Melbourne restaurants to take part in food waste recycling program

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 5th August 2013

Several Melbourne restaurants are set to take part in a new food waste recycling program called ‘City Harvest’, which was launched 30 July 2013.

The program, which is supported by the Victorian Government’s ‘Sustainability Victoria’ program and not-for-profit organisation the Banksia Foundation, will see organic matter composting machines installed in commercial kitchens throughout Melbourne. The compost matter will be collected and delivered to city gardens, and the vegetables from those gardens sold back to the restaurateurs.

City gardens will be established on rooftops and in public spaces within the Melbourne CBD, with the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre at Albert Park having already committed space for four gardens.

The program’s organisers said they predict food waste going to landfill will be cut by 90 per cent, and a yearly saving of $5 million in food waste collection will be made.

The machines have been provided by environmental services company Closed Loop. As part of the project, disadvantaged young people will be trained in commercial and horticultural skills to prepare and maintain the gardens.

The Closed Loop machines are automatic composting units that decompose and homogenise food scraps in an aerobic environment. The units work by using a combination of controlled temperatures, agitation and airflow. Closed Loop said that once food waste is added to its machines, “the volume and weight of organic waste is reduced by up to 90 per cent within 24 hours”.

“The big issues today are feeding the world and what we do about food waste to landfill. City Harvest addresses both issues,” said Rob Pascoe, Managing Director of Closed Loop. “At Closed Loop we believe that in the next 10 years, every commercial kitchen in Australia will have an organics composting machine and every home will also have the domestic version, much as they already have a dishwasher,” he said.


Melbourne restaurants to use compost machines