Over the past 2 months we have really seen a huge reduction in the level of our general waste.
We have gone from having 4 x 1100ltr bins per week emptied to an incredible 1 per week; this huge transformation has been instantly noticeable within our company.
With a disciplined change in working practices, staff training and re-educating; we are really pleased with our results.
We have managed to reduce what goes to landfill with a few minor tweaks, and yes I admit that at first it seemed alien, but once our staff could see the instant changes, it became a normal working practice almost overnight.
How did we change our practices?
- Composts that we sell within the garden centre are from a company called Growmoor, we are happy to endorse that all their plastic waste can go into the customers domestic recycling bins (check local council rulings) in addition to this all 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 there full range including a completely organic compost; that is not only peat free, but it’s made from mushroom waste.
- Both garden centre – green waste along with tea room – tea leaves, salad and vegetable peelings are all composted on site. We also promote the up-cycling of tea leafs with our shop customers as a natural soil conditioner and are happy to give these away to customers for a charitable donation.
- All generated plastic waste is uplifted by Copdock Mills where this is sent for recycling.
- We do not use any bin liners here at Garden Centre Overstrand, instead we use the plastic bags that are generated from us decanting bird food that we weigh up for own branded bird care lines, these are in turn are then re-used and then included within the uplifted plastic.
- All used plant pots are donated to local schools & scout groups.
- Plant trays are either donated to customers or returned to plant wholesalers.
- All card board waste is donated to our local scout group, who receive money from this.
- All glass waste is disposed of within the village bottle bin, who again receive money for this collection, which helps fund village schemes.
- Our tea room “The Potting Shed” promotes the use of recyclable takeaway cups, lids, stirrers and napkins. We are also happy to say that all of our soft drinks are in glass bottles. And in addition to this, we have taken measures to ensure that all biscuits and cafe condiments are not packaged in single use plastics.
- Moving forward as a business we hope to develop and expand on our range of organic and natural plant feeds and pest treatment lines.
- We are also planning to have a complete section within the garden centre promoting plastic free garden & home sundries, natural and locally sourced handmade soaps and cleaning products.
- We host various seasonal food & craft markets, within the garden centre promoting locally made crafts, treats and gifts and ensure that at each event we promote a local charity that is at the heart of our local community. Our next event is September 22nd where Wrongs Covert Woodland Project will be displaying hand man bee, bat & bird boxes, these are all made by young people who are not in mainstream education and also provide a haven for other groups that need a quiet and secluded place to meet.