Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. A time of reflection, prayer and piety, it is marked most openly with a fast that begins at sunrise and ends at sunset. The end of each day’s fast is most commonly marked with a communal or familial meal, one that’s often also a feast. This creates a unique waste situation for the community and organisations like Cleanaway.
In Lakemba for instance, the festivities often produce a lot of organic food waste that Cleanaway has the capacity to recycle. Before 2015, food waste was primarily thrown into street litter bins provided by the City of Canterbury Bankstown Council. In 2015, Cleanaway worked together with the City of Canterbury Bankstown to run a trial for organic food waste recycling services during Ramadan.
30 organic food waste bins were supplied to stallholders, collected twice weekly. In 2015, 20 tonnes of food waste were collected. The next year, 35 bins were allocated and there was a 14% increase of organic food waste collected in 2016.
These bins were utilised to their fullest, with low levels of contamination. This had a spill over effect in ensuring correct use of regular kerbside services. And where does the waste go? Part of it is channelled into food organics processing facilities such as EarthPower.
Cleanaway is proud to be working with the local community and mosque to create a more sustainable future by diverting waste from landfills through initiatives like these.