An individual restaurant can produce up to 150,000 pounds of garbage every year, on average. For restaurant owners, this can result in significant waste removal expenses. From an environmental standpoint, that amount of waste can add up quickly in landfills. Restaurant owners who wish to reduce the amount of waste produced by their restaurants every year have several different options to choose from. Here are a few things you can do to reduce waste in your eatery.
Organic Waste Recycling
Organic waste recycling offers restaurants the opportunity to compost their food waste instead of sending it to a landfill. Local waste and recycling services can haul away your organic waste, which can include leftover food, scraps from food preparation and any food that might have spoiled, and send it to a composting facility. This option helps to reduce the amount of trash your restaurant produces by putting food waste to good use.
Participate In A Food Donation Program
By donating food that would otherwise be thrown away, such as bread, sandwiches, soup and other prepared foods, you can help people in your community while reducing waste. Partner with local soup kitchens or homeless shelters to make arrangements for daily donations. You may be able to have someone come to pick up the food every day after closing time to make it easier to donate. If your restaurant is located in an area with a large homeless population, you could also consider opening your doors to everyone at the end of the night for a warm meal in your dining room. You'll get rid of your leftovers and give people a way to feel like they are having a real meal in a restaurant setting.
Ditch Disposable Items
If your restaurant is not a carry-out location, consider abandoning all disposable items in your dining room. Consider promoting a no-straw campaign and switching to cloth napkins. If your restaurant sees lots of kids, have plastic reusable cups with matching straws to keep parents and little ones happy. For take-out items, consider plastic reusable containers that customers can take home and use as food storage containers in their kitchens. Be sure to make your customers aware of any moves you make to abandon disposable items. This can reduce customer frustration and it might even get people excited about your new efforts to go green in your restaurant.
Work with your waste management company to find other ways to recycle waste in your restaurant. If you are planning on promoting your moves to potential customers, consider hiring a marketing company to help advertise your efforts to go green. This may help you to draw in more customers who are concerned about their impact on the environment.