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Case Study: SoilFood System at Prahran Market

Aaron Moynes

In 1864, Prahran Market was the first market to open in the city of Melbourne. It has been an institution for over 150 years, making it the oldest running fresh food market in Australia. The decades have seen various changes from renovations to the introduction of fusion cuisine, but the market’s foundation and core values have remained the same -  “The Food Lovers Market”.

The success of the market is not only due to its fresh produce, hard-to-find specialty items and good old-fashioned service sealed with expert advice, but also because of their reputation as a market leader when it came to innovation. Prahran was the first market to use ceramic white tiles in the meat sections in 1928, and forecasted demand in the 1960’s for European produce after the immigrant influx following the war.

The Prahran Market have always been one to realise its responsibilities to our environment, and have implemented various successful strategies to prevent wastage. Their most recent initiative involves the installation of a Soilfood™ System to eliminate their organic waste to landfill.

Prahran use one of the larger Soilfood™ Systems - model GG-1200H, which dehydrates up to 1,200 kg of organic waste per day. It reduces the volume of the waste by 85% and turns the waste into the highly sought after organic fertiliser known as Soilfood™.

Before the SoilFood System, one of the main waste streams the market was struggling to dispose of was fish offal. Typically red meat and poultry are easily rendered into animal food products, but fish can be more troublesome, and due to its weight very expensive to dispose of. Now on a busy day, the Soilfood™ System in Prahran Market repurposes around 500 kg of fish offal produced by the markets traders.

Leftover fish offal and fruit and vegetable offcuts are placed into the SoilFood™ System. From the dehydrating process, around 1,000 litres of a clear condensate water is created daily. This condensate is sent underground into their 70,000 litre rainwater harvesting system so it can be used throughout the market to flush toilets, wash bins and on irrigation.

Prahran’s Operations Manager Bill McMaster loves the Soilfood™ System and points out the cost benefits that follow the environmental benefits. “At Prahran Market, even though we have the rainwater storage system, we are still faced with huge water bills annually. By adding 1,000 litres per day to our tanks it reduces our water bill by thousands of dollars each year.”

Another benefit of this unique system is the large reduction in bins, and the odours and leachate spills associated with them. Bill says the market is even saving on labour as the time it took staff to manage the waste has been greatly reduced, thus increasing productivity in other streams.

Not only has the SoilFood System™ saved Prahran Market money and reduced its environmental footprint, but the Soilfood™ fertiliser has also been a huge success within the market. A florist takes around 7 tonnes of SoilFood™ per month to their farm to use on growing new flowers which are sold back into the market. For a gold coin donation, market patrons can also  purchase SoilFood™ to use on their crops and gardens at home.

To learn more about the Eco Guardians Soilfood™ System or Prahran Market’s SoilFood Initiative contact us here.

Be sure to follow us on our LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter pages to keep up to date with our sustainable business solutions.


Sustainable September Festival at South Melbourne Market

Aaron Moynes

This month we say goodbye to Melbourne’s long winter and get outside and enjoy the spring sunshine. Eco Guardians recommend heading out to the action-packed Sustainable September festival, an initiative from the treasured South Melbourne Market. ..


Tasmania Trade Waste Issues

Aaron Moynes

When you think of Tasmania you think of the picturesque Cradle Mountain, the historical ruins of Port Arthur, and the spectacular Bay of Fires. Tasmania is renowned for having one of the most pristine and beautiful environments in the world, and their 1.5 million ha Wilderness World Heritage Area is the envy of Australia. Although only a small population of around 500,000 people, increased tourism and other factors have contributed to the gradual deterioration of the Tasmanian wastewater treatment plants which required urgent support.

TasWater was formed in 2013 to achieve important environmental, social and economic outcomes in response to wastewater problems, through the uniting of the three Tasmanian water and sewerage corporations; Ben Lomond Water, Cradle Mountain Water, Southern Water and their service arm, Onstream. TasWater aim to make a positive difference to Tasmania, and play a part in protecting Tasmania’s rugged mountains and shimmering water.

Eco Guardians are actively working with Australian Water Authorities, like Taswater, to provide sustainable solutions that help commercial businesses meet their trade waste criteria, and help protect the natural environment.

In vast and isolated places like Tasmania, it is often near impossible to install and maintain grease traps at every commercial kitchen. One solution to this problem involves installing a Grease Guardian. This technology enables trade waste customers, especially small regional operators, to service and monitor their own trade waste without facing the huge costs of excavating, installing and maintaining a large grease trap.

The Grease Guardian is the best available technology as an alternative to a standard grease trap, which has been stringently tested both officially and through years of field usage. There are thousands of units in operation across Australia, and Eco Guardians offer a maintenance package for all customers, no matter of location, ensuring the customer is trained and setup with a regular service package.

“Grease management is not exclusively about equipment, but also implementing best kitchen practices and grease waste awareness, and our proactive approach will work better than any passive approach,” says Grease Guardian Manufacturer Eamon Fitzpatrick.

“Eco Guardians always follow up with their customer, and ensure all Grease Guardians installed are looked after for years to come.”

If you are struggling to meet your trade waste criteria contact us here to learn more about how the Grease Guardian service package can help your business.

Be sure to follow us on our LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter pages to keep up to date with our sustainable business solutions.


SoilFood Systems for Schools

Aaron Moynes

While food waste from businesses and households represents a significant source of consumption-level food waste in Australia, the institutional food service sector (schools, prisons, hospitals) is also a major source of food waste. In Australia there are nearly 10,000 schools educating almost 3.5 million students each year.

Not only are the School canteens and tuck shops a significant source of food waste, but children are also known to be fussy eaters and often throw away their lunches, including whole sandwiches, fruit and anything else they don’t like.

Eco Guardians believe this presents an ideal opportunity to not only divert a huge amount of food waste from landfill, but also educate young students from an early age how to change behaviours and prevent future food waste.

Our SoilFood systems are available to process food waste between 20 kg to 1,200 kg per day, and work by dehydrating and sterilising the organic waste, resulting in a rich organic fertiliser called SoilFood. During one 10-hour cycle, the organic waste volume is reduced by 85%, with the process omitting a clear water that can either be harvested for greywater purposes or can be sent to sewer with absolutely no trade waste issues at all. Nothing is added to the process – no water, no enzymes.

Trinity College, within the University of Melbourne, have been using a SoilFood System for several years now to process the kitchen’s food waste. Trinity is a boarder college who encourage students to spend time working and helping out on campus, including the canteen, kitchen and dining hall. Students learn first hand how to repurpose their food waste into an organic fertiliser, that is then used throughout the school grounds and gardens.

Trinity groundsman John Fyffe has never been happier, saying “the roses are better than they have ever been”. The college also claims to now reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by around 80 tonnes per annum.

Imagine the huge amount of waste that could be diverted from landfill, if SoilFood Systems were introduced into every school around Australia.

There are government grants available to assist Australian schools to improve their recycling. We encourage all levels of education facilities to get in contact with us to see how they can implement a the SoilFood System. You can contact us here.

Be sure to follow us on our LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter pages to keep up to date with our sustainable business solutions. ..

How a Grease Guardian can help fight the ‘fatberg problem’ underneath Australian streets

Aaron Moynes

Fatbergs are smelly masses formed from discarded oil, fats and waste products. You may have seen the ‘fatberg problem’ causing hundreds of blockages across Brisbane circulating in the media the past few weeks. ..

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