BAF is a partner in Ground Breaking Mushrooms (GBM) which aims to remove coffee grounds from the waste system. New Plymouth has a thriving café scene and a consequence of this is a burgeoning level of used coffee grounds. Much of this ends up in landfill.
To achieve this aim GBM has been testing the success of blending the grounds with a second organic substance and have confirmed that this creates a perfect substrate on which to grow oyster mushrooms. Once the mushroom growing cycle is complete the substrate has then been turned into a high yield organic compost (raw coffee grounds are not useful as a compost).
This means that not only will our project remove coffee grounds from the waste system, it will grow an organic saleable mushroom product and allow the coffee grounds to be re-used for a third time as compost.
We piloted the enterprise in a shipping container using repurposed dairy buckets as a growing platform and also completed a Curious Minds funded site that enabled us to partner with Francis Douglas Memorial College to enable their science and horticulture students to come on board as part of a research team testing what is the most effective blend of coffee grounds and secondary matter to grow mushrooms. A problem we are working through is the impact of the high heat created b the mushrooms during their growing cycle.
We were delighted to receive support from New Plymouth District Council through their Waste Levy Fund. This has enabled us to purchase an e-bike and trailer that allows us to collect used coffee grounds with zero carbon impact.
Following our pilot we continue to modify our approach to try and establish the most effective environment within which to scale our initiative.
We were thrilled to be recognised for this work by Sustainable Taranaki in he following article https://www.sustainabletaranaki.org.nz/communitystories/2020/11/9/ground-breaking-mushrooms-living-up-to-its-name
Earlier this year Sustainable Taranaki also showcased BAF for ‘their outstanding efforts in reducing their climate impact by implementing a Response Map’ in the article at the link below.