Tag Archives: composting

Introducing a new recycling system to a site

You’ve switched your site to Vegware and confirmed with our Environmental team that you’re in one of our composting regions where clients can access our approved collections. How do you ensure the transition all goes to plan?

Whether your site is a small independent café or large corporate site, introducing any new recycling system can have teething issues. It takes time for your site users – staff and visitors alike – to learn a new system. When the new waste stream is for compostable packaging & food waste, Vegware really wants to help our clients get it right. The last thing we all want is to send contamination to a compost facility. Our collective goal is always quality recycling.

The ‘Quality First’ method

For larger sites, Vegware’s Environmental team recommends clients use the ‘Quality First’ method – as these sites have large numbers of staff, visitors and catering outlets – making them more likely to have contamination during the initial transition.

This method means introducing the compostable products, new waste streams and signage – all of which Vegware supplies to our customers, while monitoring the contamination level closely, and only composting it when the behaviour change has been successful.

This allows sites to troubleshoot and address teething issues within any specific areas, teams or contaminants. This means that if the compostable waste is too contaminated, it will – and should – go to incineration during this transition phase. This eliminates concerns of the composting facility receiving compostables that are mixed in with non-recyclables such as plastic-lined coffee cups or non-compostable sandwich boxes. When incinerated, plant-based PLA releases no volatile gases, and produces more heat than newspaper, wood or food waste.

Once the behaviour change activities have been successful, as shown by waste audits, the good quality stream can then go to the composting facility.

Behaviour change is key

Essentially, behaviour change takes time and key steps must be in place to facilitate the introduction to a new way of recycling. But choosing the right bin – and getting it right – is vital for quality recycling across ALL waste streams.

What can you do to have your site be quick on the uptake for learning the new system? Follow our 5 Steps to Zero Waste to adopt a greener process to your site.

5 steps to zero waste

Click to view a case study from our client, Platform at Argyle Street Arches, to learn more about their experience in launching a new recycling system with Vegware.

Keen to introduce Vegware onto your site? Get in touch today: orders@vegware.co.uk +44(0) 333 055 400.

Vegware packaging now ‘Composter Approved’ by US Compost Manufacturing Alliance

Following successful trials, Vegware announces today it has received the Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA) approval on a wide range of its plant-based compostable foodservice packaging. These highly respected American standards provides official recognition and acceptance of the Vegware products as compostable by both CMA-I facilities and Cedar Grove’s covered processing system.

Testing compostables

The CMA and its affiliated partner, Cedar Grove Composting in Washington State, field testing results demonstrate that products manufactured by Vegware are acceptable in operations and processes.

The CMA is a partnership of the top U.S. compost manufacturers, providing field validation of compostable feed stocks within real world processing technologies. Cedar Grove Composting is a Seattle-based, family-owned business producing nutrient-rich compost.

As composting collections and processing grows in the US and globally, ensuring foodservice packaging works as feedstock in modern large-scale composting facilities is essential. This way, operations at each step of the organics recycling process runs smoothly.

Vegware approved

This official recognition allows access to the CMA “Composter Approved” logo. The “Composter Approved” logo signals nationwide processing opportunities to create quality compost from Vegware’s wide range of plant-based compostable foodservice packaging.

Continue reading Vegware packaging now ‘Composter Approved’ by US Compost Manufacturing Alliance

On-site composting at Dundee and Angus College

For Dundee and Angus College in Scotland, on-site composting provided an ideal solution for them to take control of their food waste, reducing packaging in canteens, and move away from plastics in food service. 

The first thing the College needed was a packaging supplier that could offer a sustainable, compostable solution to aid their on-site composting ambitions.

Why Vegware?

Vegware’s packaging is made from plants, not plastic, and designed to be composted with food waste.  

On choosing Vegware as a sustainable packing supplier, Jackie Beresford at Dundee and Angus College commented:

The quality of the product along with the very good customer service is the reason why we use Vegware and continue to do so.”

Because Vegware’s products are compostable, they can be combined with food waste and processed in Dundee and Angus College’s own composter.

With help from food waste experts, Tidy Planet, the college operates an on-site composter called The Rocket Composter. The Rocket speeds up composting by providing it with a perfect environment in which to thrive; moisture, heat and air is all controlled. 

Dundee and Angus College

How it works

Vegware worked with Dundee and Angus College to create bespoke bin signage in the canteens to reduce contamination. All compostable packaging and food waste goes into one bin – there’s no need to clean, sort or separate any of it.

Food waste and Vegware is gathered, shredded and de-watered together in a macerator. From here on it is combined with other green waste and woodchips inside The Rocket composter. In as little as 14 days the gardeners at Dundee and Angus College have access to a high-quality mulch they can use on the College garden.

Dundee and Angus College

Savings in carbon and cost

The process saves money and carbon, and is easy to manage. It’s a great circular approach that takes place on the same site from start to finish. Coffee cups, coffee grinds and food waste can realistically be handled by the gardeners as a mulch on the ground in 14 days’ time. The system has a 20-year life span, but equipment of this scale can often pay for itself in less than five years. 

Collecting waste and sending it to landfill, a recycling plant or a composting facility can take several trips based on how much waste a business accumulates. By composting on-site, Dundee and Angus College saves both money and carbon. Hugh Crampton from Tidy Planet explains:

“By doing something like this, instantly you’ve reduced two or three vehicles movements per week for the collection of those wastes. If you add that mileage up for a collection vehicle for 20 years and that’s a whole lot of carbon emissions you’ve just avoided.”

Dundee and Angus College

Get in touch if you’d like to discuss on-site composting systems.