Omokoroa supermarket wins waste war

FreshChoice owner/operator Steve Ling committed to proving the value of waste reduction

 

A Western Bay supermarket is setting the bar high on waste management - saving 90 percent of its waste from the landfill. 

FreshChoice in Omokoroa is aiming for 100 percent and is well on track to shave off the final 10 per cent. 

The results were revealed through an independent waste audit by Waste Watchers that is a free service offered by Western Bay of Plenty District Council. 

FreshChoice owner/operator Steve Ling says the result was a great thrill. 

“It was fantastic to confirm we’re diverting 90 percent of our waste from landfill. But we’re not really content with that. Thanks to the waste audit, we have more ideas on how to attack that last 10 per cent.” 

Steve and his wife Chantal opened FreshChoice Omokoroa in 2016. The first and only supermarket on the peninsula, it employs 30 staff who are mainly locals. 

Formerly owners of a store in Methven, the Lings were determined to continue with the philosophy of waste minimisation they had initiated there. 

They said it was a struggle at first due to there being no recycling facility in Omokoroa. 

“That was when we called on the Council for help and they offered us a free waste audit,’’ says Steve. 

“The waste audit team was independent and thorough and gave us really good insight into what we were doing well and what opportunities we had to improve. We are determined to help the environment but equally there is a financial advantage too as reviewing systems is healthy for businesses.” 

They’re already looking to improve sorting systems, increase recycling rates, and will purchase a compactor that should significantly slash their already minimal landfill waste. 

Steve says they plan to share their experience with customers and other supermarket owners. 

“I think we have a great opportunity to highlight what you can achieve and influence our community and our industry in a positive way.” 

To read the full FreshChoice waste audit case study visit: www.westernbay.govt.nz/wasteminimisation

 


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