In a major win for the environment, City of Port Phillip's, South Melbourne Market is recycling its organic waste and turning it into nutrient-rich garden fertilisers. With the help of 1 billion wriggly worms and a shiny dehydrating machine, the market recycles its organic waste and turns it into nutrient-rich garden fertilisers.
The GaiaRecycle Unit converts all offal, food and preparation waste, expired food products, ground coffee and plate scraps into fertiliser. It converts approximately 360 tonnes of product annually, every 2 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill has the same GHG reduction effect as taking a car off the road for a year (360 tonnes = 180 cars off the road).
The hard work and innovation has paid off, with the Market scooping a number of prestigious awards for its Organic Waste Management Program, including, the Award for Sustainability through The Local Government Professionals and The Environmental Sustainability Award through IPAA Victoria.
The Program offers a number of environmental benefits
- Reduction of organic waste in landfill saving landfill space for other purposes and eliminating the anaerobic rotting of the waste which generates methane and leachate.
- Elimination of carbon emissions that result from transporting the waste to landfill.
- What was previously discarded as waste now has an environmental (soil) value.
- The economic payback from the process arises from the long-term reduction or elimination of fees for hiring skips or bins and paying landfill tipping fees.
- Completing the circle on food waste from South Melbourne Market – with nothing to landfill, benefits back to community and the earth.
- South Melbourne Market and its owner the City of Port Phillip as leaders in waste diversion, sustainability and innovation.
- Being part of a meaningful change and providing a Market for future generations.
Watch this short video to discover how they turn their waste into something of value.