The item that causes the most confusion is takeaway coffee cups. Most takeaway coffee cups cannot be recycled and can generally not be composted. Because we are diverting the organics to our worm farm we can accept bioidegradable coffee cups and plates. At the moment some cafes in Lyttelton use biodegradable coffee cups so these can go in the brown organics bin at the market (but not in your green bin at home).
Serviettes and brown paper bags can also go in the brown organics bin at the market. If paper has food reside it is best to put it into the brown organics bin at the market rather than the recycling bin.
To reduce the amount of coffee cups going to landfill remember you can borrow a cup from the coffee cup library or buy a reusable coffee cup! Our Love Lyttelton coffee cups are $15 and available at Lyttelton Farmers Market and the Lyttelton Information Centre.
Managing and minimising our waste has long been a goal of PL's. While we recognise today that there is no way to run a "zero waste" event and that we can't blithely put out our yellow recycling bin and know that everything in it will be saved from the ever-growing landfill, we maintain high standards in our work places, for our projects and personally when it comes to awareness and best practices.
We are aided in this by Dr Sharon McIver of Our Daily Waste, an expert in waste minimisation, who we contract to manage waste at our large festivals. Check Sharon's website and facebook page for more information.
A large part of our work with Sharon is in educating and working with various parts of the community to help prevent waste. Once a business or market vendor has bought ten cartons of polystyrene plates, there is nothing the consumer and the waste management team can do to prevent those plates ending up in the landfill. So it is important that the people making the decisions about what to offer in the way of plastic/cardboard/coffee cups are on board with the goals of minimising waste.
It is wonderful to see the work that many in our area are already doing to promote re-use, avoidance of waste, composting and awareness.