©220 by Zero-Waste Providence. 

Augusta Street Kitchen

Augusta Street Kitchen is having its grand re-opening on January 25th at 52A Valley Street in Olneyville, right next to the United Way. With a food focus on small batch and handmade, Augusta Street Kitchen strives to bring you organic and healthy treats and delicious meals, sweet and savory.

 

Why did you decide to compost?  

To make an impact on our carbon footprint and see what were the ways to lower our costs, composting our food waste seemed to be the right choice for us. Composting food wastes lowers our waste disposal cost, creates a product that contributes to increased agricultural yield, fights climate change, and promotes local foodliness. Having access to local food has been shown to fight hunger, so why not compost as much as you can?

What Are Some Of The Challenges With Composting At Your Restaurant?

Separating what is compostable with what is not can be difficult. Believe it or not, there can be some complex dynamics occurring at the chemical and biological level of a heap of decaying organic matter, and certain chemicals or processes in foods could potentially upset that process. So, we try to be responsible in sorting out what can be composted and what cannot. It is also important to sort out any plastics or non-organic matter, because we want to contribute to a small business that will make a good product.

What Are Some Of The Rewards?

Our compost partner, Earth Appliance Organics on Radcliffe St In PVD, makes a great compost product. I like that we can divert much of our food waste, including solid fats and grease trap catching, to the compost depot. We do not pay as much in disposal costs because we also try to recycle as much as possible.

 

There is a sense of pride by being able to contribute to a local business, and seeing Earth Appliance Organics’ business model grow from a well-tested hypothesis to a sought-after business model!

How Has It Affected Your Bottom Line?

Since our opening, we have been lucky enough to see savings from working with Earth Appliance. Our dumpster pickups are not as frequent, which lowers our monthly expenses. The habits we are practicing in the bakery are also following us home, which allows us to make a more meaningful impact in our lifestyles.

 

How Do You Train Your Employees To Deal With The Compostable Waste?

We try to make it as simple as possible. Compost collection buckets are available in the prep space to be able to place food waste in. It makes it easy for everyone working at ASK. A part of the initial training comes from the way we communicate our principles. It is an imperfect practice, but we are proud of the improvement that comes with training!

What Other Things Do You Do In Your Restaurant To Meet Your Sustainability Goals?

We source as many foods as we can from companies that help to support regenerative farming, which is very important in creating carbon heavy and organism-rich fertile soil. We recycle as much as possible. We apply a discount to the cost of our foods if you bring in a reusable coffee mug or reusable container to be used. Regional farms are important to us, so we’ll get as much as we can from them.

 

What Are Some Of Your Wishes?

We would love to be able to source as many foods locally as possible, supported by local compost. A circular, resilient food system is the end goal. Our food waste can help make compost, that compost can help grow veggies, and we can buy those veggies and make delicious food with it.

 

Photo courtesy of Augusta Street Ktchen

Photo courtesy of Augusta Street Kitchen

Augusta St. Kitchen hosts its Access to Health series dedicated to increasing awareness of naturopathic medicine and its impact. Photo courtesy of Augusta Street Kitchen

Photo courtesy of Augusta Street Kitchen