We tend to think of food waste as relatively harmless, after all it’s mostly biodegradable. However, food waste when sent to landfill rots and releases methane, a harmful greenhouse gas with high global warming potential.
In the interests of the being a responsible global citizen and of sustainability, which are core principles underpinning The Tsebo Group’s business philosophy, Tsebo Catering – ATS SA recently launched a composting project at one of its large client sites, to recycle the approximately 7300 meals it serves there a day.
Instead of going to landfill, all food waste generated by Tsebo Catering – ATS SA (including cooked and uncooked food and bone) will now be processed into organic compost through the Earth Cycler, a South African manufactured, fully-automated composter which can process up to 3500kg of food waste a month.
In addition to solving the challenge of food waste through on-site composting, the Earth Cycler needs carbon rich material to work effectively. What this means is that all contaminated cardboard, egg cartons, newspaper, toilet-roll holders, and used paper serviettes and kitchen towels are also fed into the Cycler.
“We’ve already seen enormous benefits as a result of installing the Earth Cycler. Not only in terms of the more than 300kgs of food waste that has already been converted into 1360kgs of compost the client’s site, but also in terms of money saved on labour and waste transportation costs,” said Ken Fussell, Chief Operating Officer, Catering Solutions. “We will continue to partner with our clients in all aspects of sustainability and recycling , as well as to create further opportunities to empower our local communities.”
The Earth Cycler was installed on 13 November 2019 and has already resulted in positive results, with a cumulative impact summary between November and January of:
- 304kg total waste diverted
- 187kg total CO₂ saved
- 456 m³ total airspace saved
- 1306kg compost created
Given that the client’s site is a building site, the compost is being introduced to rehabilitate the land – a win-win for the client and the environment.