National first to reduce food waste
IN AN Australian first, developer Sekisui House has teamed up with charity OzHarvest to reduce food waste and feed those in need.
As Sekisui House welcomed their first residents to their West Village development in West End this week, they announced their food waste collection initiative from their retail precinct.
OzHarvest Queensland state manager Amy Cobb said the initiative would ultimately include a dedicated food rescue space with cold room and dry stock shelving for retailers to place quality surplus food for donation.
"(It) is supported by ongoing education and engagement activities to support retailers in minimising food waste and stopping good food from going to landfill," Ms Cobb said.
"OzHarvest's refrigerated food rescue vans will pick up surplus, quality from this dedicated central space and deliver to over 20 local organisations like Footprints, Micah Projects Common Ground and the Big Issue."
West Village sustainability and engagement manager Natasha Mulcahy said the development was the first major project in Brisbane taking a precinct approach to food waste management.
"It is the first project in Australia to build into the design dedicated dry and cold storage areas for food rescue service Oz Harvest," Ms Mulcahy said.
She said a temporary space would be established later this year and by 2020, a permanent dry and cold storage area would be built as part of the major retail precinct, which would include a supermarket and restaurants.
"Any food not fit for consumption will be turned into mulch," Ms Mulcahy said.
"Food waste that cannot be used by Oz Harvest will go into an onsite pulping machine, and then transferred offsite for processing.
"The pulp is 100 per cent re-used as an additive to mulch and soil products.
"Some of the landscape soils created via this process will return to West Village for landscaping and gardens in the public realm and rooftops."
Ms Cobb said the project had been in the pipeline for several years.
"We've learned that if we can start the conversation about reducing food waste in the design phase, before precinct construction, then the end result can be seamless, efficient and support greater food rescue outcomes," Ms Cobb said.
Ms Mulcahy said Sekisui House always had a focus on sustainability and was the first company in the world to build a zero-emission home in 2008.
"In Australia 8.2 million tonnes of food waste is generated each year, most of which ends up in landfill," she said.
"If successful at West Village, this approach to waste management is likely to be replicated across the development industry more broadly."