OSCA turns food waste into a valuable resource

Dr. Paul Harrey shows QLD State Government and DEEDI representatives the finer points of OSCA

Sunshine Coast based company ‘WDU Sustainability’ is launching a new era in food waste recycling at World Environment Day celebrations on Sunday 3rd June.
OSCA‘ is an on-site commercial ‘waste-to-compost’ technology, scientifically designed to turn up to 2 tonnes of organic waste into nutrient rich compost in two weeks.
OSCA will be in action at Sunshine Coast University on World Environment Day, converting all the festivals organic waste, including all food and compostable packaging from the events stall holders and visitors, into a high grade compost. The team from WDU will be inviting visitors to come and see OSCA in action. WDU, a.k.a. Worms Downunder, will also hold worm farm workshops throughout the day with worms and worm farms on display and for sale.
Each year Australians throw away around 7.5 million tonnes of food waste. In Queensland, food waste from commercial kitchens and food outlets has been identified as a state priority, largely due to the volume and environmental impact of greenhouse gas emissions and leachate when the food waste ends up in landfill.
“Wasted food costs businesses such as restaurants, fast food outlets and cafes a lot of money to dispose of. Businesses are now looking for cost-effective and efficient ways to process the high volumes of food waste that they produce. It doesn’t make sense to send food waste to landfill since disposal fees are prohibitive and the organics can be put to much better use” explained Dr. Pene Mitchell, Director of WDU Sustainability. “Businesses we have spoken to are not just looking to reduce food waste for the savings that can be achieved, but also because of concerned customers.” Over 86 percent of Australian’s surveyed recently say they believe the amount of food thrown away by food-service operators should be reduced and were willing to pay more for their dining experience from businesses who were minimising their waste.

Dr. Paul Harrey, the inventor of OSCA, explained: “OSCA breaks down the organic waste quickly and naturally, using an aerobic process which involves the use of an auger to aerate, agitate and move the waste through the machine. Through the action of the beneficial bacteria in the machine, the waste is effectively pasteurised as temperatures reach in excess of 60 degrees Celsius. It’s silent, odourless and, remarkably, the whole system runs on the same energy as it takes to run a light bulb”.

OSCA is available in two different sizes, with capacity to process up to 1 tonne a week in the smaller system and up to 2 tonnes in the large. The OSCA units are easy to establish on-site, which is one of the reasons that WDU Sustainability has been invited to operate OSCA at the World Environment Day event.
“Food waste is a resource. Over the course of a week, OSCA will convert 1 tonne of food and compostable packaging waste into around 1⁄4 of a tonne of high quality, Australian standard compost. So instead of transporting this food waste to landfill it is used for land improvement, saving on waste disposal, water, mulch and fertiliser costs.”Dr Mitchell said.
Being the first automated on-site composting apparatus of its kind designed and made in Australia, it’s a smart investment for organisations looking for a sustainable method of recycling organic waste at the source, with the payback period for some organisations being less than a year.

About: WDU Sustainability
WDU Sustainability, aka Worms Down Under are based at Palmwoods and have been running their company (previously at Montville) for the last 7 years. WDU manufacture a range of worm farms (domestic and commercial) and have now begun to create new products such as retro-fit kits and ‘Osca’ for larger scale composting of food waste. They operate Australia wide.
It’s a dynamic family run business,with founding members passionate about what they do and about sustainable living. To find out more visit  their website http://www.wormsdownunder.com.au