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Maggot Robots Are Helping Woolworths Tackle Food Waste


Sustainability-focused startup Goterra is helping Australian supermarket Woolworths minimize their food waste with their maggot robots. These maggot robots are a key element in Goterra’s new food waste management system located in Wetherill Park, Sydney.

Along with the maggot robots, insects called black soldier fly larvae will help break down the food waste coming from Woolworths stores. The way it works is by placing the larvae inside the high-tech maggot robots to enable them to work 24/7. This means food waste is being munched and processed around the clock.

The maggot robots are equipped with sensors that will help track temperature, moisture, and waste levels that can help adjust conditions for the larvae so they may optimize digestion.

Combining the dirty work of the maggot robots and insects with the state-of-the-art facility of Goterra, it is claimed that food waste can be reduced by 95% in just 24 hours. This makes the whole system groundbreaking in tackling the issue of food waste and transformative for Sydney.

“For too long, food waste has languished in toxic landfills hundreds of kilometers from our cities. Our partnership with forward-thinking partners like Woolworths is helping change that,” says Goterra CEO Olympia Yarger. With Sydney alone producing over 600,000 tonnes of food waste annually, the introduction of maggot robots is good news for many. It’s also good news for people looking for employment as the site and system of Goterra will immediately create 12 new jobs for locals to Fairfield City Council.

Maggot Robots Are Helping Woolworths Tackle Food Waste

Laurie Kozlovic, Woolworths 360 Managing Director of Sustainable Impact, is hopeful that Goterra’s maggot robots and system will help in diverting all of the supermarket’s food waste from landfills. “We’re pleased to partner with Goterra as its foundation customer, and excited by the future potential of the technology in regional areas where access to composting is limited”, says Kozlovic.

Although Woolworths is entering a partnership with Goterra for food waste management, the supermarket chain will continue to run its hunger relief charities. “While each of our stores has a partnership with a hunger-relief charity, some of our food waste can’t be eaten, and Goterra’s unique technology provides a low-emissions pathway to save it from landfill”, notes Kozlovic.

As of writing, Goterra aims to expand its modular waste program and system to help minimize food waste across Australia.

With the invention of maggot robots and mantis shrimp robots, it’s exciting to think what the future of tiny robots will be. It’s great to see how these robots are being applied in varying industries to help humans with tasks.

Linda Takahashi

American-born New Yorker Linda Johnson has been fascinated with robotic machines since she was a teenager, when her father, a surgeon, would introduce to her the machines that he used to perform keyhole surgeries. This interest led her to pursue a tech degree at the University of Washington, where she met Sota Takahashi. They married and now have two children. Linda’s father developed dementia later on and was given a robot pet as a companion. She saw how much having a robot pet friend helped her father, which is what led her to create this website and advocate to spread word about robot pets and how they can help both children and the elderly.

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