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  • Roasting in a residential area

    Hi Guys,
    Im about to start roasting from a shed in my backyard with a 10kg roaster.
    Its a residential area and it is prohibited by council.
    I was going to start roasting and plead ignorance if the council ever knocked on my door - but Im starting to feel uneasy about this and will probably apply for a permit or rent a shed in an industrial location.
    Id like to know how many roasters started out by ignoring council warnings and ran a roaster from the backyard.
    Were you caught out?
    Id also like to hear from those that have proceeded to get council approval - what was required?
    And finally how many roast on a 10kg or less roaster with an Afterburner?

    Cheers!

  • #2
    Re: Roasting in a residential area

    A 10kg is a biggy to run from home... 5kg max, you could get away with it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Roasting in a residential area

      Dont worry about the council,their fines pale in comparison with the EPAs.There is a reason why we have light industrial/commercial zones.Then there are building,health,workplace health and safety,insurance issues etc.......Even a 2kg roaster produces enough smoke to cover 5 hectares of area.The smell of roasted coffee travels even further.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Roasting in a residential area

        Good question.

        And the answer is:

        As elbeano stated its the EPA you need to be worried about.

        And they will find out......they respond to complaints. Someone in reasonable proximity to you (ie one of your neighbours) WILL complain, and you will get a knock on the door.

        If no one complains you will be left to do your own thing ad infinitum but note...this is not likely.

        They will come and see you EVEN if you are in an industrial area if your neighbours complain...being in an industrial area is no defence.

        Regardz,
        FC.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Roasting in a residential area

          I know of a guy running a 10kg roaster in a shop. Not much smoke, no afterburner and no visits from the EPA...yet!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Roasting in a residential area

            I dont undrestand why you might consider establishing a commercial enterprise, and knowingly do something that is illegal. Or why would you want to inconvenience your neighbours and create a bad reputation at the outset?

            Maybe you should allow that uneasy feeling you are experiencing to come to the forefront so that you can do what is right.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Roasting in a residential area

              Originally posted by fenners link=1193365321/0#4 date=1193385847
              I know of a guy running a 10kg roaster in a shop. Not much smoke, no afterburner and no visits from the EPA...yet!
              My guess is that he has the right exhaust extraction pipes/fans etc etc that do not send emissions into the neighbourhood.

              Even roasting 300 - 500 grams in a Coretto stinks, and I am very conscious of when I am roasting in my back garden so as not to stink the neighbours, and I live on a large block.

              I dont want to offend you but I think you are being arrogant if you assume you can do whatever you want in your back shed regardless of
              1) The law & the EPA, and
              2) Your neighbours who may experience breathing difficulties as a result of inhaling the fumes from the roaster.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Roasting in a residential area

                Hi Fenners,

                With all due respect, I think this is a recipe for disaster, not to mention hugely inconsiderate of your neighbours.

                If you dont set yourself or one of them on fire, you can start saving now for the big fine that you will receive from the EPA when somebody complains- and believe me, somebody is guaranteed to complain.

                Then, assuming that you can get public liability insurance, the insurance company wont pay out because you wont have any permits to conduct what is an illegal activity. One or more of your neighbours will most likely sue you. How deep are your pockets?

                There is a great case study in Tasmania with a roaster who had done all of the required homework and got everything in order. He still rubbed the locals up the wrong way. I suggest you find it and read it as a matter of extreme urgency.

                For mine, it doesnt take much effort to do the right thing and we here at CS like to consider others in the ways we operate. As a consumer, I would be unprepared to purchase brown beans produced by means which are highly unethical...

                Sorry to rant, but thats the way I feel.....Do it right, or dont do it and save yourself the court costs.

                2mcm

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Roasting in a residential area

                  Arrogant? Yes. Who isnt. Now please no guessing.
                  A wise man once said it is always better to ask than to make assumptions.
                  In future I will add more detail to my posts to assist people in making informed comment rather than assumptions.
                  I understand that environmental issues provoke strong debate but please understand that I havent yet started this venture (and its not yet a commercial venture) - I want to hear from others with similar experience and factual advice.

                  SO, has anyone actually tried this or am I the first person to give it a go? Has anyone had the same idea and thought better of it?

                  I have asked this question because I dont want to upset the neighbours and dont want to create a bad reputation. I dont really want to know what people think about the idea, just have you tried it - yes - great tell me about your experience. Or no - ok move on to the next post, no comment required thank you.

                  Firstly, Im not stupid. I dont want to kill my children, my wife, my neighbours or myself from roasting - Im trying to learn about the emissions, their effect on the environment and how they compare to other generally accepted emissions eg log fires. Any help on this learning curve would be appreciated. I also dont want to burn my house down. Duh!

