We’ve all heard that we need to reduce, reuse and recycle. While it’s important that we commit to going green individually, it’s even more important for businesses and corporations. A single restaurant disposes of an estimated 2,000 pounds of total waste a week, much of which could be recycled or donated.
Recycling doesn’t have to be costly or inconvenient. After making a few simple changes it will grow into a routine that not only improves the community but is great for the Earth. Below are a few “do’s” and “dont’s” to help your restaurant reduce its waste output and develop great recycling habits.
- DO buy items with a long shelf life in bulk. Doing so helps to eliminate unnecessary extra packaging. Buy condiments in large containers and refill dispensers instead of offering individual condiment packages.
- DO buy cleaning chemicals in concentrate. Chemicals from concentrate waste much less packaging than ready-to-use chemicals. Simply add the appropriate amount of water to a bit of the concentrate and place in a separate, reusable container.
- DO switch from plastics and foam to biodegradable materials. Our Empress Earth line, which is a great line of disposables made of sustainable raw materials that are microwave safe, freezer safe and compostable.
- Use unwrapped straws to cut back on additional waste.
- DO offer recycling bins alongside trash bins. Give customers the option to recycle their disposable dishes when they’re finished eating. Make sure to read up on what can and cannot be recycled in your area and leave a sign above the recycling bin informing of these policies.
- DO offer takeout containers. Give customers the option of taking leftovers home to cut back on food waste. Just make sure to give the customer the correct size of takeout container for their leftovers.
- DO label food and use them in the order they were opened/used. To keep food fresh and avoid spoilage, develop a system to utilize the oldest food first to keep them from going bad.
- DO start composting. Composting is a system that turns organic material like eggshells and animal bones into nutrient rich soil. If you don’t have space for your own compost, you can check with your waste management provider to see if they have any compost haul-away services you can become a part of.
- DON’T buy produce in bulk. Whether there is a great sale or it’s convenient to buy your produce weeks in advance, buying produce in bulk just isn’t a good idea. Produce that is bought in bulk is much more likely to spoil before it can be used.
- DON’T throw out extra food at the end of the day.3 percent of unused food in America is thrown away and only 15.7 percent is recycled or donated. If you cannot use the food, consider donating it to a food bank or shelter.
- DON’T throw away remaining pieces of produce. A good kitchen uses every bit of food it has. Try using leftover vegetable and fruit stalks as seasoning or garnish and use leftover bones to make broth. Use up the entirety of each of your ingredients.
- DON’T use Styrofoam if you can avoid it. Styrofoam is the least biodegradable disposable material. Its waste is able to linger around for over 500 years. Instead, check out bagasse and paper
No matter if you only make one change or all, you’re taking steps toward a greener earth. The future is ours to create, and there’s no time like the present to start making it wonderful!
Call us today at 402.331.3243 for a FREE, no-obligation analysis with one of our facility solutions specialists to see how much you could save!