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Mechanical stomach turns food scraps into wastewater


A machine installed by City of Melbourne has stopped more than 60 tonnes of garbage from going to landfill in the past year by turning food scraps into wastewater.

Over the last 12 months, the ORCA aerobic digestion system has used micro-organisms to transform 62 tonnes of food scraps from the Degraves Street café precinct into greywater, making it one of the most heavily used machines of its type in operation in Australia.

Tas Papas, executive general manager at ORCA Enviro Systems, said micro-organisms in the unit digest the waste, creating wastewater that goes straight into the sewer system via a grease arrestor.

“The ORCA is basically a mechanical ‘stomach’ that digests fruit, vegetables, grains, dairy and proteins, so you end up with greywater that is safe to put into the drain without resorting to landfill,” he said.

“Degraves Street cafes set aside food waste as part of their daily operations. By diverting the food waste from landfill, we are also able to prevent greenhouse gases from escaping into the environment.

“Over the course of a year that also means more than 8000 litres in diesel fuel is saved because fewer trucks are needed on the road.”


Sheridan Randall - 9th August 2018