Food scraps recycling trial

We’re running an important pilot with residential properties.

The hands of a person scraping food scraps into a caddy bin.

About the trial

We’re running an important trial involving the separate collection and recycling of food scraps from residential properties.

Food waste typically makes up one third of our residents’ red lid rubbish bins. By collecting and recycling food scraps separately, we can reduce waste to landfill. We can then convert the food scraps into green electricity and fertiliser for use on gardens and farms.

Phase 1 of the trial started in July 2019, and from September 2020 we began expanding the project into phase 2. Currently the trial involves over 1,000 houses and 180 apartment buildings across the city, comprising more than 15,000 households. 

What we want to achieve 

This initiative will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and nourish our environment. The food scraps recycling trial is an initiative of our Leave nothing to waste – waste strategy and action plan 2017–2030 and is one of the actions we’re taking to help achieve our zero waste target by 2030.

The results of this trial will shape future food scraps recycling services across our local area.

What happens to your scraps

Once collected, we’ll transport your food scraps to EarthPower, Australia’s first food waste-to-energy processing facility in Camellia, Sydney.

The EarthPower facility uses anaerobic digestion technology to convert food scraps to green electricity and a nutrient-rich fertiliser.

As an accredited GreenPower supplier, EarthPower sells the green electricity to the grid for distribution to domestic, commercial and industrial clients.

The fertiliser is produced from a nutrient rich sludge, which is a by-product of the anaerobic digestion process. The sludge is dried and granulated into fertiliser prills that are sold into the agriculture and horticultural markets.

Temporary change to food scraps processing

We normally send your food scraps to the EarthPower anaerobic digestion facility for conversion to green energy and fertiliser.

The EarthPower facility is temporarily closed for maintenance and improvement works. While it’s closed, our food scraps are going to a facility that uses open windrow composting to turn your scraps into composts, mulch and soil conditioners.

We’ll let you know when EarthPower reopens, but in the meantime, you can be assured your food scraps are still being recycled.

EarthPower workflow for recycling food scrapsPDF · 64.7 KB · Last modified

Not in the trial? Other options for food scraps recycling

If your house or building isn’t participating in the trial, you can still recycle your food scraps and play your part in reducing food sent to landfill.

Think about composting food scraps or setting up a worm farm. Check out our tips for composting. Bokashi bins are also a great alternative for those living in apartments.

Alternatively you could get involved in community-run food scrap recycling initiatives like ShareWaste or Positive Waste

Avoiding food waste in the first place

You can avoid or reduce food waste by planning your meals, shopping wisely, being creative with leftovers, and storing food correctly. In partnership with the NSW Government, we've launched Love Food Sydney. This is a free online program with tools and tips on how to cut down your food waste, save money and reduce your impact on the environment.

This project was supported by the Environmental Trust as part of the NSW EPA’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.
NSW Government