Sustainable living

Turning food scraps into green energy

1016 houses and 141 inner-city apartment blocks take part in a City of Sydney food scraps recycling trial.

Joel crop 2

Kitchen scraps from up to 12,000 homes are being diverted from landfill and turned into green energy and plant fertiliser.

Since the trial started in 2019, the City of Sydney has collected and recycled more than 500 tonnes of food scraps.

Potts Point resident and strata committee member, Joel Handler, tells us why he’s on board.

How did you get involved with the City of Sydney’s food scraps recycling trial?

I’ve practised food recycling at home with a bokashi bin (a kitchen compositing caddy) for the last few years. I’ve always thought food recycling is a simple way to do your bit for the environment. I'm passionate about my building community, the local community and how we can live a more sustainable lifestyle. As soon as I found out about the food waste trial, I registered to get my building involved.

Joel Handler with his food scraps recycling bin
Joel Handler with his food scraps recycling bin

What prompted you to recycle kitchen food scraps?

It's a fantastic initiative for apartments that might not be able to logistically fit or manage a composting system. There are a lot of items that can be recycled, making it accessible to everyone. It’s nice to know the scraps are being processed in a facility in Sydney and can be used to benefit the environment.

What would you like to see come out of this trial?

I’d love to see more residents get involved. I’d love to see maroon coloured bins for food scraps in households across the whole of Sydney and Australia.

This is a real opportunity to inspire people to recycle their food scraps and think about other changes they could make such as reducing water use or recycling e-waste.

These are all steps in the right direction. And it all starts with you and me.

Find out more about the food scraps recycling trial.

Published 27 August 2019, updated 3 May 2021