February 26, 2019

Vondel - A Zero Waste Business Champion

The Zero Waste Devonport Initiative is a partnership between community stakeholders who all want to see Devonport moving quickly towards a zero waste future.

This year the Devonport Business Assocation has signed up with the Community Recycling Centre to offer Devonport's Businesses an opportunity to have their waste collected and processed locally, diverting as much from landfill as possible. The new thrice weekly collections include food waste, compostable packaging, glass and card. Sam Bratton, owner of Vondel, was one of the first businesses to take up this golden opportunity. We ask him why he was so quick to get behind it. 

You’re the first business in Devonport to take up the new waste deal between the Devonport community recycling centre and the DBA – what made you jump onboard so quickly? It came at a perfect time as I had been working in the kitchen and saw first hand how much waste we throw out on a daily basis - it was embarrassing. I think as a hospitality business which creates so much waste we have a social responsibility to do more, so when the opportunity came up I wanted to jump straight in. 

How much food waste do you think the average NZ restaurant sinks into the ground each year? I have absolutely no idea but I would say it is again an embarrassing amount 

How much waste do you hope to divert? As much as we can 

What steps were you already taking in your restaurant to minimise waste? I will admit not enough,  which is another reason why I jumped at the new initiative. We separate everything we can for collection. We also don't allow takeaway cups to customers sitting in and sell keep cups at cost price to encourage customers into using reusable cups. 

Some argue that the cost of a service like this is prohibitive – what are your thoughts on this? Sounds like a weak excuse to me. Everything costs these days. The reality is that our recent, and current, approach to waste disposal does not work and is getting worse. If we do not change the way we operate we are letting down the generations to follow.

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