A new guide released by the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG), a Victorian government statutory body, is aiming to help food businesses reduce costs by avoiding or recycling more of the 237,000 tonnes of food waste currently going to landfill.
“Reducing or recycling food waste isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for the bottom line too,” MWRRG chief executive officer Jill Riseley said.
“Food is an expensive input for businesses—reducing and recycling food waste offers businesses a way to cut costs and show their customers commitment to the environment.”
The Food waste recycling for business guide follows the release of new figures, based on 433 audits in the food retail and hospitality sector, which shows a significant opportunity to cut costs by reducing or recycling up to 98 per cent of food waste currently sent to landfill.
The food waste currently sent to landfill—nearly enough to fill Melbourne’s Eureka Tower—costs businesses money and releases greenhouse gases when it breaks down in landfill.
Recycling more food waste will support more jobs, turning food and green waste into compost—in turn supporting farmers using this product to grow produce.
“Recycling food waste isn’t more difficult than recycling cardboard or plastics which many businesses already do well. Understanding how to recycle food waste is a major hurdle which our guide will help overcome,” Riseley said.
“Our comprehensive, practical guide builds on the support we’ve already provided to help increase food waste recycling and complements the work councils are doing to support businesses—all of which is helping businesses claw back some of the lost value from food waste.”
The Food waste recycling for business guide provides practical advice to help businesses reduce or recycle their food waste. Food waste collection services and on-site systems to dehydrate, process or compost food waste are among the solutions provided in the guide.
It offers practical solutions for businesses to overcome common barriers such as staff education, cost and space, which can prevent them from recycling food waste.
Food waste is a priority of the Victorian government’s circular economy policy and action plan for waste and recycling, with targets to halve food waste and have the amount of food and green waste sent to landfill by 2030.