Food waste management from commercial operations

As an alternative to landfill, solid waste materials that are generated from commercial operations such as catering kitchens, fruit & vegetable outlets, food halls and the like can be recovered or repurposed through dehydration, dewatering and digestion processes.

A common means of processing this commercial food waste is by the use of food waste management machines.

Depending upon the type of machine used there will be solid organic material left over within the machine after processing (which is then recycled as mulch or compost for agricultural or landscaping purposes) or the solids are transformed into a liquid trade waste.

Note that food macerators (food waste disposal units - FWDs) are prohibited fixtures and must not be connected to our sewer system.

Types of food waste management machines

Food waste management machines can be generally classified according to the following processes being applied:

  1. Dehydrate - 100% solids removal from machine at end of cycle. Reasonably clean water condensate discharged to sewer.
  2. Dewater - Near 100% solids removal from machine at end of cycle. Reasonably to moderately clean dewater discharged to sewer.
  3. Digest - Significant proportion of waste is transformed into a high strength wastewater that is discharged to sewer via pre-treatment apparatus.
  4. Macerators - 100% solids enters sewer after every use. Macerators are prohibited fixtures and must not be connected onto the Corporation’s sewer system.

Illustration showing food waste /waste water strentgh to sewer

Installation and use of food waste management machines

The use of a specific food waste management machine will require the business owner or property owner / manager who installs the food waste management machine to be aware of our specific approval certificates and pre-treatment associated with the food waste management machine and the requirement for a trade waste permit prior to any connection and discharge.

Contact tradewaste@watercorporation.com.au for these specific conditions.

New food waste management machine installations

Depending upon the type of food waste management machine to be installed then the following shall apply for new commercial food waste management installations as of 1 October 2018:

Dehydrate

  1. May be required to operate under a new or amended trade waste permit.
  2. No trade waste charges shall apply for the waste exiting the food waste management machine.

Dewater

  1. Will be required to operate under a new or amended trade waste permit.
  2. Trade waste usage charges may apply for the volume and quality of the waste exiting the food waste management machine.
  3. May be requested to be connected to a suitable form of trade waste pre-treatment.

Digest

  1. Will be required to operate under a new or amended trade waste permit.
  2. Must have a dedicated grease / solids arrestor installation with no additional waste streams (i.e. cannot be a shared grease / solids arrestor with other business waste streams).
  3. The dedicated grease / solids arrestor size will be determined by Water Corporation.
  4. The dedicated grease / solids arrestor pump-out regime will be set at a particular frequency based upon the size of the arrestor and machine to be installed.
  5. The compliance with the grease / solids arrestor pumpout regime will be monitored as part of the Water Corporation’s FOGMan program. This will incur a FOGman charge.
  6. Should the business owner seek to review the pump out regime then a grease arrestor pump-out frequency reassessment can be requested. This will incur a pump-out frequency reassessment charge.

Existing food waste management machine installations

Dehydrate

  1. May be required to operate under a new or amended trade waste permit.
  2. No trade waste charges shall apply for the waste exiting the machine.

Dewater

  1. Will be required to operate under a new or amended trade waste permit.
  2. Trade waste charges may apply for the volume and quality of the waste exiting the machine.
  3. May be requested to be connected to a suitable form of trade waste pre-treatment.

Digest

  1. Use of the food waste management machine will incur a trade waste charge specific to the waste stream exiting the machine (unless advised otherwise by Water Corporation, in writing). The trade waste charge reflects the cost to Water Corporation to convey and treat this waste stream. The trade waste charge is in addition to any existing trade waste charges that may already be in place for the business.
  2. The trade waste charge is derived from the mass (kg) of food waste loaded into each individual food waste management machine.
  3. The trade waste charge will be levied by Water Corporation to the business owner who has an installed food waste management machine every three (3) months based upon the mass (kg) of food material loaded into the machine. Mass load data must be supplied to tradewaste@watercorporation.com.au at month end of February, May, August and November every year.
  4. The business (or their duly appointed representative) is responsible for supplying the required mass load data for each individual food waste management machine.
  5. The current trade waste charge rate ($/kg) may be requested from Water Corporation by emailing tradewaste@watercorporation.com.au
  6. During any three (3) monthly billing cycle the failure to provide the necessary mass load data from each individually installed food waste management machine will result in the use of the average historical mass load data for the food waste management machine in question for trade waste billing purposes.
  7. Failure to provide data in a timely manner is a breach of the trade waste approval which may result in legal action pursuant to the Water Services Act 2012 and / or the trade waste product approval being terminated along with approval to discharge to sewer.
  8. A new grease arrestor pump out frequency reassessment shall need to be undertaken by Water Corporation at the business owner’s cost.
    Alternatively, the business will be required to install a dedicated grease / solids arrestor as described in Item 3 above for new food waste management machine installations.