According to the Environmental Protection Department, about 3,400 tonnes of food waste were generated every day in 2019, of which more than 95% were disposed of by landfilling. Decomposition of food waste in landfills releases methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat in the atmosphere. Hence, there is an urgent need for solutions to tackle with the food waste problem.
Composting of food waste is one of the most prominent ways to help solve the problem. Composting refers to the degradation of organic matter by microorganisms under controlled conditions. The compost produced provides valuable organic matter and plant nutrients to the soil, which in turn restores the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the soil, and produces healthy plants that are more resistant to diseases and insect pests. Besides, the volume of organic waste could be reduced by as much as 60% after the composting process.
Funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, Professor Lee-man Chu of the School of Life Sciences and his team had conducted a comprehensive study on the development of organic compost in Phase I of the Jockey Club “Field So Good” Community Composting Programme. With the formulation of using local industrial food wastes, the team has successfully produced “MixO’ Plus Organic Compost”, the first and the only certified compost in the local market. In Phase II of the Jockey Club “Field So Good” Community Composting Programme, with the support from the Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability, the team endeavours to further promote the use of high quality “MixO’ Plus Organic Compost” and community supported agriculture in Hong Kong.