Over the past 2 months, Garden Centre Overstrand has seen a huge reduction in the level of its general waste.
The company has gone from having four x 1,100ltr bins per week emptied to one per week. This huge transformation has been noticeable within the company.
“We’ve had a disciplined change in working practices, staff training and re-educating. We’re pleased with our results” explains general manager Sam Lowe.
“We have managed to reduce what goes to landfill with a few minor tweaks. Yes, I admit that at first it seemed alien, but once our staff could see the changes, it became a normal working practice almost overnight.”
So how did Garden Centre Overstrand change its practices?
” Composts that we sell are from a company called Growmoor. All their plastic waste can go into domestic recycling bins. Also, the pallet wrap is coloured rather than the standard black plastic. This makes up some of our plastic waste that is uplifted. We now stock the full range, including a completely organic compost. It’s not only peat free, but it’s made from mushroom waste.”
The also now compost a lot of waste on site. “Green waste, along with tea leaves, salad and vegetable peelings from the tea room are all composted on site.
“We also promote the up-cycling of tea leaves with our customers as a natural soil conditioner. We give these away to customers for a charitable donation. “
A simple but effective change is also not using bin liners. ” We do not use any bin liners. Instead we use the plastic bags from decanting bird food. These are in turn are then re-used and then included within the uplifted plastic.”
The tea room uses compostable takeaway cups, lids, stirrers and napkins, and all soft drinks are in glass bottles. All biscuits and cafe condiments are not packaged in single use plastics.
Garden Centre Overstrand donates plastic pots and trays to local schools. Local scout groups get the cardboard waste. Glass bottles get taken to the village bottle bank. These are all simple, but effective, changes.
There’s plans to take this further within the centre. “We’re planning to have a complete section promoting plastic free garden & home sundries” explains Sam.
With all the recent coverage, Garden Centre Overstrand is showing there is a way forward for garden centres.