Circular & Upcycled Oyster Mushrooms in the City Centre

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We want to locally grow & distribute oyster mushrooms from a locally diverted waste stream: office and hospitality coffee grounds. For this process, you need four things: coffee grounds, mushroom spawn, a cold room and a warm room.

We’ve started collecting green waste and coffee grounds from fourteen businesses in Secret Village (west part of Reguliersdwarsstraat and its side streets), every weekday. We currently compost all of it in the area, but we’d like to start producing oyster mushrooms from the coffee grounds ASAP. We’ve secured the cold room, but we’ve yet to find a small local space (±10m2, ±500m from Muntplein) that can function as the warm room. We’re also working on finalising a participation project with the municipality, for manpower needed for the collection and distribution of coffee grounds and mushrooms.

See also

Secret Village project page: www.greencitybuzz/secret-village

To read about all our activities in Secret Village, navigate to http://www.greencitybuzz.nl/secret-village/#projecten

What is the goal of the project?

By diverting and composting the green waste stream, we reduce the total waste volume in the area, and so, the number of trucks necessary to collect it. We also engage business owners/managers in sustainable development, who otherwise would not be open to that.

What is the result of the project?

We divert waste streams from the conventional truck-driven waste management circuit, and upcycle this waste into two valuable products: soil enricher (from composting and the final waste stream from mushroom cultivation) and a consumer product: oyster mushrooms.

Who initiated the project and which organizations are involved?

Green City Buzz initiated this project, initially working together with Containing Mushrooms for guidance. We’re also working with the municipality to mobilise manpower (through a participation project) for the collection and distribution of coffee grounds and mushrooms.

What is the next step?

To be able to start production, we’ve yet to find a small local space (±10m2, ±500m from Muntplein) that can function as the warm room. There’s no unpleasant odours associated with the process, unless you don’t like the smell of coffee :-) We’re also working with the municipality on mobilising manpower (through a participation project) for the collection and distribution of coffee grounds and mushrooms. There are more businesses who’d like to join the project, and we can’t currently process an increase in volume.

What can other cities learn from your project?

The reason why most businesses are eager to join the project is that the cost of commercial waste collection is determined by volume. We decrease the remaining volume and therefore diminish costs for participants. We deliberately stress this to potential participants. Not all businesses are open to sustainable improvements, but it’s hard to find a business manager not open to cost-reducing suggestions. We also keep participation low-threshold: all we ask from participants is that they separate green waste and coffee grounds; we come in and collect it - for free. The lesson: to get the commercial sector to participate in sustainable development, we make solutions very low-threshold, and try to speak their language.

greencitybuzz.nl/secret-village

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