KARRAGARRA ISLAND TAKES ON ‘GUINEA PIG’ STATUS FOR MAJOR RECYCLING STUDY Karragarra Island is fast earning a reputation as a ‘guinea pig’ for the test of major advances that could have an impact on future technology and directions. Already the site to test the fully automatic driverless buses in 2019, it has now been chosen again for another major trial. The research project is a collaboration between Redland City Council, The University of Queensland’s Centre for Recycling of Organic Waste and Nutrients (CROWN) and three island-based community groups. Queensland University is going to use the island for a study into the impact of food waste. The island is deemed ‘ideal’ for the specially funded recycling study. Already the home of a very useful community garden, the food waste trial on Karragarra Island could have a huge impact on the future use of food waste and the possibilities of turning it into compost on a major scale. Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council and the island communities were interested in developing practical and economical ways to manage and use organic garden and food residues. “Garden and food organics account for about half of domestic waste collected from kerbside waste bins by Council each year,” she said. “In a move to divert some of this waste from landfill, Council currently offers island residents and businesses the option of taking garden organics and vegetation residues to the recycling and waste centres. “Last year about 7321 tonnes of organic material was collected from Redlands Coast islands, including about 235 tonnes from Karragarra, and was shipped to the mainland for composting and other uses, at considerable cost to Council.” Cr Mark Edwards told The Friendly Bay Islander that the University Queensland trial would be over five months from March to July 2021. Between 30 and 50 Karragarra households will be part of the trial that will see food waste identified and measured in various ways with the ability to turn it into useful compost in the most efficient manner. Cr Edwards said Council was aiming for the islands to become circular economies, with more waste retained for beneficial use on the islands, and the organics trial was a good example of what was achievable. “Participating residents will take their garden waste to Karragarra Community Garden, where it will be composted and used to grow fruit and vegetables,” he said. “Running Wild Youth Conservation Culture and Southern Moreton Bay Islands Permaculture are also involved in the research project. The project is funded through a Goodman Foundation Moreton Bay (Quandamooka) Research Grant.
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