Aggressive Progression

My previous post discussed the critical importance and value of quality data. In this post I will be conducting a critical review of existing organic waste management from two major sources; Woolworths and the Sydney Fish Markets. Both businesses have their specific needs in regards to collection, movement, processing and removal of organic waste.


Woolworths are one of the main grocery providers in Australia. This inevitably will generate an enormous amount of organic waste from each of their stores. In addition to this, the value of reducing their waste can significantly impact the business not only from a community perspective but also from a cost point of view. “Waste audits undertaken at a selection of our stores and distribution centres over the last year show that a large proportion of the waste that we send to landfill is organic material that could be used for another purpose. Around 56 percent of the waste from supermarkets and 28 percent from distribution centres (by weight) could be diverted to a beneficial end use” (Woolworths Limited 2015).

This encourages Woolworths to find alternative ways of dealing with organic waste and possibly turing waste into a valuable resource: ” Since November 2006, over 4,860 tonnes of organic waste from our supermarkets has been processed at EarthPower, generating 1,230 MWh or enough renewable energy to power around 145 houses.” (Woolworths Limited 2015).

woolworths waste

Image 1 – Pie chart showing total waste by category.

Sydney Fish Markets are another large business that produces immense quantities of organic waste. In fact they produce 13,000 tonnes of seafood product per year (Sydney Fish Market Annual Report 2015). This, in turn, generates substantial quantities of organic waste which would drastically impact their bottom line if it was simply sent to landfill. Fortunately, fish waste can be converted into a valuable by-product. “Hydrolysed fish waste can be composted with rock phosphate to form an organic/biological solidphosphate fertiliser. To enable this, relationships need to be formed between seafood industry and fertiliser manufacturers” (Knuckey 2002). Which raises an important point; who are the resulting parties relied upon for the management system to function correctly.

sydney fish marketImage 2 – High volume of seafood product sold at Sydney Fish Markets.

Key parties in large scale waste management systems may include equipment providers, logistics providers and waste processors. However, vital contributors to organic waste management solutions could include manufacturers of product that need your by-product. Depending on the situation, the organic waste may not be waste at all and, in fact, ‘produce’. I’m sure oil companies don’t refer to virgin polymer moulding material as ‘waste’!


To sum up, it would be of great value to recognise existing organic waste (produce) management solutions so as developments can be made in light of a proven system. This strategy can also help to facilitate development progress by way of reduced investment risk, which in most cases, will be a major hurdle to overcome. However, unproven systems should always be considered for the benefit of innovation in the field. For this reason, my next post will investigate an alternate ways to manage organic waste for one of the stated businesses.






Knuckey 2002, Utilisation of seafood processing waste – challenges and opportunities, p, viewed 14 June 2016, <;.

Sydney Fish Market 2015, Annual Report 2015, p. 33, viewed 11 June 2016, <;.

Woolworths Limited 2015, Doing the Right Thing, Sustainability Strategy 2007 – 2015, p. 26, viewed 14 June 2015, <;.

Woolworths Limited 2015, Doing the Right Thing, Sustainability Strategy 2007 – 2015, p. 27, viewed 14 June 2015, <;.



Image 1 – Woolworths Limited 2015, Doing the Right Thing, Sustainability Strategy 2007 – 2015, p. 26, viewed 14 June 2015, <;.

Image 2 – Sydney Fish Market 2015, The Christmas Catch!, Dailymail Australia, Getty Images, Viewed on 14 June 2016, <>.


One thought on “Aggressive Progression”

  1. It would be interesting to know how much power was actually generated. Powering 145 houses is great, but for how long for?


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