City of Sydney food scraps trial extended

4th May 2021 | Eativity editors

The City of Sydney is looking for an additional 100 apartment buildings to take part in its food scraps recycling trial to help divert waste from landfill. Since July 2019, the city has been running an opt-in residential food scraps collection and recycling trial, available to more than 11,700 households across 138 apartment buildings and 1016 houses.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore says that with waste and waste management making up around nine percent of the city’s carbon emissions, changing the way residents and the local government deal with food waste is essential.

The trial involves the separate collection and recycling of food scraps from residential properties.

“Food waste typically makes up more than a third of the rubbish in our general waste collection, which not only contributes to landfill but also releases methane gas as it decomposes,” she says. “We’re in the middle of a climate crisis and need to save every scrap of carbon we can to accelerate emissions reduction.”

So far, the trial has diverted more than 500 tonnes of food waste from landfill, and Moore says that the City of Sydney is eager to do more. The food scraps that are collected are sent to an anaerobic processing facility in western Sydney, where they’re converted into green energy to power homes and fertiliser for gardens and farms.

“This work will play a crucial part in helping us reach our 2030 target of diverting 90 percent of waste in the local area from landfill,” Moore says.

The results of this trial will shape future food scraps recycling services across the City of Sydney local area.

The City of Sydney makes it easy to participate in the trial, providing a kitchen caddy bin, compostable caddy liner bags and a food scraps bin. Apartment buildings are also given resources to inform residents about the scheme, and buildings with more than 50 units will also receive a pop-up information session on-site.

“The response from those who are already part of the scheme has been incredibly positive,” Moore says. “Ninety-seven percent of people taking part say it’s very easy to use, and the overwhelming majority are very happy with the way it’s being run in their building.

“With the City of Sydney collecting food scraps bins twice a week from apartment buildings, it really is an easy way to further reduce our carbon footprint.”

The trial is one of the actions the council is taking to help achieve its zero waste target by 2030.

The city is now looking for another 100 buildings to sign up to the trial. There’s no minimum on the number of eligible units per block, but strata committee approval is needed.

In New South Wales, 44 councils have a food and garden organics (FOGO) collection service. Councils in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne are also operating similar schemes. Many global cities offer a food organics collection service to their residents, including San Francisco, New York, Toronto, London, Barcelona and Milan.

To get your apartment building involved, email your building address and the contact details of the building strata manager or strata secretary to council@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au. For more information, go to city.sydney/foodscraps

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