Barwon Health

Closed Loop’s composting expertise helps Barwon Health’s journey toward zero waste.

Closed Loop - Barwon Health


Closed Loop is helping Barwon Health, Victoria’s 2013 Regional Health Service of the Year, to realise its vision of building a healthier community; by enabling the organisation to divert more than 127 tonnes of food waste from landfill and reduce greenhouse gases by 150 tonnes per year.

With more than 6,000 staff across 21 sites, Barwon Health is one of the largest and most comprehensive regional health services in Australia. The organisation’s focus on sustainability is well recognised. As part of the Victorian Green Health Roundtable group Barwon Health is constantly working to improve its environmental performance.

In recognition of their environmental dedication, the organisation recently won the Geelong Business Excellence Award for Sustainable Business.


Barwon Health is committed to reducing its landfill volume and carbon emissions through various initiatives, including selling reusable coffee cups, installing LED lighting, donating used furniture to local community groups and implementing an improved recycling system.

After addressing waste streams from different operational areas Barwon Health turned to food services waste. Barwon Health’s Food Services Central Production Unit produces over 3,000 patient and resident meals per day; generating more than 350kg of food waste. Traditionally, most of this food waste was sent to landfill so Barwon Health approached Closed Loop for a sustainable solution.

Find a solution for 350kg of food waste.


In November 2011, Barwon Health pioneered a commercial food waste composting trial on a scale not attempted before at any hospital or large commercial operation in Australia.

For this trial, a Closed Loop Organics Unit was installed at the Food Services Central Production Unit located at the organisation’s McKellar Centre site. This small unit achieved a successful trial result and was ‘proof of concept’.


In February 2014 a full scale solution was installed. This new unit is able to process 350kg per day – all of Barwon Health’s food waste.

This will result in 127 tonnes of food waste being diverted from landfill per year and the reduction of 150 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year.

The food waste is now converted into nutrient-rich compost which is then donated to Magic Meadows; a self-sustainable farm. The farm in turn provides product to FoodSkill; a social enterprise that gives socially disadvantaged people access to affordable, sustainable and healthy food.

Trips to landfill have been reduced from 7 to 3 per week, a reduction of over 50%.