The company is now servicing more than 20 homes and several local cafes
Food wastage is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and if it was a country, it would be the world’s third largest emitter, behind the U.S. and China. However, composting food scraps in city homes can be messy. Carly Hardy, chemical engineer, tried to address these issues by creating Kooda, a Perth-based start-up that collects buckets of food scraps from inner-city homes and businesses and turns them into super-nutritious plant food. All started after Hardy faced difficulties in her attempt to compost her household’s scrap. "At the time, I had seven people in my household ... I got a worm farm and I was so excited and it was just a disaster," she said. "I either had flies and not enough water or too much water and was drowning the worms. There was so much food scraps from my household that one worm farm couldn't do it, two couldn't do it, and three couldn't do it", she added. It was then that she decided to go bigger, and started collecting other people's scraps for composting in large dumpster bins. She named her start-up Kooda, which in Noongar language means "gathering basket", and is now servicing more than 20 homes and several local cafes.
The initiative’s impact
About 200 kg of food scraps which would otherwise end up in landfills are collected each week, with coffee grounds making about half of the collected waste. The project has also raised the environmental awareness of local people regarding food wastage. "We waste so much and it is not until you start to see how many buckets go out the front ... and you just look at the food and think I bought so much and I only ate half of it," says Erica Nolan, who has been using Kooda in recent months. "You start to appreciate your impact more ... so it has made me more conscious of what I buy and it has made me more respectful of food ... and when I do throw things out at least I know it is coming back as worm castings", she adds.