Green restaurant ratings system for Hout Bay

The Thrive mentors are, back from left, Ellen Nortje, Mark Woodhouse, Patty Taljaard, Bronwen Lankers-Byrne and John Colclouth and from front left are, Angela Sayer-Farley, Nontsiki Martel and Dudley Hartford.

A new restaurant-ratings system seeking to align local establishments with environmental sustainability has been launched in Hout Bay.

“Project Zero: for the Good of Our Hood” is being driven by Hout Bay’s green watchdog and non-profit, Thrive Hout Bay, and involves a three-point plan to get restaurants up to speed with eco-friendly trends.

Ten Thrive “mentors” will be approaching more than 60 restaurants, pubs and bistros to be part of the campaign.

Should they agree to be part of the project, they will be awarded a minimum of one and a maximum of three stars depending on how well they meet the various criteria.

Their star rating will be displayed on a sticker at the entrance to their establishment, while restaurants will also feature on a map designed by resident Janine Barry, pointing diners to their precise location.

There are three criteria:

Restaurants will need to ensure staff separate glass bottles, clean plastic and dry paper and cardboard and place these in free clear plastic bags provided by the City of Cape Town. The bags will be put out for collection by Wasteplan on refuse collection day.

They will need to make an effort to separate the food waste from the restaurant (vegetables peelings, leftover food scraps) for composting – either on-site or for transporting to a composting site nearby Soil for Life or the Thrive-supported composting site at DARG, where the Ubuntu Farmers make and sell the compost.

They will need to buy local when ordering fresh vegetables, which are available from local school and community food gardens.

Thrive director Bronwen Lankers-Byrne said restaurants taking part in the campaign would cut down on their required number of black bins, drastically reducing their refuse-collection bill.

“They could also help keep municipal refuse charges affordable by reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill and delaying the need for new landfill sites, while playing a part in building a sustainable Hout Bay for ourselves and for our children,” she said.

The Thrive mentors will conduct monthly audits of the restaurants, looking at recycling/landfill statistics, composting data and food-purchase details. They will also provide tips for restaurants, such as removing plastic straws and plastic bags for takeaways.

Anthony Streobel, owner of the Bay Harbour Market, said the ratings system was a “great idea”.

“I think even more criteria can be added, such as looking at an establishment’s water usage.

“Bronwen and I have worked closely together for a number of years, and she has assisted us with our
waste management. Further down the line, we could look at things like job creation stemming from the campaign.”