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Reduce Waste & Recycle

See full size chart here. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Imagine opening your refrigerator and randomly throwing out two of every five items. Every. Single. Day. That would be an expensive and extremely wasteful behavior, right?

Similarly, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it is estimated that 25-40 percent of the food that is grown, processed and transported in the United States will never be consumed.

Changing how we perceive “waste”

It isn’t just food that we waste — we overlook opportunities to reuse, recycle, and compost many resources. Often, the infrastructure hasn't caught up with demand.

Without the right local resources to support your efforts, recycling and composting can be difficult. Even if you don’t have a local recycling or composting program, you can minimize what you send to the landfill by changing the way you think about “waste” each day. You need to:

  • Make a commitment! Decide to think and act in ways that will minimize trash creation. Act accordingly. Commitment is key.
  • Start thinking about what you touch, serve and use in your restaurant — and what happens to each product at the end of its life. This mental shift can have profound effects on your business culture.
  • Find champions on your team who can work with you to identify small steps now and work up to bigger actions later.
See full size chart here. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Best Practices

Trash talk:
Measure waste spending

Tracking your bills is your first step to reducing your waste and hauling costs. This also helps ensure you have the right waste pickup schedule.

Waste-stream audits

Learn how and why it is important to measure how much waste you produce in your restaurant.

Controlling food waste

Learn more about food donation, composting and other efforts.

Kick the trash habit: Recycle

An expanded recycling effort may help cut your waste-hauling costs.