Regional organic waste mapping in South Australia (2012)

Regional organic waste mapping in South Australia (2012)
  • Compost and Organics

Regional organic waste mapping in South Australia (2012)

Blue Environment undertook a survey to identify organic waste materials generated and processed within three local council areas in South Australia, viz. Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Mt Barker. The objective was to develop a detailed understanding of the current and potential future supply of organic waste material which would be suitable for recycling and resource recovery within the area. A detailed methodology for data gathering was developed and documented, facilitating the same approach to be used in other areas of the state in future. Two separate questionnaires were developed: one for waste generators and one for waste processors. 

A database of potential organisations to be surveyed was developed in conjunction with Green Industries SA, Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Mt Barker councils, and relevant industry organisations.

The organisations were surveyed over four weeks in May-June 2012. Around 400 organisations were approached and 210 survey responses were received, representing a response rate of approximately 53% of all businesses approached, or around 86% of those who agreed to participate in the survey. Data from the survey was analysed and categorised according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industry Classification (ANZSIC) system and the type of organic waste involved. While some industry sectors generating organic waste did not respond to the survey, these were generally sectors with low representation in the region. The industry sectors with highest representation and likely to generate organic waste included cafes and restaurants and wineries and breweries, and their responses accounted for over 41% of completed surveys. The survey responses accounted for over 22,000 tonnes/year of solid organic waste and over 1,000 ML/year of liquid waste. Of the three council areas, Barossa experienced the largest waste stream (around 10,500 tonnes/year); this was mostly due to grape marc waste generated by wineries in the area. The organic waste stream generated in both Adelaide Hills and Mt Barker council areas was around half of the Barossa total, with around 5,200 tonnes/year and 6,300 tonnes/year generated respectively. Many respondents did not know how much waste they generated, how it was managed or how much it cost their business to do so. There were a number of other gaps in the information provided by survey respondents, with some questions incomplete or unanswered. If repeating the survey in other areas, it is recommended that the survey form be evaluated for ways to simplify the questions so that SMEs are not frightened off by the complexity of questions asked.

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