Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 8.42.48 amBiogas digesters represent a beautiful concept derived from nature. This technology has been around for many years in developing countries such as India and parts of Africa and South America. Today, developed countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and Australia are constantly improving this technology for use in their local communities.
Common Wheelie Bin Full of Food

The biogas digester can help us become a more environmentally friendly society. Today’s society wastes a great deal of the food it produces. This waste can be attributed to individuals, farms, supermarkets, and businesses. Biogas digesters provide a great way of dealing with potentially harmful organic materials, including food waste, and turning them into valuable new resources. Using food waste, this technology has the potential to provide base-load power to large communities without contributing to climate change.

Compact Fluorescent Light Globe

A biogas digester takes in YOUR food scraps, grass clippings, and any other type of organic material and decomposes it through a natural process. This process is known as anaerobic digestion and it is similar to what happens in a cow’s stomach. The outputs of this process are methane and fertiliser. Methane is a gas that can be used to cook food, heat our homes, and produce electricity sustainably. The fertiliser is a nutrient rich liquid that can replace expensive chemical fertilisers and can be used to grow more food. The food scraps can be placed in the biogas digester and continue this sustainable cycle for generations to come.

The biogas digester is a great technology. It helps communities become more efficient and contributes to our fight against today’s environmental issues. If implemented successfully, a biogas digester can power a whole community out of their own organic waste. For more information on food waste, how the biogas digester works, energy production and real life applications of these technologies please click on the icons above.

World wide, approximately 4.4 billion tonnes of food are produced every year. Out of this number about 1.3 billion tonnes are wasted. In Australia, things are no better;

  • Australians throw away up to 20% of the food they purchase.
  • Up to 40% of every household rubbish bin is food waste.
  • Each year Australia produces enough food waste to fill 450,000 rubbish trucks.
  • Each year Australia produces enough food waste to fill the MCG a little over 4 times.

According to foodwise.com.au, Australians are throwing out an average of 4 million tonnes of food every year. Households in Australia are now spending a total of $5.2 billion on food that they do not eat, according to recent research by the Australia Institute. Currently, Australians rank among the people who waste the most food worldwide.

Food waste is created because of regulations, production of too much food, consumer expectations, serving portions and lack of storage. In Australia, about 20% to 40% of fresh fruit and vegetables is thrown out before they reach our shops. Food waste isn’t something that only happens in our homes. This happens in our restaurants, supermarkets, business and farmlands, where product that is not purchased goes to waste. Our wasteful society not only harms our economy, but also our environment.

Food Waste in the Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne, Australia

Landfills

Common Landfill

Food waste that isn’t recycled or already being composted will likely end up in one of Australia’s landfills. In these landfills food will break down naturally and will pollute soil and ground water resources. The natural decomposition of food also releases methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide per unit mass. Methane contributes to climate change by trapping the sun’s heat within our atmosphere. Landfills also create thriving environment for pests, they smell and look bad, and they are a threat to human health.

Environmental Initiatives

The Environmental Protection Act (1970) created eleven principles for environmental protection. One of these principles established an order for waste management. Through this, EPA is looking to reduce the amount of waste created in Victoria by making a structure where avoidance is the most preferable p