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Z ‘branching out’ to help customers feed their gardens

25 September 2014

Z ‘branching out’ to help customers feed their gardens

Z Energy’s waste reduction journey turns another corner this week, with an initiative that will have customers’ gardens blooming.

Z is rolling out help-yourself stands for coffee grounds from its convenience stores on its service station forecourts. Coffee grounds can be collected in compostable bags from the new stands at 33 Z sites around New Zealand.

“The grounds from our coffee machines currently go to compost, along with our other unsold food waste, but some of our customers have been asking if they could have the coffee grounds to put on their gardens,” says Z Sustainability Manager Gerri Ward.

“About 40% of all of householders’ waste is composed of food waste in New Zealand, so this is another way of highlighting alternative uses for food waste than sending it to landfill, where it emits harmful greenhouses gases.

“New Zealanders are pretty good at recycling plastics, paper and glass, but we tend to think less about food waste,” says Gerri.

Giving away coffee grounds and composting food waste is one small but important part of Z’s waste reduction journey. Z set a target in 2012 of reducing waste to landfill from its petrol stations by 70% by the end of 2015.

“Two years later we’re more than three quarters of the way there. While the network has grown from 204 Z stations in 2012 to 213 stations today, our waste to landfill is about a third of what it was, thanks to the brilliant efforts by retailers and site staff,” Gerri says.

“Back in 2012, about half our petrol stations did any form of recycling. Today it’s a different story. Nearly all our stations now recycle cardboard and half recycle plastic, cans and glass.

“About half of our sites also have food waste collection. So far this year we’ve diverted about 226 tonnes of food waste from landfill. Mostly this goes into compost or pig food. Giving away coffee grounds to local gardeners will help us reduce our food waste even further.”

Z is also looking to reduce waste before it comes onto its stations. “An example of how we are doing that is by working with our magazine supplier to tailor the magazines delivered to each station to reduce the wastage,” Gerri says.

“We’ve made great progress towards achieving our goal of a 70% reduction in waste to landfill from our stations by 2015. We’re still working hard to improve and continuing to make good progress thanks to our station staff and members of the public using recycling bins at our stations, and new initiatives like our coffee grounds stands.”


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