Hermetia illucens, the Black Soldier fly, is a common and widespread fly of the family Stratiomyidae. In its adult form, this insect does not have a mouth, and derives its energy from what was stored in the larva stage.
Hermetia illucens, the Black Soldier fly, is a common and widespread fly of the family Stratiomyidae. In its adult form, this insect does not have a mouth, and derives its energy from what was stored in the larva stage.

Start-up uses mouthless fly to reduce organic waste

A NORTHERN NSW start-up business is planning to use a mouthless fly to reduce organic waste by up to 80 per cent.

Fly to Feed is a new company co-owned by Northern NSW residents Scott Jones and Cameron Arnold.

The premise is simple: the company will offer an organic waste processing system that uses the larva of the Black Soldier fly as a natural method to reduce organic waste on-site for consumers, commercial and domestic premises.

Hermetia illucens, the Black Soldier fly, is a common and widespread fly of the family Stratiomyidae.

They are not a pest to humans and unlike houseflies, adult Black Soldier flies have greatly-reduced sponging mouthparts and can only consume liquids such as flower nectar or do not eat at all.

The larvae and adults are not considered pests.

Macro photograph of a soldier fly. In its adult form, this insect does not have a mouth, and derives its energy from what was stored in the larva stage.
Macro photograph of a soldier fly. In its adult form, this insect does not have a mouth, and derives its energy from what was stored in the larva stage.

Instead, black soldier fly larvae play a similar role to that of redworms as essential decomposers in breaking down organic matter and returning nutrients to the soil.

The larvae have voracious appetites and can be used for composting household food scraps and agricultural waste products.

Fly to Feed has developed a service model for an on-site organic waste reduction system that is projected to be rolled out across the Northern Rivers, to start with, with an aim to reduce the post-consumed food waste to landfill by between 50 to 80 per cent.

Founder and co-owner Scott Jones said that, although the pandemic delayed the company’s plans, the start-up is in discussions to work with Southern Cross University, some Northern Rivers councils and other possible partners for a roll out later this year.

“We have developed a system using bins that we will place nearby hospitality venues, to reduce the waste on site, and the larva of the flies will reduce the volume to up to 80 per cent,” he said.

“Heavy wood objects, bones or avocado seeds won’t go through, but most organic waste will be take care of.”

When the larvae is ready to change into change into a pupa, the design of the system allows the larvae to move into a different section of the bin, where it is harvested, while reducing the amount of food waste going to landfill, Mr Jones said.

Any reduction of organic food waste to landfill can have a massive impact of the amount of methane gas being liberated into the atmosphere from waste centres and will have a positive impact on climate change,” he said.



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