A local eco-farming initiative is working alongside Cape Town eateries to fight against food waste and overloaded landfills by converting their organic waste into compost and methane gas that can be used for cooking, lighting and heating.
Rainbow Warriors International is a registered non-profit founded with the aim of educating impoverished rural communities and small-scale farmers about the impacts of climate change and teaching them how to thrive in a warming world.
In an interview with Cape Talk, head of Rainbow Warriors Ryan Fortune explained their latest project to tackle food waste. According to Fortune, overloaded landfills is a huge issue in Cape Town. They have therefore partnered with a number of local cafés and restaurants to make better use of their organic waste.
“The project was an attempt to get an understanding of the kind of challenges faced by restaurants around dealing with food waste,” Fortune says.
Most organic food waste ends up in landfills, which is contributing to the province’s already overloaded landfills.
7.7 -million tonnes of waste is produced in the Western Cape, most of which comes from the City of Cape Town.
Once in the landfill, the waste decomposes anaerobically and creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that has harmful effects on climate change.
“In the Western Cape and in Cape Town in particular, we are running out of landfill space,” says Fortune. “We are just filling up the Earth with this profusion of our waste products.”
“It’s organic waste that could be turned into something useful, something valuable, instead of the damaging effect that it has, just by simple behaviour change.”
The project on food waste was recently started to see how they could make a difference. Rainbow Warriors is working with popular Nourish’d Café and Juicery.
Every day, Rainbow Warriors collects a bucket of waste and uses a bio-digester to convert organic waste into methane gas and compost. The methane gas can then be used or heating, cooking and lighting, thus acting as a great alternative source of fuel.
Nourish’d founder Natasha Napoli encourages other restaurants in South Africa and the world over to be more conscious of their organic waste and environmental impact.
Picture: Facebook / Rainbow Warriors International