Total waste to landfill in 2015: 36 grams
2015-06-10 Three months since the last update and I’m pleased to say it’s still at 36g. Plastic bags are recycled at our local Sainsburys. Glass, paper and plastic go inside council recycling bins. Organic coffee waste goes into the compost. For bike servicing we are reusing rags and nitrile gloves for now. There will be waste eventual waste from these but right now it remains at 36 grams total waste to landfill in 2015.
2015-03-09 We didn’t create any landfill waste in February 2015. For bike servicing we did use cloths that can be reused and we were extra careful not to contaminate brakes with oil. The gloves we used are given a wash and we will reuse (they eventually will become waste though). We do have a used bike tyre which can’t be recycled but looking into way to reuse or recycle.
We also found out at the weekend that Nottingham has an incinerator that helps power Nottingham homes and businesses. Although encouraging recycling is far better than incinerating it’s good to know that it’s not 100% traditional landfill.
2015-01-26 We realised we are not going to 100% zero waste to landfill when bike service time comes along. Nitrile Gloves and cloths weigh in at 36 grams.
The reason we can’t use non-disposable cloths and reuse the gloves is because they are contaminated with oil which if reused could get onto brakes components which wouldn’t be good for stopping.
We do a service about once a month so will have to expect same amount of waste monthly.
From 1st January 2015, The Roasting House commitment is to have a zero waste to landfill policy aiming to send no waste to landfill at all. We are not sure if this can be done but we will try our very best.
We already strive to produce as little waste as possible and recycle or compost as much as we are able to. Our electricity supplier, Good Energy, uses 100% renewable energy and we cycle or walk our local deliveries. We make business decisions considering the impact on the environment. Coffee has a lot food miles in getting to us so we try to keep our foot print to a minimum and choose coffee from farms with sustainable practices.
Defining zero waste to landfill
According to Zero Waste International Alliance zero waste to landfill is defined as 90% or greater diversion
but we are aiming for 100%. If we do have any waste to landfill then we are going to weigh it and report it openly. But even then, before it goes to landfill we will research ways it can be recycled, upcycled or reused.
Although we are confident our waste to landfill is already small we haven’t actively measured this part of our business. We are going to consider everything we use to run The Roasting House.
Changes to bags
Some changes are inevitable and the biggest ‘elephant in the room’ is our coffee bags. When we first started roasting we used handmade hessian bags that were fully compostable. However, time restraints showed this wasn’t sustainable for ourselves to continue making (especially when we needed emergency repairs to our sewing machine) and when we outsourced the making of bags to local crafters we had mixed results in quality and it wasn’t cost effective. We then moved to modern foil coffee bags. They are recyclable but not recycled by all local authorities including Nottingham, and although this is not waste we directly produce it something we are responsible for on behalf of our customers.
The obvious answer is paper bags. Paper is recyclable and paper bags are available made from recycled materials. What we lose in strength of bags we will hopefully gain in a smaller footprint on the Earth.
At time of writing we still have the old style foil bags in stock as well as our new paper bags so there will be a cross-over of using new and old.
Firm with our goals but flexible with our tactics
Being a small and growing business we are lucky that we can quickly change things around and put policies in place that don’t require a major shift in the way we work. We still think this will be a challenge because things we have neglected to think about will appear.
Sustainability is something we actively think about. However, we are privileged to enjoy the modern benefits of what the current carbon economy brings us while at the same time acknowledging that climate change is humanity’s greatest threat. On a purely business point of view, climate change is already driving up the prices of the commodity we sell and 2014 saw a disastrous coffee crop for the world’s largest coffee producer, Brazil which affects us and our customers.
We believe small local changes do make a difference and that we all are responsible to take action, this is ours.
We welcome suggestions and feedback (good or bad) on our twitter, facebook, or old fashioned email email@example.com.