15 tonnes in 9 months: Food trash turned to treasure
Armed with dozens of buckets and keen to get their hands dirty, members of a Yandina community group are turning trash from local businesses into treasure.
Yandina Community Garden has collected about 15 tonnes of food and organic waste from the town's cafes, restaurants and other businesses and turned it into compost within the past nine months.
Thirteen businesses have signed up to the Food Waste Loop where they have food waste picked up twice weekly.
The compost is so good that the group already has a waiting list of buyers for when it's able to sell it.
Project officer Emily Boyd said they had made about 9000 litres of compost and the group's gardens were looking as healthy as ever.
She said they have three composting methods; a hot aerobic, commercial worm farm and black soldier fly larvae.
It started with nine participating businesses but quickly grew to 13.
"That's the most heartwarming part," Ms Boyd said.
"Lots of businesses have been surprised by how much waste they actually have and now they're looking at waste as more of a resource rather than just putting it in the bin.
"We found lots of business owners wanted to do something but it's not a small amount of waste they're dealing with."
The Yandina group's efforts were recently used as an example of ways the Sunshine Coast can reach ambitious waste reduction targets.
Sunshine Coast Council in April endorsed a South East Queensland draft waste strategy which sets out ways to better manage waste across the region.
The Sunshine Coast collects 140,000 tonnes of general waste, 10,000 tonnes of organics and 32,000 tonnes of recyclables each year.
Council's assessment found that more than 55 per cent of what is put in general waste bins has organic and compostable waste that could be going into a garden or FOGO bin and 15 per cent was recyclable.
Councillor David Law commended the work of the community group and said it was an example of how communities can make a difference.
Ms Boyd and the group's volunteers are the driving forces behind the 12-month initiative that was possible because of a more than $30,000 federal government grant.
They will prepare a report about how it was implemented and the benefits in the hope of being able to continue beyond the trial and helping others set up similar initiatives.
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