100T milestone for resourceful food waste service

30MARCH2022
 After 17 months collecting food waste from some of Cockburn’s most environmentally aware businesses, the City of Cockburn has this week marked the delivery of 100 tonnes of the valuable resource to Richgro’s anaerobic digestion plant in Jandakot.
 
Since August 2020 the City’s Commercial Food Waste Service (CFWS) has collected food waste from 34 Cockburn-based food businesses for delivery to Richgro where it helps produce high-quality biofertiliser.
 
That is equivalent to 190,000kg of CO2 emissions, or 46.5 years of electricity consumption for one Australian household.
 
City of Cockburn Waste Education Coordinator Clare Courtauld said the CFWS formed part of the City’s Waste Strategy 2020-2030.
 
“It’s just another way the City is striving to fulfill the WA Waste Strategy 2030, by helping the WA community generate less waste, recover more value and resources from waste and protect the environment by managing waste responsibly,” Ms Courtauld said.
 
“The City service not only reduces the waste that goes to landfill, but it reduces greenhouse emissions caused as food breaks down in landfill.
 
“It also captures methane for use as a clean energy source, achieving the Waste Strategy’s three objectives of avoid, reduce and reuse.”     
 
Richgro’s biofertiliser production process captures methane to generate electricity that is fed into the electricity grid, with two 1.5MW generators creating a maximum of 57,600KW per day, powering the equivalent of 3,200 homes.
 
The service provides 140, 240 and 660L bins to participating Cockburn commercial food businesses and delivers the contents weekly to Richgro’s Jandakot plant.
 
Participating Cockburn food retailers, producers and restaurants pay an annual charge of $260 per 240L commercial food waste bin service, $78 less than the City’s annual general waste service fee for businesses.
 
Ms Courtauld said over 5 million tonnes of food ended up in landfill every year in Australia – enough to fill 9,000 Olympic size swimming pools – where it decomposes to produce potent greenhouse gases.
 
The City’s program, which began as a trial thanks to an $18,257 State Government Community and Industry Engagement grant, puts the nutrient-rich resource to work, producing valuable biogas, compost and fertiliser.
 
Local food businesses are encouraged to find out more about applying to participate in the service, with information available on the City’s website opens in a new window.
 
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