Media and News

Dirty Hands Cooperative

Two aspirational Hobart friends have started a business that could stop food waste from going to landfill, provide job opportunities, and boost community gardens in one fell swoop. The Dirty Hands Cooperative is currently a one-of-a-kind compost collection business.
Dirty Hands Cooperative collects up to 300 kg of food waste each week from local businesses. They compost the food waste at a community garden space and use it to fertilize the garden’s farm. They hope to have each business they collect from pay a tax-deductible fee, which would pay their salaries and allow them to give away compost to local gardens free of charge.  Co-founder Gabriela O’Leary hopes to replicate the business model. It fills a niche space in Australia’s food waste cycle, providing incentive for businesses to dispose of their food waste responsibly, as well as highly accessible job opportunities that give back to the environment and local gardens. If replicated on a wide scale throughout Australia, its an idea that could give us the upper hand in the war on food waste.


Renewable Hydrogen Fuel Tech Breakthrough

After a decade in research, CSIRO researchers in Queensland have made a breakthrough that could turn Australia into a renewable energy giant.  The fuss is over a type of membrane which allows ultra-high purity hydrogen to be turned into ammonia and back again, making efficient transport of the highly flammable fuel possible. For years this technology has been the missing link to the hydrogen fuel industry.  A recent test in Queensland was a world first, powering a car with completely carbon-free ammonia-derived fuel. It’s a huge step for Australia and we have already received expressions of interest from Japan, South Korea and Europe which could line Australia up for its next export boom. Its another step toward cleaner powered cars and a greener future.

Image: ABC News

Six tips to make sure your recycling gets recycled

China’s waste ban has triggered a crack down on recycling contamination rules, which mean recycling loads with too much contamination go straight to landfill. Here are a few tips to make sure your recyclables get recycled:

  • Remember the three golden rules – clean, dry, and empty! Empty food scraps and rinse containers. Anything that could go rancid shouldn’t be in your recycling bin.
  • Don’t bag your recyclables! They can’t be sorted if they are bagged, and plastic bags (along with soft plastics) can’t be recycled.
  • No shredded paper – the pieces are too small. However glossy magazines, entire books and papers with staples are all fine to go in.
  • No aerosols – the fire and explosion risk is too high, more and more recyclers are refusing to accept them. Check with your council when their hazardous waste drop off day is and keep aerosols, batteries and gas bottles till then.
  • Anything smaller than your fist can’t be recycled. Small items like that fall through the sorting machinery and end up in landfill.
  • Flatten your boxes – it helps prevent machinery blockages at the sorting plant.

Check out  this article for more info.

Image: ABC News


Better Bin Lining

Most major supermarkets across Queensland have now banned single-use plastic bags and in the aftermath many Australian households are taking the opportunity to start lining our bins with something a little greener.

With the best of intentions, many of us use biodegradable plastic bags as liners. Unfortunately, Australian laws about what can be called ‘biodegradable’ are shockingly lax. Many products labelled ‘biodegradable’ or ‘environmentally friendly’ just have chemicals added that ensure the bags break down into micro-plastics, but they still don’t biodegrade completely and still wreak havoc on the environment.

The solution is finding bags that are bio-based (composed of polymers made from starches like corn or potatoes) which are truly biodegradable, such as Biobag. You may struggle to find Biobags at your local supermarket, but they are available online here.  It is also worth checking with your local council if they supply biobags (or something similar) for free, as some Queensland councils do.

More info here.


DSGN Kartell is collaborating with the Griffith University Eco Centre, Australian Green Development Forum and the Green Building Institute to put on a bi-monthly event series in the Greater Brisbane area.

Designskillz provides a free platform to hear and learn about various skills existing in our neighbourhoods, which people seem to have forgotten about. Its goal is to start a conversation around holistic sustainability and introduce people to sustainable architecture and design as a new lifestyle. It also hopes to encourage people with creative skills to show what they’ve got and help them to express themselves.

Designskillz’ “target group” is the authentic and curious human being. It doesn’t matter if you are old or young; black, purple or blue; if you are working in the design or art industry or not – EVERYBODY is welcome. We strive to have a great mix of people from all walks of life to come together for an inspiring time in a creative and casual environment.

Take a look at the Facebook page for more info, and take a look at the details for the next event, ‘Living Small’

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