Following three years of planning, installation and approval by the Byron Shire Council, the coffee plantation in Federal is now fully utilising the $135,000 facility.
“We’re pretty over the moon about it,” said Richard Kelly, pictured, General Manager of Green Cauldron Coffee.
“With this recycling facility we’ve basically achieved a closed loop for water usage and waste and we are able to capture and use every part of the coffee cherry, not just the bean.”
Leading Environmental Health scientist Tim Fitzroy worked with Green Cauldron Coffee to plan and build the facility.
“The design is both contemporary and best practice,” Mr Fitzroy said.
“So it’s fitting that the Byron Shire should be home to such groundbreaking work. It’s been a joy to work with such an innovative company willing to invest in green technology.”
Most Australian coffee producers use a wet process to wash and separate coffee.
However, the natural sugars found in coffee, together with debris from leaves and branches, deplete oxygen levels in the waste water and increase biochemical oxygen demand (BOD).
Water in this state is unsafe to release into waterways and is too strong to be used for irrigation.
Green Cauldron’s bespoke water recycling facility uses a sand filtration process combined with anaerobic bugs to significantly reduce BOD and increase oxygen levels – making the water safe to use.
Any solid waste is composted and used to fertilise the coffee trees. The net effect is a reduction in water consumption and protection of waterways and catchment areas. The process takes four to five weeks.
“Optimal health and vitality for our coffee trees is what we’re after” said Mr Kelly.
“And we hope that people can taste this in our single origin coffee.”
For more information, visit the Green Cauldron website .