The NSW South Coast Correctional Centre, traditionally generating up to 200 kilograms of food waste daily, has successfully repurposed over 7000 kilograms of food waste between July 2023 and December 2023.   

This accomplishment was made possible through a grant from the NSW Government’s Innovation Fund, enabling the acquisition of a commercial composter from Closed Loop.  

Commercial Composter at the facility

Why a commercial composter?

Before obtaining the commercial composter, NSW South Coast Correctional Centre explored a range of solutions, one option relied on a third-party contractor to process food waste. This contractor required the waste to be separated into 120L bins, with additional expenses for equipment and servicing. This method proved to be inefficient, resource intensive and costly. 

NSW South Coast Correctional Centre identified the Closed Loop commercial composter as the optimal solution based on size, input capacity, access to serviceability and cost-effectiveness.  

The commercial composter from Closed Loop provides a solution to food waste, enabling the facility to exceed internal sustainability goals and engage the kitchen, staff and inmates through rewarding programs. 

“The unit is ridiculously easy to use, and with little or no serviceable parts, it’s a no brainer for us moving forwards.”

- Stephen Orton
Ex-Overseer, Recycling/Grounds/Hygiene

Managing food waste

Inmates and staff instantly took responsibility for separating food waste (mostly bread, fruits and cereal) from other waste streams once they understood the value of this resource, knowing that the compost provided is distributed to various ground maintenance sectors within the centre for their gardens. Excess compost is utilised for top dressing grassed areas and filling holds throughout the facility.  

Has it been successful?

The facility has repurposed thousands of kg’s worth of food waste and in addition to the social engagement and additional cost savings the commercial composter will provide, it can be seen as very successful 

Sustainability at NSW South Coast Correctional Centre

In addition to managing food waste, the facility has more than halved their weekly general waste output due to a range of additional sustainability initiatives such as:  

  • Managing cardboard and comingled bins  
  • Compacting foil trays into bales  
  • Processing drink containers for container deposit schemes  
  • Reusing linen, clothing and cutlery  
  • Recycling printer cartridges

These initiatives collectively contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally responsible waste management system. 

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