Some councils with high numbers of apartment blocks have been trying to find ways to offset the carbon cost of the blocks by recycling everything that can be re-used.
City of Sydney council, overseeing one of the largest concentrations of apartment blocks in the country, has been at the forefront of this movement, including extending its food scraps collection and recycling service from standalone houses to strata schemes.
Food scrap initiative by City of Sydney
The trial involves more than 1000 houses and 120 apartment buildings across the city, comprising more than 10,000 households. The plan is to more than double the number of apartment blocks involved from 120 to 250.
While many high-rise owners are already recycling paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, coffee pods and small electronics, but the food scraps program takes it to a whole new level. In its trial, households are provided with a supply of compostable liner bags and small food scraps bin.
The left-overs bags are dropped in special communal wheelie bins, and then broken down to produce compost and fertiliser, or combustible biogas. The gas is used to generate electricity – it’s much less polluting than coal or natural gas – which is fed into the grid for consumers who have opted for green energy supplies.
The hidden benefit of all this is that if the food scraps were just dumped in landfill, they would create methane which is considerably worse for global warming than even carbon dioxide.
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