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Jeffries Blog

Gold Star Recyclers – Vilis Family Bakery

12 Nov, 2019

Vili’s Family Bakery – Gold Star Recycler

“I hate waste!”  Vili Milisits, South Australian entrepreneur and owner of the iconic Vili’s Bakery, is indisputably decisive and he is relentless in his pursuit of turning any ‘waste’ products into something useful.

Vili’s employs over 270 staff and supplies premium fresh baked goods across Australia and to 17 countries around the world.  In 1968 Vili revolutionized the Australian Meat Pie and he continues to set the standard for the industry 50 years later.

Vili doesn’t see his approach to recycling as revolutionary though.  Instead he says “…there is no such thing as waste….it makes common sense to turn a negative into a positive…” and he does exactly that with byproducts at Vili’s.  For well over 20 years Vili’s has been recycling cans, metals, plastics, cellophane, cardboard, paper and all food compostables.  At Vili’s they source separate their ‘waste’ products before recycling allowing higher value products to be made from them.

…there is no such thing as waste… it makes common sense to turn a negative into a positive…”
Vili Milisits - Owner of Vilis Family Bakery

How Vili’s recycles their organics:

Jeffries works with waste partner Veolia to collect 8 x 660L bins, six days a week.  Daily collection helps Vili’s to comply with WHS and hygiene requirements and is the most convenient collection for them.

Sticky dough provides unique challenges for bins. Vili’s initially tried spraying the bins with vegetable oil to stop the dough sticking and after working with the Jeffries team have found the best solution is to line the bins with used, clean cardboard, which is also compostable.

Having 270 employees participating in recycling relies on having the processes and structures in place to make it easy for people to do the right thing.  Vili’s has found that employee and customer attitudes towards recycling and sustainability have changed so that now people are aware and want to be doing the right thing.    When this is coupled with resolute leadership and supportive waste partners it is clear that recycling organic, and all waste products is achievable.

What Vili’s Bakery recycles?

When it comes to compostables Vili’s uses different strategies based on a combination of financial return, legislative requirements and community benefit.  Edible product is donated to charities such as the Salvos, vegetable scraps go to animal feed and other organics not suitable for animal feed, such as pastries and dough, go to Jeffries Compost Service to be turned into organic compost for the home and commercial markets.


30 Ton


Vili’s tips for using Jeffries Compost Service

  1. Lead from the top. “Set the standard and then follow it.” 
  2. Have good processes and systems so that it is easy to recycle.
  3. Work collaboratively with the waste provider to make the system convenient
  4. “No matter what you do with sustainability start small..”



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