Our sustainability initiatives and landfill diversion practices.


From the outset we’ve been passionate about sustainability. It’s in our DNA, so we’ve been implementing some exciting, game changing initiatives to try and set a new benchmark in hospitality.

We have achieved our initial target of diverting 96% of waste from landfill by segregating 17 different waste streams across all HSW venues. These streams are then appropriately recycled, composted, or redirected. Since July 2020 we’ve redirected over 4,500 tonnes of waste from landfill.

With the introduction of Goterra to the precinct, we’re adding another innovative solution to waste streams, transforming waste into fertiliser and processing up to 600kg of waste every day through our new cutting-edge, insect powered system – taking us another step closer to our goal of one day becoming the most sustainable precinct on the planet.

But we won’t stop there – our next goal is to achieve 97% diversion from landfill, working toward zero waste. And to one day become the most sustainable precinct on the planet.

With restaurants, cafes, bars and a brewery that supply food and beverage across the Howard Smith Wharves Precinct, our core sustainability focus has been around ensuring the waste that is generated across the many outlets is separated, segregated, and recycled. In addition to the precinct initiatives, HSW has also partnered with local organisations including OzFish, Healthy Land and Water, Echo Valley Farm, Maleny Dairies and The Mini Farm Project.

Read on and watch the video to find out more.

What we're doing

Oysters – OzFish

HSW has partnered with OzFish, the largest community driven shellfish restoration project in Australia, with 19.4 hectares of reef restoration the target in the next 5 years.

Over 3 tonnes of used oyster shells from HSW are diverted from landfill to the OzFish Moreton Bay Shellfish Recycling Centre. Every oyster shell that is recycled will provide a home for up to 10 baby oysters.

Shellfish reefs made up of oysters and mussels offer a whole suite of ecosystem services. Each restored hectare of native oyster reef can filter 2.7 billion litres of seawater removing 225kg of nitrogen and phosphate, produce an additional 2.5 tonnes of harvestable fish every year and divert tonnes of used shell from landfill.



Through co-mingled recycling, and programs such as Simply Cups and the OzFish Moreton Bay Shellfish Reef Restoration Project, we are able to recycle a significant amount of waste which would otherwise go to landfill.

We now have 17 different waste streams across all venues which have been consolidated into coordinated pickups. These waste streams include glass, cardboard, food waste, spent grain, compostable waste, cooking oil, oyster shells, non-wax lined cardboard, coffee and ice-cream cups, steel food tins, polystyrene boxes, e-waste, batteries, soft plastics, confidential paper, recyclable containers, general waste.

A consolidated and centralised waste management plan has resulted in a a reduction of 124 trucks per week or 6,448 trucks per year visiting the precinct.

Recycling, compost and general waste bins are clearly marked throughout the precinct including in public areas, back of house and office spaces.

Composting & Supporting Local Farmers

We are working towards 100% zero waste by processing food and brewery waste through three on-site, closed-loop composters, turning the potential landfill into a healthy natural fertiliser.

Spent grain from Felons Brewery and composted waste is provided free of charge to like-minded suppliers and farmers including Maleny Dairies, Echo Valley Farm, and The Mini Farm Project. Watch the video HERE. These waste products are repurposed as animal feed and nutrient rich fertisiler, promoting a closed-loop system and encouraging sustainable farming practices.

And compostable waste such as green waste, paper straws, printer dockets and wine corks are sent to Nugrow, Queensland’s leading recycling and regeneration site, and turned into valuable compost.



In a Queensland first, we’re thrilled to have partnered with Goterra in November 2023, adding another innovative solution to our waste streams on-site by harnessing the natural power of insects.

This cutting-edge solution, revolutionises food waste management at the precinct, marking a significant stride towards a greener and more sustainable future for the hospitality industry.

We currently divert 96% of waste from landfills by utilising 17 different waste streams and with the introduction of the Goterra system, with capacity to process 1.2 tonnes of food waste a day.

Crystalbrook Vincent

Since November 2021, our sustainability journey has taken on a new challenge and expanded by bringing Crystalbrook Vincent on board with our efforts. The Crystalbrook Group are the first hospitality group in Australia to achieve 100% waste-free bathrooms, with all of their bathroom amenities being biodegradable or recyclable. Creating sustainable experiences to achieve #responsibleluxury, the Crystalbrook Group have saved over 4 million plastic amenity bottles, and over 1.6 million plastic water bottles from landfill since opening their first hotel in 2018.

We’re thrilled to have Crystalbrook Vincent onboard with us, and we look forward to further enhancing our environmental credentials as we work towards our zero waste goal.


We have an open-door policy on our sustainability initiatives and have welcomed hundreds of Brisbane businesses, hospitals, universities, schools and community groups and waste contractors, to see our equipment and processes in practice, and hopefully inspire them to adopt similar practices.

To enquire about school or community sustainability education sessions, please email


Since beginning our sustainability journey HSW has been presented with a number awards:

The WasteSMART Business Award (2023)

Lord Mayor’s Business Awards, Better Brisbane Award (2023)

QLD Hotel Association Awards, Environment and Energy Efficiency Practice – Finalist (2023)

Lord Mayor’s Business Awards, Environmental Sustainability in Business – Finalist (2022)

Australian Hotels Association (AHA) Excellence in Innovation, Sustainability and Energy Efficiency Practice (2022)

Queensland Hotels Association (QHA) Best Environmental & Energy Efficiency Practice (2022)

Queensland Hotels Association (QHA) Best Environmental & Energy Efficiency Practice (2021)

The WasteSMART Business Award (50+ employees) (2020)

And a special mention in the Lord Mayor’s Business Awards (2020)

2019 National Trust Heritage Awards
Silver Award – Adaptive Re-use Category

2018 Heritage Hero by the National Trust of Australia

Sign up for the latest news, events and special offers from HSW

"(Required)" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Book at HSW


Please select your date, time and number of guests, then select your preferred location from the venue options at Howard Smith Wharves.

It will show all available options for your group size.

Walk-ins always welcome at Mr Percivals, Stanley Bar, Felons Brewing Co. and Felons Barrel Hall.

We look forward to welcoming you to The Wharves!

Want to book an event? Visit our events page