Cafe Troppo – Gold Star Recycler
Café Troppo on Whitmore Square is a café which set the standard for sustainability when they opened seven years ago and continues to be environmental innovators today. With lots of cafés now claiming to be green we set out to discover what it is that puts Café Troppo amongst the best of the best.
Right from the start owners Alex Harris and his sister, Maddie, followed a deliberate strategy to create a sustainable café. This ethos made it easy to make considered and deliberate decisions about every element of their supply chain and to build their business sustainably from the ground up.
This focus on sustainability and putting the environmental impact as a priority in decision making has come hand in hand with a deserved reputation for serving exceptional food, drinks and coffee.
Within this context managing waste is a significant part of the business. Café Troppo’s first step is to avoid waste whenever possible. They negotiated with suppliers of fresh produce to use reusable boxes, they buy local avoiding wasted food miles and they source separate all their recycling including soft plastics. This dedicated approach means their general rubbish compiles less than 1/10th of their waste collection
Food and organics products are a big part of their waste production. Initially Alex took the organics home and composted them using the Bokashi method. He filled up his parent’s house with mounds of wonderful compost… and then he filled up the back yard of his share house… and then he realized that he was going to have to come up with a large-scale solution.
His waste partner, Cleanaway, and Jeffries Compost Service provide a complete compost service taking all the organic waste from food scraps, compostable cups, serviettes and paper towel. The fact that Jeffries can take all food and that the product is high quality compost used in the horticultural sector in South Australia sits very nicely with Café Troppo’s commitment to the circular economy.
I asked Alex if it was challenging to implement a source separation model of waste management to be met with a look of complete bafflement! “There is nothing difficult about this. It is just a matter of deciding to do it.”
OF ORGANICS DIVERTED FROM LANDFILL AND RECYCLED WITH JEFFRIES
Alex’s tips for using Jeffries Compost Service
- Have lots of bin stations and make each bin different so it is easy to separate properly.
- Make sure your people understand what and why they are doing it.
- Choose business partners who have the same commitment to sustainability and willingness to be creative in finding solution