Queen Victoria Market is committed to ensuring that our operating activities occur with minimum environmental impact. Below are some of the sustainability initiatives introduced to ensure that we achieve this.
Food organic waste produced by the fruit & veg stallholders comprises a large proportion of the total waste generated on site. Finding a solution for the recycling of food waste is a project that Queen Vic Market has been working on for many years with the fruit & veg stallholders and it is exciting that that the food organic waste produced by these traders is currently being recycled.
Assetlink Service Pty Ltd commenced cleaning and waste management services at the Market on 4 July 2016. Working closely with the fruit & veg stallholders, the food organic waste is now being successfully segregated and bulk hauled to the EPA licensed Gippsland Water, Soil and Organic Recycling Facility in Dunston Downs for open wind composting. The project is in the early stages, however we are already seeing great results, with approximately 120 tonnes of food organic waste being recycled per month.
The recycling of food organic waste complements the Market’s extensive recycling program; reducing waste to landfill. The following waste streams are currently being recycled at the Market:
- Fat and bone, which is used in blood and bone fertiliser.
- Fish offal, which is collected and processed for stockfeed and fertiliser.
- Fats from grease traps and cooking oils from deep fryers, which can be processed into stockfeed or converted to biodiesel.
- Paper and cardboard.
- Plastic packaging.
- Plastic and glass bottles and aluminium cans.
- Timber and steel.
In 2017/2018, we recycled 55% of the total waste generated on the Market site; this is an increase in recycling of 10% over the last two years.
Trial on site treatment of organic waste
Queen Vic Market are working with the City of Melbourne to select an on-site waste management technology to recycle part of the Market’s organic waste i.e. fruit and vegetables, fish offal and fat and bone on site. It is planned that a technology solution will be chosen and installed on site by June 2019.
Reducing waste – cooking with leftovers
On the first Thursday of each month, Leftover Lovers holds free cooking demonstrations under A Shed, showing Market customers how quick, easy and cheap it is to use simple ingredients to prepare delicious meals with food, primarily fruit and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste.
New ‘pick-a-box’ stations have been placed around the Market to provide customers with a sustainable alternative to carry home their shopping. The stations are located outside the Meat Hall loading Bay on Queen Street and in I Shed.
Storm Water Quality
Ground water run off is not captured for storage and is allowed to enter the normal storm water system. The Market’s storm water drains are designed to ensure that storm water entering the drainage system is of a reasonable quality. Filter baskets and specially designed grates filter out any solids, such as plastic and large vegetable matter. Diversion pits prevent the initial run off water that might be contaminated by organic material from entering the storm water system by diverting it to sewer. Only once the flow rate reaches a certain level is it diverted back to the storm water system.
Litter Prevention Project
Working with Sustainability Victoria and Melbourne Water, the Market’s Litter Prevention Project was a great success in reducing litter loads originating from the Market by 25% through education, infrastructure and enforcement.