Recycling in restaurants

It is estimated that only one restaurant Full-service can create more than 2,000 pounds of waste per week. If this is alarming to you, it may be time to consider how your food establishment you can recycle all that waste. While you may think that the steps to becoming a restaurant Eco-friendly they are time consuming and expensive, you will be surprised how easy it is and how much money you can save. Follow the recycling program ideas below so your restaurant is heading in a greener direction.

What materials can your restaurant recycle?

recycling bottles and cans

Before starting your recycling program restaurant, find out what materials your current supplier recycles management waste and how they should be separated. Once you discover what can be recycled, talk to the front desk and back staff so they understand how to dispose of recyclables. Also, be sure to emphasize to your employees the importance of rinsing the containers before tossing them into their respective containers. Any food particles left on recycled items can contaminate and ruin the recycling batch, so it is best to clean them before collecting.

The most accepted recyclables are made of aluminum, steel, paper and cardboard. Plastic products such as bottles, jars, and jars can also be recycled, but plastic bags and items made from Styrofoam are often not collected at recycling facilities, as it can be difficult to recycle them into new material. If your collector doesn't take aluminum or steel cans, research the companies that will buy them in your local area. While glass items can be recycled, it is important to check if they need to be sorted by color.

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How to recycle food waste

composting food waste

Food waste in restaurants it can be broken down into pre-consumer and post-consumer waste. Pre-consumer food waste includes anything that is thrown away before food is served to guests, such as spoiled food that was not used, by-products of the preparation process, or the packaging your ingredients arrived in. behind. Before any steps are taken to recycle pre- and post-consumer waste, it is important to conduct a food waste audit on your restaurant to determine the type and volume of food thrown away.

While food waste may not immediately seem harmful to the environment, rotting fruits and vegetables emit methane gas, which is an important greenhouse gas. This is especially alarming considering that 40% of all food in the United States is not eaten. Instead of letting your restaurant food pile up in a landfill, consider one of the many ways it can be recycled:

Recycling of pre-consumer food waste

  • Avoid ordering additional products: Even if your supplier offers a specialty product where you can get more products at a low price, don't do it unless your restaurant really needs it. In this way, it prevents excess product from spoiling before it is used.
  • Order items in bulk with a stable shelf life - the  Ordering products that have a longer shelf life in large quantities requires less packaging, resulting in less waste.
  • Use day of the week stickers : Put stickers on items after you buy or prep them, to know when they are close to their expiration date. Also, turn items that are about to expire toward the front of the refrigerator so they are used first.
  • Make use of each part of its ingredients: Fruit and vegetable stems are often considered useless and thrown away. Instead of putting these ingredients in the trash, use them as an additional seasoning in soups and sauces or as a garnish on dishes. Many animal parts are thrown away as well, although they can be used to make broth or dishes like porchetta and head cheese.
  • Donate to a good cause: If you still have too much produce, consider donating the leftovers to a food bank or shelter.
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Recycling of post-consumer food waste

  • Offer guests take away containers : Did you know that the average guest leaves about 17% of their food? Instead of throwing the waste away, give your guest a to-go box so they can take their tasty meals home to eat when they feel less full. Make sure you order boxes that are the right size, that way you can reduce the waste created from the containers.
  • Start composting: This is an innovative recycling method that turns organic materials like egg shells and animal bones into nutrient-rich soil. To start composting, all you need is an aerated container for your compostable materials and an area where the new soil can be protected from severe weather. If you don't have room for your own compost, check with your current compost provider. management waste to see if they offer any compost collection services that you can add to your current plan.

Additional ecological steps

take away container

As mentioned above, Styrofoam is extremely difficult to recycle. Even after 500 years, Styrofoam boxes and cups that are not recycled will remain on our planet because light cannot decompose the material, which is key in the decomposition process. However, there are many other disposable packaging options that are eco-friendly and recyclable, such as biodegradable or compostable products . While these disposable products are a great alternative to other options, try slowly switching to non-disposable serving utensils such as plates of plastic y melamine . Don't forget to involve guests in your recycling program by installing a station recycling a contenedor or a can in your regular garbage disposal area.

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Whether you decide to use all or just one of these recycling program options, you are taking a step forward to create a cleaner environment.

I am a dreamer and in my dreams I believe that a better world is possible, that no one knows more than anyone, we all learn from everyone. I love gastronomy, numbers, teaching and sharing all the little I know, because by sharing I also learn. "Let's all go together from foundation to success"
recycling in restaurants
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