Starting a Restaurant Recycling Program

Starting a Restaurant Recycling Program

recycling bin Recycling is becoming a more important strategy to reduce restaurant operating cost and waste. Here are a few tips that will help you make the best recycling decision for your establishment.

  1. Reduce and reuse. The first steps to any successful recycling system are to reduce the amount of waste being produced and reuse where you can.   » Learn More
  2. Know the local laws. Recycling is the law in many locales, and certain recyclables may be banned from landfills. If your local laws require a recycling program, they may outline the types of materials to be recycled and suggest handlers.
  3. Conduct a waste audit.Take some time to walk through your establishment and see the types and quantities of products in your waste.
  4. Contact your waste handler.Speak with your local waste handler to determine if they have a recycling program and how your restaurant can participate.
  5. Cost is key. Most recycling programs are cheaper than regular pickup, but some programs are just not feasible for a specific business. Evaluate how a particular program will affect your bottom line before making a determination.
  6. Gain employee involvement. Designate a person or team of people as recycling coordinators to oversee your recycling efforts. Start with volunteers, so you know those in charge are as serious about recycling as you.
  7. Use labeled bins for each type of waste. Labeled recycling containers help employees and customers know what type of material goes in each container. Some even have slotted tops that will only accept a certain type of waste for even easier sorting.>
  8. Save used cooking oil. Biodiesel is growing in popularity as an alternative fuel source. Firms are contracting with and paying local restaurants to haul away old oil, so your used fryer oil can become a source of revenue.
  9. Talk to local growers. Food waste is a valuable resource that can be composted into a soil additive. Many local farmers or greenhouses may have a compost program and should be happy to take food waste off your hands.
  10. Tell your customers. Diners enjoy hearing about a restaurant's recycling efforts; it shows you care about more than just making a profit. This can lead to a better public image and increased traffic.
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