The Benefits of Food Waste Recycling
Hello summer! We are eager to enjoy our summer and new dining opportunities as cities open up, and we are not alone. Many consumers are flocking to restaurants as they re-open after much anticipation. Unfortunately, this surge in diners means a rise in food waste. We know we don’t have to tell you the increase has led to more waste in dumpsters, unwanted smells and an increase in waste being sent to landfills.
However, there is an effective way to combat an increase in food waste, make your restaurant more sustainable and boost your bottom line. The answer? Food waste recycling.
Here are the benefits found in recycling food waste
1. Carbon emissions are cut
When rotting food is sent to a landfill it produces methane, a greenhouse gas which is emitted into the atmosphere. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), methane is 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. However, in compost bins, microbes convert that organic matter into nutrient-rich soil instead of putting carbon into the atmosphere.
2. Improved aesthetic appeal
Lowering the amount of trash in dumpsters can improve the image of your restaurant by reducing the unpleasant smells and visuals associated with decomposing food.
3. Reduced costs
The rates at landfills have increased at a rapid pace as they run out of space, while recycling rates have gone down because of more competition in areas that require food waste recycling. When food waste is diverted from the landfill to be recycled you inherently save on your trash program.
Where to start
1. Check local recycling requirements
First, make sure to check local recycling requirements. The qualifications for food waste change from one area to another. For example, California classifies packaging that contains food residue as food waste, whereas Massachusetts limits the definition to food products. This knowledge is important because improper sorting can contaminate an entire truckload of waste.
2. Establish a bin system
Recycling bin signage and location are crucial to any restaurant food waste recycling program. It is important to determine collection points, the amount of waste streams you will be collecting and how many you need throughout your facility.
3. Properly train your staff
Train your staff on what can be recycled versus materials that are trash, complying with local requirements.
4. Seek Experts
It is essential for busy managers who want to focus on serving their customers and employees to rely on outside resources. Which is why we suggest working with a managed waste services company that can assist you in executing a waste and recycling program. With climate change, rising landfill costs and regulatory requirements, an experienced managed waste services provider like RWS Facility Services can include food waste recycling in your waste program as a cost-effective way to reduce trash and help the environment. We can train staff, optimize processes and establish a bin system.
Engaging us to do what we do best means you can focus on providing your guests with the superior service they have long-awaited to experience.