Sydney’s western food manufacturing businesses sign up for sustainable program

Headed by Auburn and Parramatta City Council through funding by the NSW Environmental Trust and Sydney Water, over 100 businesses within Sydney’s have signed on to Streamline, a sustainable business program in an aim to reduce water and energy usage and minimise waste production.

Merel’s Foods, a family-owned business that blends and bottles vegetable oil, was one such business that found itself increasingly pressured by issues of sustainability.

Along with signing up to Streamline’s water, energy and waste initiatives, Merel’s Foods has found practical solutions in partnering with other local businesses to implement their own sustainable initiatives.

For example, the company was able to source its extensively used timber pallets from another local business that had formerly paid to have them removed.

AB Mauri, a company that produces and markets yeast, is also another business that has seen the practical results through Streamline.

With help from Streamline and Sydney Water’s Every Drop Counts Business Program, AB Mauri is working to improve water efficiency and also has a focus on resource recovery reusing or recycling over 95 per cent of its waste products, reducing the cost of disposal and creating potential future revenue streams.

A fully operational water treatment plant on site at AB Mauri’s headquarters allows the business to use manufacturing effluent as recycled water, while sugar, the other ingredient used in yeast production, is extracted from another company’s unwanted molasses.

Organic waste that AB Mauri is unable to recycle is sent to another local business, EarthPower, which produces green energy and organic fertiliser from food waste.

"EarthPower accepts food wastes from the greater Sydney region. Through Streamline we’re starting to help local businesses dispose of food waste that would otherwise have gone to landfill,” said David Clark, EarthPower general manager.

At capacity, EarthPower produces enough renewable electricity to power 2600 homes, treating 210 tonnes of food waste per day.

"It’s good to be on this journey of sustainability, the interaction with other local businesses makes us realise we’re not doing it alone,” Clark says.

EarthPower has also benefited from Streamline, reducing waste to landfill from five to 75 per cent in three years.

The company has also reduced energy costs and set a goal to replace up to 95 per cent of its potable water use through water harvesting techniques.

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