Returning today’s food and garden organic waste back to the soil helps us grow tomorrow’s food.
That is why the Australian Government is investing $67 million to establish a Food Waste for Healthy Soils Fund (the Fund). The Fund will put organic waste to productive use on our agricultural soils, rather than going to landfill.
The Fund aims to increase Australia’s organic waste recycling rate from 49 per cent to 80 per cent by 2030.
Achieving an 80 per cent recovery rate for organic waste will add approximately $400 million in industry value to the Australian economy while supporting up to 2,700 additional jobs in the recycling industry. It will also avoid over two million tonnes of unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions each year (the equivalent of taking nearly 500,000 cars off the road).
Together with co-contributions from participating state and territory governments and industry, the Fund will leverage over $170 million of investment to build new and improve existing organic waste recycling infrastructure to divert organic waste into nutrient rich compost and soil enhancers. Funded facilities will increase the quantity and quality of recycled organic waste available for use especially in the agricultural industry.
The Fund includes:
- a $57 million infrastructure fund to support new and improved organic waste recycling infrastructure to divert food organic and garden organic (FOGO) waste from landfill. Applications for infrastructure funding are closed.
- supporting elements to ensure the quality, consistency and safety of recycled organics products for use on agricultural soils. $10 million will be used by the government to:
- reduce contamination through education initiatives
- encourage the uptake while increasing knowledge and awareness of compost benefits
- update the Australia’s compost standards (AS4454-2012 Compost, Mulches and Soil Conditioners) to ensure compost products are top-grade, safe, consistent, and can be used in a range of agricultural settings, and
- update government procurement guidelines to stimulate market for high quality compost.