Food organic waste produced by the fruit and 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 and 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 which is an increase in recycling of 10% over the last two years.
Waste Diverted from Landfill
The Market and our cleaners (Ikon Services) have been working together to reduce our environmental impact through our recycling program. Since December 2019, we have seen significant improvements to the recycling rate Market-wide, with up to 75% percent of all waste now being diverted from landfill. Thank you to our wonderful cleaning staff and our traders, together we’re working towards a more sustainable market.
There are five worm farms located on site. The farms can receive 2kgs of fresh food waste each day which is converted into nutrient-filled fertiliser by the worms, which then goes onto our collection of potted trees and plants around the Market. Worm farms are one of the best ways to provide rich fertiliser that is sustainable, cheap, low maintenance and environmentally friendly.
The worms enjoy fruit and vegetable scraps, tea leaves and coffee grounds, egg shells and shredded, moist cardboard and paper from our traders, but not citrus fruits or meat and dairy – lucky for them there is no shortage of scraps around the market for them to feast on! Visible to all who wander through the Market, the worm farms also aim to promote environmental sustainability to the wider public.
Cheap, odourless and requiring very little maintenance, worm farms are an easy and useful addition to any home. Even the smallest homes can benefit from reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill by turning a percentage of their food waste into fertiliser that can further help the surrounding environment.
Find our worm farms in A Shed.
Recycling Coffee Grounds
The Market is now recycling coffee grounds from our cafes and restaurants. The grounds are collected from our traders then taken to the Dutson Downs waste facility in Gippsland and transformed into compost – which then go back onto your plants. So your coffee waste is going back into the earth!
Recycling Oil Waste
Oil waste from market food stalls and restaurants is collected each year and turned into biofuel.
For more information on sustainability programs and initiatives at Queen Vic Market, please contact our Sustainability Manager Kelly Green.