Argo on the Parade – Gold Star Recycler
The busy, vibrant Argo Café at Norwood is known for delicious food catering for everyone no matter what their food choices. Part of a group of businesses employing over 170 people in South Australia the Argo group under leadership of Daniel Milky also has a passion for sustainability, source separating all their waste products into different streams. As a result only 1 of every 7 bins at Argo goes to landfill, and as solutions for soft plastics are implemented this will reduce even further.
When Daniel took on Argo in 2010 it was natural that composting food scraps was a normal part of doing business and a worm farm was established out the back. When the café reached a size where worm farms couldn’t cope with the food scraps Daniel looked for a solution which would turn his organic material into a high value product. Some organic material, such as coffee grounds, are packaged up in paper for customers to use in their gardens, while other organic material goes to Jeffries Compost Service.
Jeffries works with waste provider Veolia to supply and collect a 660L bin six days a week from Argo at Norwood.
Starting the process wasn’t straight forward. While it was easy for employees to learn to separate the compostables, it took creative workstation design to make it easy for people to use the bins rather than general waste bins. Argo’s waste stations mean employees don’t need to walk an extra step. Argo has bin stations throughout the kitchen and cafe so employees can quickly and easily separate compostable which include food scraps as well as serviettes. Argo chooses to wash, deodorize and dry their small bins each day rather than use compostable liners.
Everyone wants to do the right thing, we had to make it easy for them, provide the right training and ask them for a commitment to follow through.
OF ORGANICS DIVERTED FROM LANDFILL AND RECYCLED WITH JEFFRIES
OF ORGANCS DIVERTED FROM LANDFILL AND RECYCLED WITH JEFFRIES
Daniel’s tips for using Jeffries Compost Service
- Start small. A bin for the kitchen team is an easy way to start.
- Make it easy for people to use. Put in place structures so recycling is really easy.
- Have HR processes and systems that include a staff commitment to recycling and back this up with training
“Training people to recycle is easy, getting people to commit and act needs a systematic approach to be successful” – Daniel Milky
Argo’s Other Environmental Initiatives
Argo’s environmental initiatives extend well beyond recycling compostables. There are seven commercial bins in the yard at Argo. Cardboard, compostables, metals and glass are all source separated meaning they go to high value end products. Only one of the bins is general waste composed mostly of soft plastic, and Daniel and his team are working on solutions for this.
More than this, coffee grounds are packaged up in paper for customers to use in their gardens, highly efficient reverse osmosis water equipment saves thousands of liters of water a year, and Argo buy direct from coffee growers paying well over the market rate making them a truly free trade coffee supplier.