South Melbourne Market wins environmental award

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The South Melbourne Market’s work to recycle tonnes of food, vegetable and other waste, and other sustainable practices is cutting business costs and greenhouses gas emissions.

The market, won the Institute of Public Affairs Australia’s Victorian Environmental Sustainability Award, sponsored by Sustainability Victoria in Melbourne on Tuesday night.

“As community expectations about environmental sustainability grows and waste disposal costs rise, it’s clear that the South Melbourne’s market is hitting the mark on both counts,” Sustainability Victoria CEO Stan Krpan said.

“The South Melbourne Market’s comprehensive program could be applied to other markets and shopping centres, not just in Melbourne, but around Australia,” Krpan said.

“The City of Port Phillip, market management and the businesses that operate there are doing a great job to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping vulnerable people in the community.”

The market processed around 400 cubic metres of green waste in 2016/17 (equivalent to more than 22 garbage trucks) through a worm farm creating Market Magic, a mix of worm poo and mushroom compost which is sold at the market.

The market also has a fast-working Gaia recycling unit which turns 8.4 tonnes of food and other waste into compost, also sold at the market, every week. Over a year, the weight recycled is equivalent to 20 Melbourne trams.

Approximately 10,800 litres of oil was collected from the Market in 2016-17. Most is turned into biodiesel which is used in the vehicles which collect it.