New funding to ensure our food scraps don’t go to waste

Published: 20 June 2022
Food scraps and organic material in a bin caddy.

Garden waste and food scraps from Victorian households will be put to good use in Victoria’s farms, parks and gardens, thanks to a $3.6 million investment from Sustainability Victoria to support new ways to use recycled organic products.

Victoria produces about one quarter of Australia’s food waste. Each year, food waste costs Victorians an estimated $6 billion in product value and disposal, 29 billion litres of water, and generates 3.15 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

Victoria’s recycled organics industry is experiencing rapid growth. Kerbside reforms, including the roll out of the 4-bin waste and recycling system and the improved recovery of commercial and industrial food and green waste, are increasing the supply of recycled organic products.

Over the next decade, Victoria will cut waste generation by 15% and halve food and organic waste going to landfill under the Victorian Government’s $380 million Recycling Victoria action plan to transform the state’s recycling sector.

Solutions to increase demand for and improve the quality of Recycled Organic Products

The transition to meet Victoria’s new waste reduction targets will cause a corresponding increase in the volume of recycled organics entering the market. Sustainability Victoria is investing in solutions to increase the demand for and improve the quality of Recycled Organic Products to reduce the risk of market failure.

The Recycling Victoria Organics Markets Fund is a $2 million support package designed to increase ‘end user’ adoption and the growth of markets for quality recycled organics.

Recycled Organic Products include:

  • compost
  • composted mulch
  • bio fertilisers derived from processed organic waste
  • dehydrated food waste products
  • products derived from insect processing of organic waste.

Businesses, Catchment Management Authorities, industry groups and associations, community groups, not-for-profit organisations and local government can access grants of between $15,000 to $400,000 for projects that increase the adoption of Recycled Organics Products.

The funding will support projects that:

  • remove barriers that prevent or limit the adoption of Recycled Organic Products
  • accelerate a sustained increase in the use of Recycled Organic Products.

Learn more about the Recycling Victoria Organics Markets Fund.

News ways to use valuable recycled organic products

Six projects have been selected to share in Sustainability Victoria’s $1.6 million Recycling Victoria Research and Development Fund – Organics.

Waste Mining in Colac is exploring new technologies to transform food waste into nutrients that could be used for growing the ‘superfood’ spirulina, using anaerobic digestion that breaks down organics in an oxygen-free environment and aquatic farming technologies to maximise nutrient recovery and added value.

Another 2 projects will explore sub soil amelioration research to help accelerate the use of recycled organics in improving the quality of soil, which in turn helps crops and plants access more water and improve crop yields overall.

All successful projects will explore how to use valuable food and garden organic waste to support Victorian agriculture, diverting it from landfill.

Learn more about the Recycling Victoria Research and Development Fund – Organics recipients.