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A machine installed by City of Melbourne has stopped more than 60 tonnes of garbage from going to landfill in the past year by turning food scraps into wastewater.

In the 12 months to June 2018, the ORCA aerobic digestion system used micro-organisms to transform 62 tonnes of food scraps from the Degraves Street café precinct into greywater.

Tas Papas, executive general manager of ORCA Enviro Systems, said micro-organisms in the unit digest the waste, creating wastewater that goes straight into the sewer system via a grease arrestor.

“The ORCA is basically a mechanical stomach that digests fruit, vegetables, grains, dairy and proteins, so you end up with greywater that's safe to put into the drain without resorting to landfill,” Papas said.

“Degraves Street cafes set aside food waste as part of their daily operations. By diverting the food waste from landfill, we are also able to prevent greenhouse gases from escaping into the environment.

“Over the course of a year, that also means more than 8000 litres in diesel fuel is saved because fewer trucks are needed on the road.”

With food waste generated from the café district increasing and with space at a premium, ORCA was chosen to handle the increased volume of food waste.

“The ORCA has helped City of Melbourne to build strong support among local businesses for food recycling efforts and keep the bustling precinct clean and appealing,” Papas said.

ORCA is part of a new wave of food recycling technology that is rolling out across Australia in shopping centres, food courts, hotels and pubs, according to the company.