22 March 2022

Eateries, schools and community to help reduce food waste in the Eurobodalla

| Katrina Condie
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Maria Tate and Kate Waterson from the Boat Shed at Mossy Point

Maria Tate and Kate Waterson from the Boat Shed at Mossy Point bag up coffee grounds into recycled bags for their customers to take home. Photo: Eurobodalla Shire Council.

Hospitality businesses typically throw out about 30 per cent of their purchased food. Now eateries, schools and community groups on the South Coast, now have an opportunity to do their bit to reduce the amount of food waste going into landfill.

Free on-site composting, worm farms, bokashi fermentation or bucket collection food waste recycling schemes are on offer for businesses, schools and groups in the Eurobodalla region as part of the Your Business is Food waste education program.

Meanwhile in the Bega Valley, a trial of the popular food organics and gardening organics (FOGO) public recycling bins has kicked off at two Pambula cafes to allow food scraps and compostable packaging to be separated from landfill waste.

Eurobodalla Council’s sustainability project officer Alex King said food waste can occur across all aspects of the business from purchasing to storage and preparation to leftovers on customers’ plates.

READ ALSO Nation-first trial of public bin for organic waste launches in Pambula

“When food waste can’t be avoided, donating food or recycling it are much better options than sending it to landfill,” she said.

Diverting and avoiding food waste can significantly reduce waste-related costs and help the environment too.

“It’s a perfect way of building an environmentally and socially-sustainable business while benefiting your bottom line,” Ms King said.

Some local businesses are already innovatively reducing their waste – like coffee outlets packing grounds into recycled bags for customers to take home.

Used coffee grounds are pH neutral, which means they can be placed directly onto the garden as a mulch or fertiliser to improve drainage, water retention and aeration in the soil.

READ ALSO Soft plastics saved from landfill and reused as five school benches

“It’s one wonderful example of how businesses can think outside the box to reduce their impact,” Ms King added.

Bega Valley Shire Council’s FOGO public recycling bins are being trialled at Wheelers Seafood Restaurant and Cafe and Wild Rye’s Baking Co in Pambula.

Increased consumer demand for responsible packaging has led to more businesses seeking compostable alternatives and, with the NSW Government single-use plastics ban coming in June, will continue to grow.

Pambula Village already runs the Plastic Free Pambula campaign and is home to another trial involving twice-weekly FOGO bin collections for some businesses.

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