Local cafes are helping the Endeavour Foundation to grow its latest business venture with the not-for-profit organisation looking to produce and sell compost.
Endeavour Foundation Industries Bundaberg production manager Mark Elliott said the partnership with local businesses was a win-win, helping the environment, saving money and providing more skills for supported workers.
He said Endeavour Foundation Industries had potato and onion waste, but they needed other food waste to successfully make a homogeneous mix to help the worms thrive.
“We need all the food scraps that we can get to feed our worms in the composting tunnels,” he said.
“We are looking for more vegetable waste so cafés in Bundaberg have come on board to assist us in that endeavour.”
The compost has initially been used at the Endeavour Foundation farm, and they will soon expand to provide other local businesses with the nutritious, locally-made compost.
“We also hope to be able to sell it particularly to the horticultural industry in Bundaberg – the macadamia farms and avocado farms are one of our main targets,” Mark said.
“This employs about half a dozen people, plus a couple of staff to look after this side of the business and it’s ongoing work for the guys.
“We are looking to expand, and they will learn new skills, and it’s been a great learning curve for them as they enjoy getting outside and working outdoors.”
With five species of worms to look after to ensure the compost is high quality and working efficiently, Mark said they’d love to hear from local businesses.
“We can never have enough food stocks as the worms are getting hungrier,” Mark laughed.
“As we get more of them, they need more food to eat, and we need more things to mix into our mixes – so we are buying some equipment, but we also need the raw materials to start with.”
Oodies Café, Across the Waves and Grindstone Coffee House are just some of the local businesses already helping to support Endeavour Foundation Industries through this program.
Grindstone Coffee House owner Kristy Curd said when a regular customer suggested the program, they were keen to assist.
“We give them all our waste – our compostable waste – all our coffee grinds, fruit and veggies and prep waste,” Kristy said.
“As we make everything on site, it’s everything from peels, seeds, eggshells – everything that we would have just put in our bin.
“This minimises our waste that goes in my bin.”
Kristy said it was effortless for Grindstone to jump on board with Endeavour’s composting venture.
“It’s easy to work with Endeavour, they are brilliant – they come and pick it up, so I literally do nothing,” she said.
“It’s lessening landfill, and it’s going to a good cause – why not give back to the earth and something that is worthwhile.”