Benefits of Recycling in the Commercial Kitchen
Restaurants create large portions of food to serve many people. With this large amount of production comes a lot of waste, and waste costs money, both in uneaten or spoiled food and trash handling fees. Along with the environmental benefits, there are several other reasons for a restaurant to engage in a recycling program.
- Recycling is good for business. Customers take notice of and appreciate a restaurant's efforts to reduce environmental strain, leading to a better public image. This can increase customer loyalty and spur customer involvement.
- Cheaper trash fees. The fewer times the dumpster needs to be emptied, the less you will have to pay for trash pickup.
- Cash incentives for participation. Some local governments offer monetary assistance for recycling. In addition, trash handlers may have service plans that include recycling and can cost $20 to $50 less per ton than conventional garbage pickup.
- Reduced purchasing cost. Restaurants with an effective waste management system will have several in-house reusable items, like cloth cleaning rags and reusable flatware. This will reduce the amount of new products that need to be purchased. » Learn More about Waste Reduction in the Commercial Kitchen
- Avoid extra costs. In several cities, recyclable materials, like cardboard and newspaper, are banned from landfills. Additional disposal fees are charged to anyone that wants to put recyclable material in a landfill.
- Nearly everything aluminum can be made from recycled aluminum.
- Recycling just one ton of aluminum cans saves the energy equivalent of 1,665 gallons of gasoline.
- As much as 70% of all restaurant waste is food waste.
- Food waste can be composted to create a nutrient rich soil additive.
- Farms, greenhouses, even home gardens can benefit from composted food waste.
- Old cardboard boxes can be donated to charities for reuse or sent to a recycling facility to make new cardboard and other paper products.
- Recycling one ton of cardboard saves 460 gallons of oil.
- Glass can be reused an infinite number of times.
- Anything made of glass can be recycled into new glass products.
- Recycling a single glass bottle saves enough energy to power a 100W light bulb for four hours.
- All non-glossy paper can be recycled into several products including newspaper, bathroom tissue and kitty litter.
- Every ton of paper recycled saves energy equivalent to 185 gallons of gasoline.
- Recycled plastic can be used to create several products ranging from mop heads to t-shirts.
- Five two-liter recycled bottles can produce enough insulation for a men's ski jacket.
- Recycled steel can be made into steel cans, building supplies and tools.
- Steel recycling saves enough energy in one year to power 18 million homes for that entire year.
- Fryer oil can be turned into biodiesel, a popular alternative fuel.
- Rather than paying to have your oil taken away, biodiesel companies are actually paying restaurants for this resource.
More from Going Green...
- Why Go Green in the Commercial Kitchen?
- Going Green in Your Commercial Kitchen: First Steps
- Investing in Green Equipment for Your Commercial Kitchen
- Greenwashing: Not All Things Green are Gold
- Training Your Commercial Kitchen Staff to Go Green
- Green Glossary
- Seals and Certifications in the Commercial Kitchen
- Top 10 Energy-Saving Tips for the Commercial Kitchen
- Energy Assessments for the Commercial Kitchen
- Energy-Efficient Hoods in the Commercial Kitchen
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