Teachers and students at Box Hill Institute’s Pets on Elgar dog grooming salon are now recycling up to 95 per cent of their waste thanks to a partnership with Sustainable Salons Australia.
Sustainable Salons Australia was well established in the hairdressing industry in 2016 when Pets on Elgar first presented its idea to trial a similar program for the pet grooming industry.
Through an Australian first pilot program, Sustainable Salons Australia conducted waste collection research on Pets on Elgar’s grooming salon and trialled the use of pet hair in oil absorption.
The research found that pet hair is even better than human hair when it comes to absorbing oil, perfect for hair booms, which are used in oil spills.
Like hairdressing salons, the research found that waste such as paper, plastics, chemicals and grooming tools can also be repurposed and redistributed.
The success of the pilot program led to the full implementation of Sustainable Salon Australia’s recycling program in pet grooming salons around Australia.
Animal Studies teachers at Box hill Institute also underwent training to become more sustainable business practitioners, learning how to limit the amount of waste that ends up in landfill.
Acting Dean of the Faculty of Health, Community and Life Sciences, Heidi Wenk said Australia-wide, salons are partnering with Sustainable Salons Australia to improve environmental outcomes and awareness.
‘This puts our students at an advantage with respect to employability, they will be aware of the program and will be industry ready.’
The program not only helps the environment but also the community. Proceeds collected from the recycled materials are donated to Oz Harvest, which provides meals for the homeless.