Congratulations to Hatch and Claire Leach for successfully gaining funding to expand the BSF bioconversion capacity in 2022. We’re delighted to be working with Claire to test the viability of this concept and hopefully great more beneficial outcomes for food waste.
Earlier in the year we spoke to Claire about the journey so far:
Pictured: Claire Leach, Founder HATCH Biosystems
I discovered black soldier fly (BSF) processing of food waste while working as Director of Development at food rescue charity FareShare in Abbotsford. The charity took food that was suitable for human consumption, but I was learning this was less than 0.1% of the food waste problem. So I did some research and discovered BSF bioconversion into feed and fertiliser and was hooked!
The idea of solving food waste but also future food security challenges with a sustainable insect was so exciting. It has been a challenge but a great journey to get to this stage and to be working with Cleanaway. We are very excited about the plans for expansion.
BSF bioconversion of food waste produces 75% less CO2e emissions than composting; so it has minimal impact on the environment. It takes circa 8 days for our larvae to process food waste into feed and fertiliser; composting can take 3 months.
We only take safe food waste which has been through the human food supply chain, so there are no contamination concerns. We also process in batches – so if a contaminant was to get into the system, we can just eliminate that batch. Even better, we can take packaged food waste as our process can separate the packaging from the food, so it comes out clean, dry and ready for re-use or recycling.
We have interest from livestock producers about using BSF protein and oil in livestock diets and have even been part of a veski funded University of Melbourne study on inclusion of BSF feed in sheep diets!
The BSF organic fertiliser by-product created is being studied by a leading Australian agricultural lab and they are excited by its properties. It has an NPK similar to chicken manure, with beneficial microbes. We’re doing a number of studies with a local food producer to fully understand the benefits and application rates.
Regarding working with Cleanaway, I can honestly say it’s been a very positive experience. Everyone we’ve worked with, from meetings with the CEO Vik Bansal (sadly moving on) to collecting waste from Geordie at the Dandenong South depackaging facility, has been terrific: helpful, responsive, interested and supportive. Couldn’t be better.
I am excited to have this collaborative project and look forward to growing this sustainable solution together.
There are also many other waste streams BSF bioconversion can be used for, including abattoir waste and farm waste. And as its all done in sealed units it hardly smells!
Here’s a short video the Department of Industry made with HATCH in 2019 to promote their AC grant program.
Contact us to learn more about how we’re making a sustainable future possible for communities and businesses across Australia.