Exploring sustainable food waste

Positive Charge recently hosted a workshop on sustainable food waste options for local businesses following strong interest from cafes and restaurants along Lygon Street. It isn’t just about minimising what we send to landfill – the wasted resources required for production and transportation make food waste the third biggest carbon emitter globally after China and the US.

The session explored a variety of different solutions – from Degrave’s Street’s Recycling Facility which turns tonnes of food waste into compost-like soil to local community collection schemes.

Attendees were inspired to hear how a number of local cafes – including Moreland’s Pope Joan and Darebin’s Kiln Café – are taking action to minimise their food waste through initiatives including strategic ordering, seasonal and fridge leftover menus and composting of scraps by staff, customers and local community gardens. Kiln café are taking this wider too by turning their community’s excess produce into saleable goods and incentivising reuse of containers.

Ninna from Reground – a social enterprise that collects coffee grounds and provides them to community gardens – suggested we need to rethink waste as a resource. She illustrated how this might work by talking about her native country Denmark, which – like many of its Scandinavian neighbours – imports waste.

The potential for new business models to create value from waste products was a theme continued by Hannah from Yume – an app that connects wholesalers with unwanted produce to restaurants or retailers.  One of Yume’s customers – Russell from the Food Justice Truck – explained how he was able to use rejected truss tomatoes to educate asylum seekers on food waste as well as providing them with cheap, high quality produce.

Attendees also found  out about Moreland City Council’s Commercial Plus service, how the hungry bin worm farms are working at the community compost hubs and wider food rescue operations such as Oz Harvest and Second Bite.

Positive Charge would like to thank Temple Brewing Company for hosting this fabulous workshop.

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