(VIC) Site Visit - South Melbourne Market 

by Australian Institute of Packaging 
on 27-Feb-2019 
at South Melbourne Market 


Since 1867, South Melbourne Market has been a treasured inner-city landmark and a favourite amongst locals and visitors. It is the quintessential village market, a place where people come not only to purchase fresh food, but to meet, eat, drink, shop, discover, share and connect. At South Melbourne Market, sustainability is something they are passionate about and they are striving to reduce their environmental footprint and create a sustainable Market for future generations to enjoy.


The Gaia Recycling Unit:  The rest of their organic waste is collected and funnelled into their on-site 1200 litre Gaia machine, significantly improving their landfill diversion for their organic, non-green waste in 2016-17 to 75%. This machine heats the waste, shreds it and activates a very fast fermentation and dehydration process, turning it into a dry product called SoilFood™ in just ten hours. The Market is processing 8.4 tonnes of waste through the Gaia per week, equating to over 430 tonnes of waste per year diverted from landfill.


Glass: The Market has an on-site bottle crusher where 100% of the glass at the Market is crushed for recycling. 80% of the crushed glass is recycled into glass bottles while 20% of the crushed glass is used in road base & as a paint additive. The size of the crushed glass enables it to be sorted by colour using an optical process. Each year the Market crushes approximately 15,000 kg of glass, with a reduction in CO2 emissions equivalent to 31,000 kms driven in a family car per year.


Polystyrene: All polystyrene boxes are compacted at the Market in their poly-compactor, and made into polystyrene bricks.  This reduces the volume of polystyrene by 98%.  The compressed bricks are collected and then melted and remoulded into different plastic products including CD cases, coat hangers, picture frames, toys, and office supplies such as pens, stapler bodies and rulers.


Vanden Recycling, as the host of the tour, will walk the attendees through the collection system from back of store and explain how the market is recycling. The tour will include organics, oyster shells, HDPE Milk bottles, Expanded poly styrene and cardboard.


8.00 am arrival
This site visit will take approximately two hours.

Meet at Main office in the central isle of the South Melbourne Markets. (At bottom of escalators from car park bottom stairs). This site visit will take approximately two hours. Vanden Recycling will provide morning tea and coffee for all attendees after the tour to further explain the processes and answer any questions from the tour.



AIP Members FREE

Non-Members $33 inc GST



All attendees must wear enclosed leather or hard shoes. The AIP will provide Safety vests.



South Melbourne Market has parking on-site.

(0-2 hours free, 2-3 hours $6, 3-4 hours $12 )



Joshua Holmes

M: 0450 465 637

[email protected]



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