TasTAFE Drysdale North

Image of staff at Drysdale North spreading compost on a kitchen garden

Small-scale composting

Teaching staff at the Drysdale training restaurant in Launceston had established a Sustainability Committee and wanted to introduce a culture of sustainability and recycling.​ The organisation was a recipient of a Northern Tasmanian Waste Management Group resource recovery and waste minimisation grant, which enabled them to purchase a composting machine.

The Project

Establish best practice internal processes for waste management and small-scale composting and an associated training strategy for students undertaking Certificate IV in Cookery.


  • Develop a model for waste management for TasTAFE and the Tasmanian hospitality industry.
  • Achieve cost benefits by reducing food and other waste to landfill​.
  • Establish a training and assessment strategy for students participating in the implementation of the model developed.


  • Reduce waste to landfill by 50%​.
  • Reduce or maintain service cycle times​.
  • Reduce or maintain product cycle times.
Image of composter being filled with food waste

A small-scale commercial composter was commissioned and food waste is now composted on-site for use in kitchen gardens.


What was implemented?

  • The composting machine was installed and commissioned.
  • Procedures have been established for separation of all wastes, including measurement and monitoring.
  • Students are learning by doing through their implementation of the procedures put in place.

Key issues

  • Not knowing what I didn’t know​ about commissioning the composting equipment.
  • Internal administrative delays​.
  • Allowing time to experiment with the composter​.
  • Standardising procedures – who is responsible for what?​
  • Figuring out what to do with all our compost!

Performance against targets

  • 80-100% projected reduction in food waste to landfill​.
  • 36% reduction in cardboard waste from re-use​.
  • 50% reduction in paper waste to landfill.
  • Service and product cycle times maintained, with additional processes introduced.

Lessons Learnt

  • Waste reduction, landfill re-direction and opportunities for resource efficiency are everywhere.​
  • At every step of the way, you need to have buy-in from the people you are relying on for success.​
  • I learnt about the ​action learning process and ​how it was applied in the BREP program.
Image of trainee chef in kitchen garden

Students participate in waste collection and separation in-process, and maintenance of kitchen gardens at the Drysdale site.

Image of Greg Hillier

Greg Hillier
Cookery Teacher

“I learned a lot from other set members, who had more experience with this type of project.”

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The Business Resource Efficiency Program is funded by, and delivered in partnership with, the Tasmanian government.