MWRRG supports OzHarvest to deliver recovered food

Each year, metropolitan Melbourne sends approximately 240,880 tonnes of commercial and industrial food waste to landfill. However some of this is still good food that can provide high quality, nutritious meals to people in need.

OzHarvest Melbourne operates a Food Rescue Service to recover and redistribute quality food that otherwise would go to waste. The rescue service mainly operates during business hours, so funding provided by MWRRG as part of a pilot commercial and industrial (C&I) waste partnership project enabled OzHarvest Melbourne to increase the number of food rescue vans that operate on Saturdays within metropolitan Melbourne and the CBD.

MWRRG provided $10,000 to OzHarvest, enabling them to run two extra vans each Saturday, collecting on average 1,800 kg of quality, surplus food, and delivering it to vulnerable people living with food insecurity.

Christine Crowley, Operations and Volunteer Coordinator for OzHarvest Melbourne said “The support from MWRRG allowed OzHarvest Melbourne to have three vans on the road on Saturdays for a 13 week period. During this time, OzHarvest rescued more than 13,500 kgs of food, which enabled the delivery of over 40,000 meals to those in need.”

“Keeping this food out of landfill also prevented over 27,000kgs of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere,” Ms Crowley said.

In addition to rescuing larger volumes of food, the additional vans enabled OzHavest to engage a broader range of businesses including caterers and event organisers that operate outside of normal business hours.

The pilot C&I waste partnership project is a response to research MWRRG commissioned in 2017 which found that C&I food and plastics waste represent two of the three highest volume C&I waste streams, have significant environmental impacts, and offer the greatest potential for additional resource recovery. The project aligns with our strategic objective of reducing waste sent to landfill as outlined in the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Implementation Plan 2016.

Download the Metropolitan Implementation Plan snapshot here.


Last updated: 28/01/2022