Our Little Revolution on Waste Management

Over the past 8 months (in particular) at Olive Farm Wines and The Cheese Barrel, we’ve been trying to be more conscientious about how we dispose of our waste. Our Owner and Wine Maker Anthony has always held a respect for the land;

“Being a Wine Maker, also means that I’m a grape grower and a farmer. Having a very “in your face” reliance on the land for my work and therefore my families provision, has caused me to develop a greater respect for the land; I’ve literally laid my roots down in. As a fourth generation winery, the land has also looked after the family generations before me, and I’d like to leave it in a good condition to look after the generations that follow mine.”-Anthony Yurisich

So Anthony was more than encouraging when he found out about our “green” ideas.

We already had some small practices in place, but wanted to take things to the next level. So we took strategic steps before introducing our new waste management policies, which you can read more about here: “The steps we took to introduce our new waste management policies

Since then (about 8 months ago, although some of these practices have been in place for longer) we have trained our staff and established clear waste management policies & procedures, and here are some of the ways that we have diverted waste from landfill:

Re-use

·         We re-use the packaging insulation paper (we get from suppliers to insulate the cheese during transportation) as kids colouring in paper and use it for wrapping our fragile merchandise upon purchase.

·         We re-use office scrap paper as note pads for taking orders from customers.

·         We re-use then recycle all the hard plastics we can.

·         We offer the cheeses boxes our camembert and brie arrive in to schools and community groups for art projects.

·         We offer our glass jars to community groups on face book for free, so that they can be reused.

·         When possible we return cardboard boxes to our suppliers so that they can reuse them for future deliveries.

·         We also reuse the cartons we store our wines in.

Recycling

·         We recycle our cardboard with Veolia, we have a 4.5m3 bin emptied every 4 weeks.

·         We recycle our glass bottles.

·         We separate our soft plastics for RedCycle recycling. Staff drop these off at collection points.

·         We remove the lids and cut the rings off our juice/lemonade/milk bottles, allowing us to recycle the bottles themselves and also protect the wildlife.

·         We store our wine caps and crowns in a large oil can for recycling, so that when the can is recycled the caps don’t fall through and damage the machinery at the recycling facility.

·         Silicone/Latex food handling gloves - we purchase a TerraCycle glove recycling collection box which we use to dispose of our food prep gloves.

·         Who Gives a Crap, we’re currently making the switch to “Who Gives a Crap” 100% recycled toilet paper. 50% of the profits are donated to charities to help build toilets for those who need.

Oil

·         We use canola oil in some of our food prep. We dispose of our oil through Bioworks. We have a drum that once filled gets collected and converted into biodiesel (a biofuel).                 

Solar Panels

·         We have solar panels fitted on top of our winery feeding solar energy into our grid that we use at both The Cheese Barrel and Olive Farm Winery. Approx 50% of the energy needs of The Cheese Barrel and Olive Farm Wines are met using solar energy.

Gas

·         We use Hydro-carbon gas to fuel 50% of our refrigeration needs at the winery.  Hydro-carbon gas is a naturally occurring gas that allows more efficiency in the refrigeration units leading to less power use. The Cheese Barrel’s refrigeration has also just been retrofitted with hydrocarbon gas.  

Balloons, Glitter and Plastic

·         We encourage group bookings wanting to decorate their table for a special occasion to choose alternatives to plastic such as fabric bunting, paper lanterns, natural florals & greenery etc. We have adopted a no balloons or shiny confetti policy to assist in wildlife preservation.

·         We  sell plastic water bottles.

 

Compostables

We have approached Write Solutions together with BioPak to come up with a plan for commencing an Organic Waste Composting Service for the Swan Valley. Canvassing and information nights are in the planning process but we hope to have Write Solutions servicing the valley’s (not just our) composting needs by February next year. Once the service is up and running we will be able to compost a large portion of our waste. We have chosen to not compost on site as being a cheese café, we have a higher than normal level of dairy to compost, which can make things a little more complicated.

·         We are currently investigating our options for onsite and off site organic waste composting for our grape waste during vintage.

·         The Last Straw – we don’t offer straws with our beverages anymore unless on request, and when we do, we have paper straws for service. We also sell reusable bamboo straws (Your Straw) in our merchandise section.

·         Cold T/A or kids beverages - we use BioCups from BioPak. BioCups are made from Ingeo (a bioplastic made from plants not oils) and are the only certified clear cup that is compostable.

·         Hot T/A Beverages, we use White BioCups (BioPak) that are made from paper sourced from managed plantations. The paper is lined with Ingeo (a bioplastic made from plants not oils)

·         Our paper hand towels used for hand washing are compostable.

·         Endura Food Trays, we use endura trays for lawn service and take away cheese boards. With our take away platters we provide Wooden Knives (BioPak) that naturally biodegrade not polluting the environment.

·         Napkins, unbleached, compostable napkins.

·         Some of our staff have chickens/compost bins so we put aside food scraps that they take home.

That’s about it, we’re always looking for more ways to cut down on our waste that goes to landfill, so if you have any suggestions we’d love to hear them from you! Feel free to email (info@thecheesebarrel.com.au), call (9296 4539) or come in and lets do coffee!! (dine in mugs only, haha)

 Jordan Kuchel

 

Mariane BornelliComment