Ballarat is about to get a brand new way to make enjoying a cup of coffee at a local café more sustainable.
GroundUp Coffee Recyclers is the first service of its kind in Ballarat and is set to officially launch next week, with several local hospitality businesses already on board.
GroundUp founder and director Eliza Whitburn-Weber said she was inspired by her previous experience as a café owner in Melbourne and wanted to bring sustainable waste solutions to the Ballarat hospitality industry.
"A lot of venues have wanted something like this for quite a long time," Ms Whitburn-Weber said.
Cafés and restaurants who partner with GroundUp will pay a small fee to have a way to sustainably dispose of their coffee grounds and food scraps, with GroundUp providing bins and a collection service to get the recycled waste to local farmers for composting.
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"We want to close the loop and see the recycled scraps going to farmers, their produce can be grown from the scraps of the cafés and restaurants in town and they're supplying those businesses, it's a cycle," she said.
Ms Whitburn-Weber recognised Ballarat businesses were already implementing sustainable practices but many were still sending their coffee grounds to landfill.
"Coffee grounds are a valuable resource, they can be composted and added into soil which then helps to draw down carbon and all of those great things," she said.
As well as helping local hospitality businesses to become more eco-friendly, GroundUp has pledged to work towards becoming "carbon negative" and plant a tree through 15 Trees for every invoice they generate.
Lola Ballarat at the Provincial Hotel is one of the several hospitality venues that has signed up to be a part of GroundUp's new initiative.
Provincial Hotel Food and Beverage manager Bernard Glaude said the restaurant had worked to recycle and repurpose their waste.
"We've been finding various ways of ensuring that there's a closed circle around everything that comes in and everything that goes out," he said.
"GroundUp has been very proactive, as a hospitality venue there's so many moving parts so it's good to have a partner to take some of the pressure off and make the process easy," Mr Glaude said.
Ms Whitburn-Weber said GroundUp is looking for more venues to join the initiative and she encouraged businesses to reach out.
"We're hoping to sign up as many places as possible in order to make the program as successful as possible," she said.
"It's about seeing a problem and coming up with a solution to that problem," Ms Whitburn-Weber said.
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