Ripe café, Ponsonby.

Ripe café is a busy deli and café in the heart of Auckland’s central suburbs. Ripe café is not only committed to providing delicious food, but reducing the café’s impact on the planet as owner Angie Redfern explains.

“Wherever possible we use the highest quality free-range and Kiwi grown ingredients. I also want to ensure that the care spent preparing and creating our food is matched by an equal concern for the ecosystem. Good nourishing food can only come from healthy soil.”

“It’s very important for us that we take as much responsibility as we can and so it’s logical to do things like process our own food waste. We have been composting for a number of years, but it has not been without its problems.”

Recently Angie installed 16 hungry bins into the garden at the back of the café. The 16 bins will process about 5 tonnes a year of food waste, or nearly 200 kilos of food waste a week.

“I was very impressed by how simple and easy the hungry bins are to use.” Says Angie. “They not only look great, but they don’t smell at all, which is essential for us and our neighbours, as we are in a residential area.” 

“Importantly, the hungry bins are processing most of the vegetable scraps we make, and I can use the fertiliser and castings on the herb garden which is great.”

“When spring is here, we are going to do seminars in the garden for people wishing to learn about hungry bins, so hopefully we can inspire others to follow our lead.”

Hungry Bin Worm Farm - Angie Redfern, Owner of Ripe Café in Auckland enjoys a coffee in the cafe's garden.
Angie Redfern, Owner of Ripe Café in Auckland enjoys a coffee in the cafe's garden.

Hungry Bin Worm Farm - NZ Herald, Bite magazine, 24 September 2012
NZ Herald, Bite magazine, 24 September 2012

Kokako, Newton

Mike Murphy runs Kokako, an organic coffee roastery and kitchen. "It's very important to us to consider every step in our business process in the most sustainable and practical way possible," says Mike. "We have eight hungry bins adjacent to our commercial kitchen, and I have calculated that they process 2.5 tonnes of organic waste per year."

"Knowing that we can make such a big difference just by composting our waste is very important to both us and our customers. It's great to know we can take care of our own problem, without having to truck organic waste somewhere else.

“Since we are in a mixed-use zone the bins are very close to neighbouring apartments, and we've never had a complaint of odour or insects. We strive to make our operation as sustainable as possible, and our hungry bins go a long way towards helping us achieve our goal to be a leading sustainable business," says Mike.

Hungry Bin Worm Farm - Mike Murphy, Kokako, Newton.
Mike Murphy, Kokako, Newton.