Spot, Council's online destination for all of your waste-related requests.

The red-lidded residual bin

Red Lidded Residual Bin

The red-lidded residual bin is for any items that are not suitable for the recycling or FOGO bins. Items placed in the red bin are buried at landfill and not reused or recycled. There are many environmental impacts of waste going to landfill and it is the most expensive way to dispose of waste.

How often is the red-lidded residual bin emptied?

  • Fortnightly: The bin is collected fortnightly as a sustainable option. 
  • If you are sorting your waste correctly but are still struggling with capacity, there are other options available at an additional cost, such as requesting a larger bin or weekly collection frequency.

What can I put in the red-lidded residual bin?

  • To get the most use out of your residual bin, ensure the only items being placed in this bin are items that cannot be placed in the other bins, booked in as part of a bulky waste collection, given away or sold.
  • Recyclable and compostable items often take up a lot of space in the residual bin and it is recommended that these items be sorted into their respective yellow-lidded recycling bin or green-lidded FOGO bin.


Bandaids/dressingsGarden hoseShoes*
Bread bags/tagsHygiene productsStockings/pantihose
CandlesKitty litterStraws
Carbon paperLightbulbsSupermarket 'green' bags
Cassette tapes/Videos/CDs/DVDsLolly/sweet/chocolate wrappers*Styrofoam
CeramicsMeat trays Toothbrushes
Cereal box plastic inserts*Pet food sachetsToothpaste tubes
Clothes/textiles and shoes*Personal hygiene productsToys*
Crockery and cutleryPlastic bags*Treated timber
Disposable nappiesPlastic wrap*Vacuum cleaner dust
Drinking glassesPolystyrene cups and packaging*Waxed paper/cardboard
Foam boxesPotato chip and snack bags*Window glass/mirrors
Foam underlayPyrex 
Foil sachets and bags*  

Download a 3-bin waste sorting guide

*RecycleSmart Power Pickups are available to book to divert these items from landfill. Find out more at penrith.city/recyclesmart

Please visit The Waste Spot, Council's online destination for all of your waste-related requests.

Kitchen caddy organics bin

The kitchen caddy organics bin works alongside the green-lidded FOGO bin. All food scraps collected in the kitchen caddy are to be emptied in the FOGO bin and turned into compost for our local parks, gardens and sports fields.

Kitchen Caddy Organics Bin

What can I put in the kitchen caddy?

  • Place a Council-provided green compostable bag in the caddy and scrape your leftover food straight in. When it is full, take the green bag out and place it into the FOGO bin.
  • Council sells kitchen caddy organic bins that have been specifically designed to fit the Council-provided green compostable bags. Please do not use any other bags, even if they are labelled as compostable or biodegradable, as they do not break down quickly enough for composting. 
  • Alternatively, you can use a container of your own to collect and transport food scraps. It is important that the container is only used to collect the scraps and is not to be disposed of in the FOGO bin.

If you need a new kitchen caddy, they can be purchased from Council for $11.00 including GST. 

Kitchen caddies are available at:

  • Penrith Civic Centre - 601 High Street, Penrith
  • St Marys Office - 207 Queen Street, St Marys

Council-provided green compostable bags

  • Council-provided green compostable bags are delivered free of charge to every letterbox on the 3-Bin Waste Service four times a year to collect food waste. 
  • They are the only bags that can be put into the green-lidded FOGO bin as they are specifically designed and have been tested to brerubbish binak down during the 6-week composting process. 
  • These bags line the kitchen caddy organics bin and should be the bags used for these bins as they have been specifically designed for Penrith’s FOGO composting process.
  • While the bags do not have an expiry date, they should last at least 12 months if stored correctly. Store bags in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent bags from breaking down prematurely.
  • If you find the bags are splitting, tearing or breaking apart, they are most likely old. If you are having these issues with a packet of bags that you believe are new, please visit The Waste Spot  so it can be investigated. 
  • If your household needs more bags, additional bags can be picked up for free from any of Council's Offices or library branches. 


  • Penrith Civic Centre - 601 High Street, Penrith
  • St Marys Office - 207 Queen Street, St Marys


  • Penrith City Library - 601 High Street, Penrith
  • St Marys Library - 207 Queen Street, St Marys
  • St Clair Library - St Clair Shopping Centre, Corner of Bennett Road and Endeavour Avenue, St Clair

Rural collection points

  • Londonderry Post Office - 12 Muscharry Rd, Londonderry
  • Llandilo IGA - 255 Seventh Ave, Llandilo
  • Mulgoa Friendly Grocer - 1216 Mulgoa Rd, Mulgoa

Other waste and resource recovery services

3-bin services options

For information on service options, please visit 3-bin service options

Non-English resources

For 3-bin sorting information in a language other than English, download one of the below translations provided by Polaron Language Services: