Worm farm halves restaurant waste

Worm farm halves restaurant waste

A major worm farm trial in the heart of Newtown’s eatery precinct has halved the total waste of a local restaurant and juice shop, saving on rubbish bills and converting waste to free fertilizer for local residents.

The Green Living Centre, funded jointly by the City of Sydney and Marrickville councils, has coordinated a successful six-month trial of the farm utilizing a 1,500-litre skip bin at their King Street office in Newtown to house the worms

Project Manager, Mithra Cox, said the farm had diverted 462 kilograms, of the equivalent of 6,500 hamburgers, of food waste and scraps from two local businesses Boost Juice Newtown and Soffritto Restaurant.

Food waste makes up about a third of total household waste and  about half of a restaurant’s waste.

The worm farm has also produced 323 litres of organic fertilizer, which has been given away to local residents at the Green Living Centre. It is also expected to produce about 40 kilograms of compost.

“The worm farm plays an important role in turning food waste into a valuable organic fertilizer, and diverting waste from landfill,” Ms Cox said.

“This trial has shown that large worm farms can handle commercial quantities of food waste and halve the amount of waste going to landfill from restaurants and food outlets.”

Sustainability Program Officer, Jonathan Boys, said the composting trial was part of the City’s strategy to reduce waste and methane emissions from landfill.

“The City is helping business to implement simple and cost-effective ways to reduce waste from their daily operations and improve waste management,” said Mr Boys.

Owner of Soffritto restaurant, Matthew Green, said: “We love contributing to the worm farm. It saves on costs and minimises landfill from our restaurant. This is good for our business and for the environment.”

Boost Juice Newtown owner, Raewyn McCardle, said: “As a juice bar, we generate lots of fruit pulp.  It felt great that instead of filling up our rubbish bin, our fruit pulp became a valuable resource that was turned into organic fertilizer.”

Ms Cox said the next stage of the program would involve establishing trial worm farms on-site at restaurants and food outlets.

The City of Sydney is part of Compost Revolution, an on line quiz designed to give people a basic understanding of how to compost or worm farm effectively to encourage waste reduction. Local residents who go on line and complete the quiz will receive more than 50% of a worm farm or composter for a limited time; compostrevolution.com.au/cityofsydney

The City also hosted a worm farming workshop at Green Square on 25 May to show how to turn food waste into healthy garden soil as part of its regular series of sustainability workshops. Keep a watch out at greenvillages.com.au  for upcoming workshops.


For more information contact: City of Sydney  Media Adviser Jo Wathen, phone 02 9265 9582 or email jwathen@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au