FOOD waste is being dehydrated and turned into fertiliser under an Australian program.
Enrich360 dehydrates food waste from restaurants and commercial kitchens and creates fertiliser.
The program aims to reduce landfill and methane gas while improving soil carbon and water retention.
At the heart of the process is a fully automatic food dehydrator which goes through the process of dehydration, sterilisation and volume reduction.
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No additives such as water, sawdust or enzymes, are required.
The process takes about eight to 10 hours to complete. At the end of the process, the machine is emptied completely and is immediately ready to receive the next load.
The machine can be loaded and run seven days a week.
All food waste including meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, coffee grinds and flower displays can be put into the machine. The entire procedure happens in a closed reactor chamber so that odour issues are non-existent.
The product from this system will be utilised as a directly-applied fertiliser, a pelletised fertiliser or as a compost enhancer.
The initiative is supported by the NSW and Victorian Governments.
Enrich360 chief executive officer, Dean Turner, said each year about 1.2 trillion kilograms of waste goes into landfill around the planet.
"About half of that is food waste," Mr Turner said.
"Not only that, the food waste breaks down and adds to the creation of methane which works to destroy our Ozone layer, affecting global warming.
"This is a serious problem in Australia that needs to be recognised and acted on."
Mr Turner said the company was looking for food growers of all types to participate in free trials using the fertiliser.
One of the attractions to the program for building managers is the reduced need to hold rancid food waste on premises as the machine output is dry, sterile and pathogen free.
Certification is available for restaurants and foodservice operations, as well as farmers using the enrich360 fertiliser.
It does not attract insects or vermin, according to the company.
There is an enrich360 app which allows customers to search for their nearest enrich360-certified foodservice establishment, see location details, booking contact details, menus, photos and latest information on where raw materials came from and information about the farm they came from.
The volume of the food waste is reduced by up to 93 per cent by the dehydration process which means waste collection is required less often and is done with a smaller truck.
The program was founded by Bill Kollatos who sought a way to give back to produce growers.
The enrich360 program is suitable for restaurants, retailers, major facilities, hospitals, corporate high-rise, education aviation, apartments and shopping centres.