Eliminating Business Waste with Nile Street Café
Nile Street Café in Orange, NSW is a fantastic example of how sustained effort and buy-in from the owners and staff can achieve sustainable outcomes. Through a business engagement program developed by EnviroCom on behalf of Orange City Council, Nile Street Café has reviewed its waste management practices and is achieving some great results.
Owner Frank Mohun advises not to become overwhelmed. “We started off by making a couple of really small changes that quickly became habits, and we were able to move onto the next thing. Eventually, this all adds up to make a big difference.”
“We’re always looking for lower waste alternatives in our business, whether that be by changing our practices or using more sustainable products. We have switched to using paper straws and paper packaging for our takeaways.”
The Café participates in the Responsible Cafes program, offering a discount to customers who bring reusable cups, and staff collect eligible containers to refund through the Return & Earn scheme. The Café negotiated with their suppliers to return packaging for reuse – used milk bottles, ice-cream tubs and vinegar drums are returned to be cleaned and refilled. Boxes from fruit and vegetable deliveries are picked up with the next delivery. This way, valuable resources stay in use for longer.
Utilising the Council-provided Recycling and Food Organic Garden Organic (FOGO) bins effectively is really important. “As a café, food makes up a significant part of our waste. Not everything can go into our compost bin so using the FOGO bin properly means we send significantly less waste to landfill.”
Waste Management in Multi Unit Developments
Client: Maroondah City Council
A project instigated by one of EnviroCom’s Senior Consultants in Melbourne, with the aim of reducing illegal rubbish dumping, reducing contamination of recycling material and reducing waste sent to landfill, has had extremely encouraging early results. The project received funding from the Metropolitan Waste Management Group’s Metropolitan Local Government Resource and Recovery Fund.
Four different approaches were trialled, to educate residents of multi unit developments (MUDs) in how to dispose of their rubbish and recycling items. The cheapest option (installing under-the-lid recycling stickers) proved to be the second most effective in improving the contamination rate, whilst the most expensive option (door knocking residents) was the most effective in all categories. This option, while costing just over $13 per unit, was less than twice the cost of the next most expensive option (bin corral signage), which had a negligible or negative effect on contamination rates, resource loss and illegal dumping. The second cheapest option (mail-out of information to residents) resulted in the second highest improvement in illegal dumping.
Face to face contact is clearly the most effective way to educate residents in how to dispose of their rubbish, and the long term cost benefits outweigh the initial outlay. Contamination of recycled material was reduced from 16.5% to 2.5% while illegal dumping was reduced from 2 cubic metres per week to one third of a cubic metre per week for the whole development– a result which is certainly worth replicating on a wider scale.
ecoBiz Facilitator Training
- QLD Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM)
The ecoBiz training program is a Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM; now Department of Environment and Heritage Protection) partnership program that helps Queensland businesses adopt eco-friendly practices that benefit the financial, social and environmental bottom line. Under contract to DERM, EnviroCom delivered training to ecoBiz participants and facilitators (consultants) throughout South East Queensland and regional areas. EnviroCom also delivered ecoBiz training on behalf of the Northern Territory Government (ecoBiz NT).