Environmental & Sustainability Initiatives

Sydney Markets Waste Policy Update

Sydney Markets owns and operates Australia's largest markets and is recognised as a world leader in fresh produce and community market management.

The Markets offers an extensive range of services that add value for shareholders, tenants, their suppliers and customers. The challenge is to continue to develop and improve best practice to manage its ecological footprint while supporting competitive trade and effective distribution.

This philosophy includes a commitment to technological innovations, innovative marketing, safe and efficient trading conditions and effective waste management strategies.

Sydney Markets is a leader of recycling and reducing food waste, achieving upwards of 70% recycling of all waste onsite, which not only benefits the environment but also saves the company over $1 million each year. Solar energy is another priority, with 8,594 solar panels installed at Homebush West – the largest Australian installation this year. Sydney Markets is now running on 11% renewable energy, which is the equivalent to powering 1300 houses.

There is also a strong commitment to sharing sustainability know-how with the community, local councils and other market operators within Australia.

Download a copy of the Sydney Markets Organic Waste Diversion Tips booklet here.

Quick Facts


  • Since 2018, 12.5 million containers have been deposited so far.


  • Dedicated Green Pointed collection recycling facility.
  • Around 50% (13,000 tonnes) our waste is organic.
  • Four full time staff advise, educate and manage organic waste.
  • Tenant education to source separate.
  • Organic waste is transported to an anaerobic digester facility where food waste is turned into green energy and fertiliser.
  • Some suitable produce is also sent to farmers to feed livestock.
  • We also divert over 1,700 tonnes of fruit and vegetables to Foodbank annually to support the community.


  • 50 tonnes of polystyrene collected and recycled annually. (500 truckloads)
  • Polystyrene is recycled on site
  • Product is reduced by 90 times from its original size.
  • End product is exported to Korea and re-moulded into products such as picture frames, building products and kitchen cupboards.


  • Plastic film is used for packaging of product and securing boxes on pallets.
  • Plastic waste is collected out of the waste stream because it does not break down quickly and does not mix well with organic waste.
  • We collect over 50 tonnes of soft and hard plastic each year.
  • The plastic products are diverted and recycled into many other products


  • Tenant co-operation is critical to our collection programme.
  • Education process was critical for stakeholders to separate cardboard from other waste streams.
  • Our waste contractor physically collects cardboard from the entire site seven days per week.
  • Around 1,800 tonnes of cardboard is recycled per annum.
  • Why do we do it? Escalating costs of landfill compared with collection of cardboard is a logistical solution.
  • Cost savings of $700k p.a.


  • There are cost efficiencies to separate pallets out of the waste streams.
  • 2,000 tonnes of pallets were recycled in the past year.
  • Pallets in good condition are re-used by internal and external companies.
  • The damaged pallets are sent away for shredding into garden mulch.


  • Around 30 tonnes of steel is collected and recycled annually.


  • Over $1M is spent on repairing roadways within the Sydney Markets site every year.
  • Old concrete slabs are recycled and used for road base for all new concrete slabs.


  • Following the separation process, what remains is general waste.
  • The remaining 30% (8,000 tonnes) of general waste is sent to a bioreactor facility.
  • Over 92% of the methane gases are captured at this facility.
  • Sydney Markets has contributed 1800 megawatt hours of renewable energy through waste processing at the Bioreactor and the anaerobic digestion facility. This is equivalent to powering 280 homes for one year.


Sydney Markets Environment and Sustainability initiatives have received numerous awards and recognition including:

  • 2021 & 2022 – Finalist - Banksia Sustainability Awards
  • 2018 - NSW Government Green Globe Awards for Business Leadership.
  • 2017 - NSW EPA Blue Star Award for Waste Less Recycle.
  • 2016 - Food Waste Management Award presented by the World Union of Wholesale Markets.
  • 2014 - Best Renewable Resources Recycling Award presented by the World Corporate Social Responsibility Congress.
  • 2013 - Achieved Silver member of the NSW Office Of Environment Sustainability Advantage Program.
  • 2013 - World Environment Day Sustainability Leadership Award, presented by The United Nations Association of Australia.
  • 2008 - Number One Market in the World in Environmental Sustainability voted by the World Union of Wholesale Markets.