Maria Bortolotto - Owner, Cecconi's Flinders Lane
As one of Melbourne’s top Italian restaurants, Cecconi’s prides itself on its’ commitment to using the freshest ingredients available, sourced from local producers, including home grown vegetables from their family-run farm in Victoria.
These include how best to dispose of the large volumes of waste produced every day by the kitchen and restaurant in an efficient, economic and sustainable way.
Cecconi’s has extended their best practice aims to include their environmental policies and has partnered with Closed Loop to face the challenge of achieving a 90% recycling rate on all fresh and dried produce, packaging and glass.
After conducting a comprehensive waste audit of all food, co-mingled, general and cardboard waste, a proposal was made to install a Closed Loop Organics Unit on-site at the restaurant.
The Closed Loop Organics unit allows the restaurant to dispose of all food waste including food preparation scraps and plate scrapings. The food waste is turned into a resource for Cecconi’s to use on their farm gardens, in the form of nutrient rich compost.
To ensure best use of the unit Closed Loop implemented an education program for all staff including an information session and the introduction of Closed Loop bin stickers for clear identification of the different waste streams.
Thanks to the amount of waste that can now be disposed of in the Organics unit, collection of general waste at the restaurant has been reduced by over half. The new program has been well accepted by staff who support the streamlined process, positive environmental practice and improved work aesthetic.
An average of 75kg of food waste is deposited in the unit per day, the compost generated is unloaded once a week and transported to the Bortolotto farm for use on their vegetable gardens to grow new produce for the restaurant. With the introduction of the unit, not only have Cecconis; reduced their waste bills and improved the efficiency of waste management in the restaurant, but they have created a valuable resource from their own food waste.