The Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group (MWRRG) has published the Food waste recycling for business guide which provides cafés, restaurants, and other hospitality and retail businesses with advice on how to reduce or recycle food waste.
The guide is based on MWRRG’s study titled ‘Analysis of waste audit data in the hospitality and food retail sector’. This study saw 433 audits conducted across the food, retail, and hospitality sector, and found that more than 237,000 tonnes of food waste is currently going to landfill.
This study also includes the levels of waste generated and diverted, state-wide estimates of generation and diversion, and opportunities for reducing waste.
According to MWRRG, its new guide, which was based on this study, highlights opportunities to cut costs and recycle 98 per cent of the food going to landfill.
“We know many businesses are doing it tough right now and our guide will help them reduce costs and come back more financially and environmentally sustainable—helping them thrive long term,” says Jill Riseley, CEO of the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group.
“Reducing or recycling food waste isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for the bottom line too. 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.”
Food scraps that are sent to landfill cost businesses money and release greenhouse gases when broken down. Through recycling food waste, businesses are supporting the creation of new jobs that focus on turning food and green waste into compost. This in turn helps farmers who use this product to grow more produce.
Food waste collection services and on-site systems which help to dehydrate, process, or compost food waste are just a few of the solutions provided in the guide.
“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,” Jill says.
The guide also offers practical solutions to overcome common barriers to recycling food waste, such as staff education, cost, and space.
“Seventy-six per cent of Australian businesses believe good waste management improves the public’s perception of them,” says Jill.
“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.”
Food waste is a priority of the Victorian Government, as outlined in its Recycling Victoria: a new economy, which is the government’s circular economy policy and action plan for waste and recycling. According to the book, the Government is aiming to halve food and green waste sent to landfill by 2030.
For more information, visit www.mwrrg.vic.gov.au.