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.