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Not just a pretty face

By Clare Cunnington

If you have ever worked in a commercial kitchen you may be familiar with the term “dish pig”. Usually, the term refers to the person who lands the task of washing most of the dishes and, as the name implies, it is not one of the most glamorous jobs in the workplace! That is until now.

A few years ago, a group of committed individuals in Yackandandah formed a group called Plastic Wise and set about reducing, and in some instances eliminating, single use plastic in the town. After successfully removing plastic bags from the local supermarket, they set themselves a bigger goal. To eliminate single use plastic cups, plates and cutlery from local festivals and events. Eight months later, the Dish Pig was born.

The Dish Pig is a converted horse float that now proudly exists as a mobile, fully equipped dishwasher which also holds crockery, cutlery and cups to meet the eating needs of more than 300 people at a time. She can be moved to any place that has access to water and power and provides customers with what they need to enjoy a festival meal or a market coffee, and then will wash the dirty plates and cups for the next person to use.

The innovation and World First is the brainchild of Plasticwise Yackandandah, and hopes to reduce waste at public events and make plastic knives and forks, and disposable plates and cups a thing of the past. A seating area can be set up near the Dish Pig as a comfortable conversation place to chat about ways to change our disposable culture. It complies with Food Safety laws and regulations and is designed in accordance with advice from Indigo Shire Council. The front of the vehicle has a beautiful quirky pig’s face – hence the name Dish Pig!

The launch of the Dish Pig was to be at the Yackandandah Folk Festival 2019 but Covid put a stop to that. During the first lock down the Dish Pig was used at a local childcare facility to ensure toys were correctly sanitised but it is now looking forward to getting out and about at waste-free events in the district.

If you would like to hire Dish Pig for an event, please contact Plasticwise Yackandandah on 0448 460 792.