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CIT Culinary reducing food waste and increasing sustainability

Published: 27 Apr 2022

The CIT Hospitality, Culinary & Tourism Department commenced recycling food waste in 2021, utilising the services of Goterra - an on-site food waste management technology and service that disposes of waste via modular insect farms, turning local food waste into livestock feed for Australian farms.

This resulted in over 5,000 kg of food waste recycled, 225kg of livestock feed produced and a saving of over 10,000 kg of CO2 emissions. Composting has also redirected food waste from landfill with 29,760 litres of organic waste diverted from landfill to composting off site.

Culinary senior teacher Ivonne Nathan explained students recycle the food waste as part of their practical learning; the data from which is used as a resource for the Certificate IV commercial cookery students who must the "Implement and Monitor Environmentally Sustainable Work Practices" core unit. The program is getting a new program from Enrich 360 to process the waste and produce fertiliser.

"The new machine will save trucks from the road and provide an organic fertiliser that can enrich degraded soil and improve plant growth, reducing the need for chemicals," Ivonne said.

"The Enrich 360 is quite an incredible machine and produces green water that can be captured for reuse. It also reduces food waste volume by up to 93%.

"We also have Oz Harvest visit on a regular basis for collection for food collected for Canberra's homeless. When the shop (Apprentice Kitchen) is running they come every Friday to take any packaged foods that remain unsold. They also take the fresh bread from the bakers if there is no shop or a large quantity is produced.

"Front of house students have also been recycling food waste, and now that we have had a regular pick up for comingled recycling in the 240lt bins. All students have been doing this for the last 12 month, further reducing waste to landfill."