Mt Barney Blog

The Sharewaste Economy comes to Boonah

Wednesday, January 09, 2019


Cooking good food usually means cooking from scratch, and that usually generates quite a lot of “rubbish”. But rather than looking at this waste as .... well …. waste, we would like to reframe it as a valuable resource.

As of November 2018 Mt Barney Lodge officially entered the ShareWaste Economy – it’s a growing resource sector- and the best thing is the kitchen scraps are free!!

For many years Mt Barney Lodge has been composting 100% of their food scraps onsite which are collected from the four homesteads and cabins. We include this with other ingredients such as office and amenities paper waste, garden waste, property weeds and Ruby poo (she’s our horse-mower in the paddock!).

In November, Mt Barney Lodge approached a café that was about to open in Boonah, Queensland with an offer that they couldn’t refuse!! We noticed that Hummingbirds Pantry and Café were committed to opening an eco-friendly business model that included the sale of bulk food and cleaning items (BYO container or use paper bags), and the preparation of homemade café fare with raw foods and kombucha as feature. We saw an opportunity help them close the loop in their business practices, as well as providing a leading example that other businesses in town and the wider Scenic Rim council area could follow. ... ultimately, we want to show others that you can turn waste into new soil rather than adding yet another pile to landfill.

How does composting work?

Food waste – pretty much everything that is green or ‘can go green’ like coffee grounds, food leftovers, kitchen waste, eggshells and more are collected by Hummingbirds in a 120 litre wheelie bin and layers of carbon in the form of paper, cardboard and sawdust are also introduced to set up the ideal 1:10 nitrogen to carbon ration in the bin. This effectively allows aerobic composting to start straight away, and means that the bin is “sweet” when opened. The biggest turnoff to staff participating in food waste collection over time is the smell … and we have solved that!!



How does the ShareWaste Economy work?

The food waste collection bin is swapped weekly (or when full) with it’s stunt double, and the bins travel between Boonah and Mt Barney on a back run, so that no extra fuel consumption is needed for a project that is endeavouring to be eco.

Other local business have also jumped on board to support this new initiative and to solve their own waste problems. Boonah Podiatry has committed to collecting the paper handtowels from their practice, and Boonah Fruit Supply donates used cardboard and paper.

Promoting the collection to the local public has already generated residents requesting some scraps for their home use from Hummingbirds as well as conversations about who else can be involved and how other waste from other café’s can be captured in Boonah. Mt Barney Lodge welcomes further conversation with other business about how their business practices can become more eco. Often the solutions are simple!

For individuals wanting to compost home food waste, there is a national not-for-profit organisation called Share Waste that indicates where sites are that are local to you that you will take your food waste donations. They have a great map and even an app to help you find your nearest drop off property. Mt Barney Lodge has also signed onto this – but we reckon only our campers will turn up with scraps.

It is worth noting that there is also 2 ShareWaste neighbours at Mt Alford, and one at Laravale. So four sites in total in the Scenic Rim … that’s a start. But there are dozens registered in Brisbane, so if you haven’t got your own composting thing going, and you live in a city, here must be a convenient drop off near you.

Mt Barney Lodge looks forwards to the day that Hummingbirds tells us – “sorry we can’t give you our compost anymore as a more local person/business/community garden has taken up the collection”!!

For further information please contact Tracey Larkin of Mt Barney Lodge on 5544 3233 or




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