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City of Sydney trial helps 4000 households divert food scraps from landfill

The City of Sydney council is conducting a trial that encourages householders to separate food scraps from their general waste bins.

The trial is estimated to result in 4,000 homes diverting food waste from landfill, which will then be turned into green energy or plant fertiliser.

Announced in late August, 330 houses and 53 inner-city apartment blocks have been selected to participate in the trial.

Participating households are provided with a small kitchen caddy to store their food scraps, an initial supply of compostable caddy liners and a food scraps bin to be placed on the kerb for pick up.

Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said there have been many advancements in waste separation technology, but the most effective method is when our residents separate the waste themselves at the source,” Moore said.

“Food scraps generally make up one-third of the average red lid bin, so this trial will divert a significant amount of waste from landfill.

“There has been huge demand from residents to participate in this trial and if successful, we’ll look at providing this service across the entire council area.”

Food scraps will be sent to Australia’s first food waste-to-energy processing facility EarthPower in Camellia.

The scraps will be processed using anaerobic digestion technology. EarthPower sells the green electricity it produces into the grid. Electricity generated at the facility can power up to 3,600 homes at full capacity.

The fertiliser pellets are sold to be used in farms and gardens.

Potts Point resident and strata committee member, Joel Handler, encouraged his apartment block neighbours to get involved in the trial.

“It’s a fantastic initiative, particularly for apartments like mine that can’t logistically manage a composting system.

“There are lots of items that can be recycled. It’s nice to know that the scraps are being processed in a facility in Sydney and can be used to benefit the environment,” Handler said.

The City of Sydney has received funding for the trial from the NSW EPA’s ‘waste less recycle more initiative’, which is funded by the NSW waste levy.