Rollie-poly – Melbourne studio turns food waste into a hot topic

by Melanie Basta
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Melbourne-based industrial design studio, Studio Periscope, has won the 2019 Victorian Design Challenge. The studio won in the professional category on the theme of waste with its concept, Rollie.

Rollie is a hot composting concept for schools that combines education with play, to keep food waste out of landfill and transform it into a valuable resource.

The tool resembles a giant hamster wheel, which allows a child to run on the wheel to aerate the compost.

“We were not fully aware of the benefits of hot-composting until we started researching for this project. Once we understood the importance of aeration and achieving 60 to 65 degrees Celsius heat, we started looking for a design solution that could make the compost process fun and easy for kids,” says co-director Robert Sim.

“Australians throw away approximately 3.1 billion tonnes of food waste each year. If we could ‘Rollie out’ in primary schools Australia-wide, we could potentially divert up to 46,000 tonnes of landfill and reduce CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) emissions by 87,670 tonnes annually. That’s an idea that makes me really excited,” says co-director Lisa Oaten.

The concept is a result of wider community efforts to foster best sustainability practices across workplaces, schools and facilities.

Oaten maintains her enthusiasm for the future. “Looking closely at specific processes is important. There is always a better, faster and more efficient way to achieve something. A little creative thinking can help.

“Apart from general office sustainability of recycling, minimising printing and re-using all parcel packaging materials where possible, our approach to sustainability is more about providing advice to our clients on best manufacturing practice.

“In our core business as industrial designers, we recommend materials and processes so are always on the lookout for better ways to look at each manufacturing process and where it is feasible, we try to select local suppliers.”

Image courtesy of Studio Periscope

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