The man behind Sydney’s minimal-waste bar Re– and chef Neil Perry (formerly of Rockpool Dining Group) are throwing their support behind a new not-for-profit platform that links hospitality businesses with their nearest composting plants.
Compost Connect – developed by sustainable packaging brand Biopak – is Australia’s first national composting network. Businesses can help reduce their environmental impact by signing up to the network for a small fee, and in exchange they’ll be paired with an industrial composter and sent an organic-waste bin to help them collect food scraps and compostable packaging for collection.
Six hundred restaurants and cafes trialled the service, diverting more than 4500 tonnes of organic waste in 12 weeks. Now, businesses such as Single O, Allpress, Capital Brewing Co, Gin Palace and Re– are all signed up.
Bartender Matt Whiley says it’s time for change. “We all have a responsibility to make changes that are desperately needed to shape our future for the better,” he says in a statement. “We developed Re– with an overriding commitment to sustainability, with a minimal-waste mentality, so this new composting network is going to help us maintain this ethos.”
“We need to work together to address the problem,” says Neil Perry. The Sydney chef is planning to use the service for his new restaurant, Margaret, opening in Double Bay next month. “We still have the opportunity to change if we make transformations now,” he says.
As it stands, only eight per cent of the organic waste from the food service industry is diverted from landfill in Australia. Compost Connect, which received a $400,000 government grant, aims to divert one million tonnes of organic waste from landfill. Right now, customers can check which businesses are using the service near them via its online map. In the future, you’ll be able to use the map to find drop-off locations for your own organic waste.