City of Mount Gambier has commenced a six month trial with seven local food businesses to divert food waste from landfill.
Hundreds of tonnes of food waste is unnecessarily deposited at Caroline Landfill each year creating methane and leachate which pollutes the environment.
“Sending food waste to landfill is also a waste of resources as this matter can instead be composted and returned to local farms and gardens to grow more food,” City of Mount Gambier Sustainability Officer Aaron Izzard said.
The food waste trial aims to develop an appropriate food waste diversion system for local businesses as one restaurant can produce more than 20 tonnes of food waste each year.
“As part of the trial, Council provides participating businesses with free bins and compostable liners to separate food waste in their kitchens, as well as signage and directions on what goes in each bin.”
All food waste is emptied into a small 660 litre skip bin dedicated to food waste which is collected by a contractor once per week. The contents of the bin is then taken to Bio Gro where the food waste is composted. – Aaron Izzard
“As well as doing the right thing for the environment, reducing food waste in landfill saves the community money. This trial is free for food businesses.”
Hungry Jacks, Presto Eatery, Muffin Break, Wendy’s, Southern Thai Cafe, the Tuck Shop and the Mount Gambier Hospital are participating in the trial so far.
“The trial has already diverted more than 1,200 kilograms of food waste from landfill in the first month of operation,” Mr Izzard said.
In return for free waste collection services, participating businesses are asked to record the number of general waste bins collected before and during the trial.
“The skip really makes the process of getting rid of food waste so easy, we just dump it in and it’s collected each week,” Presto Eatery Head chef Kathryn Holmes said.
"We’ve been using internal kitchen bins for food waste for a couple of years now and in the first eight weeks we saved two tonnes of food and organic waste from going to landfill.”
The program is jointly funded by Council and the State Government Green Industries SA 2020/2021 Council Modernisation Grants to the value of more than $46,000.
Food businesses interested in participating in the trial are encouraged to contact Council’s Environmental Sustainability Officer Aaron Izzard at email@example.com or on 8721 2528.
Media contact: City of Mount Gambier Media and Communications Coordinator Sharny McLean on 8721 2401 or firstname.lastname@example.org