Rod Leaver, Lend Lease (left) Geoff Strickson from local council, Gosford City Council

9 February 2011 – The Erina Fair shopping Centre on the NSW Central Coast has installed a world first on-site compost system in its bid to improve sustainable outcomes.

According to owners Lend Lease and GPT and manager Australian Prime Property Fund Retail, the composting system for waste food products, aptly named Hungry Pig® in-vessel composting system will process 250 tonnes of waste, equivalent to 20 garbage trucks, with an in-vessel aerobic composting technology.”

Compost produced by the system will be used to maintain the landscaped environment of the centre and donated to local schools.

The system will have the added benefit of lessening odours and pests from rubbish bins and risks associated with poor waste handling, and produce a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that arise from transport and landfilling of organic wastes.

Lend Lease chief executive officer – Australia, Rod Leaver, said Erina Fair was setting a global benchmark for green retail centres.

“We are very excited to be the first retail centre in the world to implement this cutting-edge composting technology which will address a range of long term waste management issues at the centre,”  Mr Leaver said.

He said a recent $652,000 water grant from the NSW State Government would help the centre install a water harvesting systems that will conserve the equivalent of 27 million bottles of water per year, a 15 per cent annual reduction.

Erina Fair

In addition, the centre’s LED lighting, installed in the car park and emergency exists, is expected to improve lighting efficiency by up to 90 per cent in refit areas.

Consultant to the centre for the waste management system Angus Campbell of the Recycled Organics Unit  said the current capacity of the Hungry Pig was five tonnes of food waste per week, but that this could be expanded to cut costs and increase environmental benefit.

Harris Farm Markets chairperson Cathy Harris said her company had collaborated on the project and would encourage other Erina Fair retailers to do the same.

“We will strongly encourage other centre retailers to get behind this program by composting their leftover waste. The project will result in high quality compost being returned to help sustain soil health, and importantly will also divert organic waste from ending up as landfill,” said Ms Harris.

editorial@thefifthestate.com.au