The major supermarket retailers have in place a range of initiatives to minimise waste to landfill from their operations. Generally they are well advanced in diversion of cardboard from landfill however, the level of diversion of organic waste is still lacking. Innovations in packaging have extended the shelf life of some food products but there is also growing interest diverting food organics from landfill to composting or alternative waste treatment facilities.
This is largely in the trial phase at this time and/or is subject to availability of facilities. For example, 53 Woolworths stores in Sydney send source separated food waste to a facility that processes the material into compost, fertiliser and electricity. The lack of such facilities outside Sydney and Melbourne and long lead-times for new facility development is a barrier to expanding this program.