Regional hospital installs Wastemaster
Tonnes of food waste from the Epworth Geelong kitchen is being converted to compost, reducing landfill and greenhouse gas emissions. In the longer term, this waste will also be used to power local homes.
Epworth Geelong is one of the first regional Australia hospitals to install a Wastemaster food waste dehydrator, which removes 80% of water from kitchen waste.
Leonie Lloyd, Executive General Manager Epworth Geelong, said Epworth wants to champion sustainable hospital practices. Results from an independent sustainability audit found that one of the biggest contributors to the hospital’s carbon emissions was food waste from the kitchen.
“Previously, tens of thousands of kilograms of food offcuts were being taken from the kitchen at Epworth Geelong to landfill,” Lloyd said.
The Wastemaster dehydrator removes water from food waste such as fish and chicken bones, fruit and vegetables, eggs and eggshells, teabags and coffee grinds, leaving behind a powdery residue that is high in nutrients.
Epworth HealthCare Group Sustainability Manager Simon Mikedis said the residue will be taken to a City of Greater Geelong council facility to be used in nutrient-rich compost in local parks and reserves.
“Longer term, we will partner with an anaerobic facility so food waste residue can produce electricity to power homes,” Mikedis said.
In Victoria, Epworth Richmond was the first hospital to install a Wastemaster system. Last year, more than 36,000 kilograms of kitchen waste from the hospital was reduced to residue and taken to Yarra Valley Water’s anaerobic facility at Wollert. This residue was used to create enough electricity to power five homes for an entire year.
“In three years, the Wastemaster at Epworth Richmond has prevented 135 tonnes of food waste going to landfill, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 224 tonnes,” Mikedis said.
The installation of the Wastemaster system at Epworth Geelong was made possible through support from the Percy Baxter Charitable Trust.
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