Stonnington supports apartment food waste recycling

The City of Stonnington’s Apartment Composting Program is making food waste recycling easier for people living in apartment blocks, by helping them establish communal worm farms.

The innovative and convenient program provides residents with discounted worm farms, an onsite worm farming workshop and access to information and support materials, including kitchen caddies, brochures and signs. After successful trials in 2016 and 2017-18, the program is now open to all apartment buildings in the municipality, provided they have the support of the owners' corporation and at least one third of residents.

Food waste makes up 43 per cent of the average garbage bin in the City of Stonnington and reducing food waste to landfill is a key priority for the council, as outlined in its Sustainable Environment Strategy 2018-2023. 

Preliminary results have shown that buildings participating in the Apartment Composting Program have decreased their food waste to landfill by up to 14 per cent (by weight). Participants have also reported broader benefits, including an increase in community connection amongst neighbours.

City of Stonnington Sustainable Environment Coordinator, Jane Spence believes the Apartment Composting Program is particularly relevant in Stonnington where a significant number of residents live in apartment buildings.

“The limited space that comes with apartment living can make it difficult to recycle food waste through standard composting systems,” said Jane.

“This is why communal composting is a great option for those households that don’t have the room to set up their own worm farms or composting bins.

“Coupled with the benefits of recycling food waste, one surprising and pleasing outcome from the program has been the improved community connection in participating apartment buildings,” she added.

“One apartment building has even started hosting ‘Wine and Worms’ evenings!”

In March 2019, the City of Stonnington will trial food waste recycling with around 700 households, inviting them to add food waste to their garden waste bins. The results of the trial will inform a decision on whether to introduce a full food waste recycling program in the future.

 

Last updated: 20/05/2019