Where are you at in your 3R’s journey? We are forever a work in progress, we focus on Reducing & Reusing as a first port of call and when we can’t we go to the third R…Recycling!

Global Recycling Day 2021 is celebrating #recyclinghereos. At SUSTOMi we are inspired by people or brands going that extra mile; so we caught up with local recycling legend, Millie Pardoe, owner of Collide Wholefoods. Have a read below about the inspiring ways she incorporates recycling & composting into her business and lifestyle.

Tell us about Collide and bulk food shopping?

We opened Collide 2 years ago as my partner and I were both working in the CBD and found that there was nowhere to easily access quality bulk wholefoods or food & beverages that didn’t come in packaging.  It was a natural choice for us to make the store as plastic free as possible, I think as a business owner even though it takes more consideration and time implementing these processes it eventually streamlines and then becomes second nature to the day-to-day operations.  

We always choose to focus on the small and the meaningful with every aspect of Collide.  Whether its the products we stock, the suppliers we use, the staff we employ or the connections we make with our customer.  Take our glass canisters for example, that project was 2 years in the making, it was incredibly challenging at times but working with our designer and engaging with local craftsmen we have created something truly unique, which is completely Tasmanian made and plastic free!  

After 2 years, we have a gorgeous customer base ranging from school students to retirees who want to change the way they shop.  I think for a lot of people it can be daunting walking in a bulk wholefoods store but it really is the perfect way to shop.  We have a number of people bringing in recipes to try and we help them weigh out the products so they know there is not going to be any waste. Being able to buy as little or as much as you want should be the way all stores operate.

How is recycling incorporated into the business?

Recycling and waste reduction has been a driving force for us.   I actually had a year long battle with council to get a recycling bin placed in the city for us and other businesses to utilise. We finally had a bin placed in Mathers Lane which everyone on Criterion Street can now use.   From my experience business owners and staff really want to do the right thing, it’s just a matter of chaining habits.   We actually nearly didn’t have smoothies and lunch options in-store as I couldn’t find anyone to pick up our organic waste and compostable packaging.  It wasn’t until another business owner put us in contact with Christina who runs FIMBY (Food In My Back Yard).  

What are your favourite non-council recycling programs?

Christina @fimbygirl has literally been our life saver.  Each week Christina comes in and picks up all of our buckets, takes them back to her farm at Bream Creek and works tirelessly to turn it all into the most incredible compost!   FIMBY (Food In My Back Yard) is a Hobart based enterprise created to inspire and support people to grow their own food.  Its people like Christina that makes me love what we do.  She is one of the most passionate people I have come across.

How do you get yourself into the rhythm of using these?

It’s always more challenging to start making these changes, but once you do, it becomes second nature.  We got started with FIMBY by incorporating buckets which we separate into compostable packaging and organic waste.  The most encouraging part of this process for us is, many of our customers bring back their containers to be composted.  

What are your favourite tips for recycling?

Make it a habit and make it a challenge! So many times throughout the day, especially when you are busy, you might not think about what you are doing or how you are processing.  We are the only ones who can make these changes. Set yourself a target and make the challenge of how much you can recycle.  Get your family involved! We have 2 compost bins in our veggie garden and my partner has become a compostaholic! We take our kids up into the garden on the weekends and they go foraging for worms.  It’s just a matter of making it part of your life.

Who is your recycling hero?

My partner!  He loves his composting as much as he loves our children and seeing him sift through our recycling to see what he can tear up and add to the compost bins is a romantic comedy!

What’s one thing that would make your life easier if it could be recycled? 

Where to start…  This isn’t for making my life easier, but it breaks my heart how many white goods and electronics go into land fill.  We live in a consumerism driven world that encourages upgrades, bigger screens, stronger motors, while the majority of these goods don’t last a month past their 2-year warranty.  The recycling centres do what they can to salvage but more needs to be done to combat the issue.

What would you like to see the government/local council do to improve recycling?

There is so much more we could be doing locally. There are many great composting and recycling initiatives around the rest of Australia we need to take a look at how we are processing in Tasmania. I know there are a lot of hospitality venues that would support and get on board a large commercial composting program if council were to set one up! Hint hint HCC 🙂

If you’re in Hobart, go check out Collide Wholefoods on Criterion. The smoothies & slices are our favs! And remember before you turn to recycling, reduce and reuse are the priorities. If you need to up your game for reusable products, get started with one of our kits, the Lunch Kit takes the guesswork out of it. Shop here.

Whether you’re a business or individual there are so many ways to elevate your recycling game, but where to start? Here are three helpful places to get started:

  1. Go check your local council’s kerbside pickup recycling do’s & don’ts. Recycling can be confusing but following your local council rules is a great place to start. I just learned the Hobart City Council doesn’t require you to rinse your containers so long as there isn’t a large build up of food, oh and cover the container with the original lid. Easy done!
  2. When you go to grab your reusable bag for your weekly shop, gather your soft plastics too. What? Why? Have you heard of Red Cycle? It’s a recovery initiative for post-consumer soft plastic and they have drop bins at most Coles & Woolworths. We even use this service for some of our business recycling needs.
  3. I’m a bit of a beauty junkie, so finding places to recycle hair or skincare can be tricky. I recently discovered TerraCycle, an innovative recycling company that partners with big brands to create recycling programs for hard-to-recycle waste. You can find their bins at participating retailers and recycle things like serum bottles, razors, electric toothbrushes, deodorant cans. This is on my list to start using.