                  I am trying to improve the quality of coffee in my area, but its going to be a slow process. You cant change people overnight and consequently I dont see the value in outlaying thousands for an industrial setup from day one.
                  At this stage it is all a hobby for me.
                  I intend to start slow and small - I wont be roasting 24/7 - I will practice my craft and hopefully sell a few bags along the way as I build up my reputation.
                  My knowledge and experience gained thus far from speaking with people in the roasting industry tells me that initially my roasting wont cause too much nuisance however, I do intend to be successful so at some point in the future my roasting time will increase and with that will come an increase in pollution. I am trying to get more of an idea from others experience, say experience, of when that time might come so I can make an informed decision on:
                  A) Go ahead and give it a go, then get permits if I consider it a viable commercial venture
                  B) Get permits
                  C) Get an afterburner then A or B
                  D) Install some sort of commercial rangehood-style device that would provide a suitable pollutant filter then A or B

                  Hopefully that all makes sense and gets things back on the right track.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Roasting in a residential area

                    http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,17886647-3462,00.html

                    http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/worldregional/australasia/208302

                    Theres two links for the case in question.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Roasting in a residential area

                      I know a guy that resides in a semi rural area and roasts on a 10 or 15kg roaster without and afterburner... Its not a farm but the blocks are fairly large.
                      Another roaster I know of uses a 12kg roaster without an afterburner in what you might call a semi commercial zone. There are houses and restaurants in the general vicinity. He has been roasting for a few years now. Ive been 4 blocks away and was able to smell the roast smoke. Ive often wondered how it hasnt been an issue for him.

                      Id like to know what if any comparison can be made between roaster smoke and wood burning fires. Im guessing roaster smoke is a little more toxic, but in winter wood fires seem so ubiquitous.


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Roasting in a residential area

                        "Its a residential area and it is prohibited by council.
                        I was going to start roasting and plead ignorance if the council ever knocked on my door.... Id like to know how many roasters started out by ignoring council warnings and ran a roaster from the backyard.
                        Were you caught out?..."

                        You know what....I was trying to be diplomatic before, but truth is, I really find this offensive. You say you want to improve the quality of coffee in your area? Then go to Council, EPA, etc. like anyone ethical person would.

                        I dont think we need the likes of this thread here!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Roasting in a residential area

                          Hey Fenners - looks like youve inflamed a few passionate responses here mate!

                          Consumers are increasingly embracing products that have an ethical & environmentally friendly aspect about them - witness the growing interest in Fairtrade & organic coffee for instance. I believe that commercial roasters who can demonstrate their commitment & investment in significantly reducing toxic emissions in their operation will surely be a drawcard for consumers. Thinking environmental is wise marketing - if you integrate it as a core part of your roasting venture, then it will reap marketing rewards down the track as consumers see your ethical point-of-difference.

                          Heres another interesting read (albeit American):

                          http://www.roastmagazine.com/backissues/septoct2006/blowingsmoke.html

                          Fenners, hows this for an idea ... You say that youre keen on eventually making roasting a full-on commercial venture, but will start off slow & small and until then will practise your craft. A 10kg roaster seems to me pretty big for a small beginning. Why not have a much smaller 1-2kg capacity roaster in your (well ventilated) shed to hone your skills/blends, pre-empt grief from pissed-off neighbours, give samples to cafes in your area, & if they come screaming back for more rent out space in an industrial zone (AFTER getting all required permits) & THEN let your 10kg beast roar!

                          You mentioned that a wise man once said its always better to ask questions rather than make assumptions. Well, love thy neighbour is another wise ditty I recall some wise dude once uttering.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Roasting in a residential area

                            Something that also came to mind is the intention of selling to a few people.

                            If you intend on doing this, then doesnt it make your hobby or experiment a commercial venture?

                            Once you start venturing into that territory, you need to get permits, an ABN and pay taxes etc.

                            If mr Taxman even suspects you are selling something to people whether it is experimaental or not, for profit or not, you may get yourself into an awful lot of hot water as Mr Taxman doesnt like people keeping money from him, no matter if you plead ignorance hobby experiment or whatever, you may findyourself in bucket loads of trouble.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Roasting in a residential area

                              Mr Taxman doesnt like people keeping money from him, no matter if you plead ignorance hobby experiment or whatever, you may findyourself in bucket loads of trouble.

                              Hey Lucinda, might start calling my wife The Taxman - she doesnt like me witholding money from her, even when I plead ignorance, or that I need the money for my hobby (more green beans pllleeeease shnookums ...), and yes I find myself in bucket loads of trouble! ;D

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