Waste is an unavoidable by-product of our modern economy, but the concept of a disposable society is just a myth. Waste never harmlessly disappears – nothing in the universe can be destroyed. Rather, it just changes form. Dumping waste into big holes in the ground is far from an effective solution, and often only leads to greater problems.
Australia has a monumental food and organic waste problem, and this comes at a major social, economic and environmental cost.
Under the traditional “take-make-dispose” economy, organic waste is simply tossed out, to rot in landfill and produce methane gas (a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than CO2), thus creating further environmental problems. Organic waste is the worst generator of methane in landfills, and the contribution of food and organic waste to global warming is staggering. If global food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of carbon in the world after the USA and China. Discarded organic waste represents a source of pollution, a risk to public health and the environment, a loss of value and a missed opportunity to recover valuable resources. And based on 2020 figures, food waste alone costs Australians upwards of $10 billion annually.
For many businesses trying to do their bit for the environment, the focus is often on recycling items such as plastics, paper and metal. However, the efforts shouldn’t stop there.
Evidence shows that food, garden and organic waste often get overlooked in business recycling, too often ending up in landfill. This is a significant problem. There is a pressing need to deal with organic materials before they are thrown out – and to keep these materials in use for longer and extract the maximum value from them.
Now, not only do businesses have the opportunity to prevent these environmental problems from occurring, they also have the opportunity to extract value from their rubbish. This is known as a circular economy, and businesses can play a significant role in tackling the problem of organic waste through the sustainable treatment of this valuable waste stream.
When correctly treated, organic waste doesn’t need to go to waste, but can provide great benefits, not only for the environment but for businesses as well. Food and organic waste can be transformed into valuable resources, and can effectively move from waste streams to income streams. The useful components contained in organic waste can be captured, composted and converted into energy, fertiliser, compost or livestock feed.
This new approach to the disposal of organic waste represents an incredible opportunity for business. Once businesses start to see their organic waste as a resource, the potential benefits from a circular economy approach are great – both for the environment and the bottom line.
Treating their organic waste in a circular manner can help businesses in a number of ways:
- It will save on the cost of waste disposal (particularly for businesses with large volumes of organic waste, such as the hospitality industry)
- It will allow businesses to use or sell the resources created from their organic waste
- It will give businesses the ability to produce more product without consuming more resources and incurring more cost
It also helps the environment by:
- Reducing the amount of organic waste in landfill, and thereby reducing carbon emissions
- Improving soil carbon levels and crop productivity
- Reducing the effects of drought
- Supporting food security
Organic waste is not a problem to be disposed of, it’s a resource to be used. Here at NuGrow we believe that organic waste should be seen as valuable, and are passionate about assisting businesses to convert this waste into new and useful products, such as high-grade composts, premium soils and soil fertilisers and conditioners. NuGrow employs strategies to maximise the quality, value and recovery rate of organic waste, creating new opportunities for businesses to benefit. NuGrow’s organic waste recycling strategies help businesses extract further value from their waste, and keep materials cycling through the economy in a beneficial way.
Businesses have a vital role to play in improving waste management, and NuGrow has a vital role to play in helping you do that. The management of food and garden organic waste represents a significant challenge for many businesses and local councils. Without an Australia-wide coordinated approach to managing organic waste, it can be difficult to process it effectively and efficiently. That’s where NuGrow can help. If you need to better manage your organic waste and extract more value from what you may have considered rubbish, contact us today to find out how we can help add more value to your business: https://nugrow.com.au/contact/