Our monthly Greening Business column, by Jeanie McKillop, Business Waste Reduction Co-ordinator for the North East Waste Forum

A survey of the waste management practices of Lennox Head businesses this month produced some interesting results. 

Of the 45 businesses that took part in the survey, 22 produce some organic waste – usually in the form of food scraps.

Of these, about one third are recycling their organics.

As there is no green or organic waste collection in Ballina Shire, most businesses and residents who want to recycle their organic waste must take it upon themselves to do so.

It’s great to see seven Lennox businesses have met this challenge. 

For those who would like to there are a number of simple and cost effective ways to do so. 

A great solution comes from Jordon’s Farm and Juice Energy, who both get their scraps collected by locals for chicken feed. 

Eden’s and Lime Café take theirs home to be used in the garden and for chickens. 

Geolink have installed their own worm farm to deal with the food scraps they produce – an excellent way to produce a liquid fertilizer for your plants.

Except for the initial cost of a worm farm for Geolink, these are cost-free waste solutions that simply take a bit of initiative and a desire to protect the environment. 

Another simple solution is to install a compost bin at home and take your scraps with you in a bucket at the end of each working day – it provides a great boost to your garden.

Why is it important? 

Organic material is something many of us do not think about when it comes to protecting the local environment from our waste disposal – after all, it breaks down when its buried in landfill, doesn’t it? 

It does indeed, and its decomposition is a major contributor to the greenhouse gasses that are produced at landfills. 

But more importantly for landfills like Ballina, the breakdown of organics produce a toxic leachate that travels through the landfill profile. 

This fluid must be managed and contained to protect the surrounding waterways and environment from contamination – a costly and challenging task.

Composting, worm farming or feeding stock captures a valuable resource – so do something positive for our environment and deal with your organic waste. It’s simple stuff.