A project 18 months in the making has officially launched at Tremain's Mill, with two sustainable wicking beds set to revolutionise the management of food waste.
Bathurst councillor John Fry, in partnership with Sydney sustainability coach Michael Mobbs and local builder Blair Stapley, spent part of last week installing the wicking beds, which break down food waste into soil to help encourage plant growth.
Mr Mobbs said the Tremain's Mill precinct served as an ideal location to launch the project.
"It's inspiring to see local money, locally made products and local labour go into a project to increase the profitability of hospitality businesses as a result of reduced waste disposal bills," he said.
"By the time spring comes, these wicking beds are going to look terrific, and I truly feel other businesses will be lining up to secure one for themselves."
Mr Mobbs said the wicking beds also serve as further seating options for hospitality businesses, and will help lower the temperature of public spaces once shade is introduced.
"These beds will enable people to pause, linger and further enjoy what public spaces have to offer," he said.
While delighted to see the project come into fruition, Cr Fry said securing funding for the wicking beds was not without its hurdles.
"I was originally allocated $20,000 by Bathurst Regional Council to commence this initiative, which was unfortunately diverted to another project, so Michael and I were left to invest our own time and money," he said.
"When the council funding was no longer available, the state government came to the rescue through the $50,000 Cool City Compost Bench project fund between Chippendale and Bathurst.
"It's great to have these up and running, and we hope this installation will be the first of many."
Tremain's Mill owner Stephen Birrell said the wicking beds will complement other sustainable initiatives in the works at the precinct.
"The site is set for a shift to solar by the end of the year, and one of our key goals is to make this site as sustainable as possible," Mr Birrell said.
"A lot of food waste goes out of the hospitality businesses [Doppio and Pain Et Tartinade] within Tremain's Mill, and these wicking beds have real potential to reduce their food waste bill."
"We hope to invite these businesses to grow vegetables in the beds for their respective menus."
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