Help Solve the Solid Waste Problem
in Your Organization
Basic Standards for Designing
a Recycling Program
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Restaurants and Taverns
Since restaurants and taverns are points
of large scale consumption, recycling should be a key component
Restaurants that use disposable napkins,
utensils or placemats can reduce waste volume by switching to
reusable items. Many restaurants also generate sufficient quantities
of aluminum and glass. Handling of restaurant waste include:
- Recycle corrugated cardboard, glass,
metals and plastic. If space is a problem, specially designed
equipment such as can, glass and plastic crushers are available
to reduce the volume of your recyclable materials.
- Replace beverage bottles and cans.
Most beer and soft drinks can be served on-tap, reducing both
the cost of buying beverages and disposing or recycling cans
and bottles. Even wine can be stored in bulk in some circumstances.
- Replace disposable items (cups, utensils,
trays, dishes and single-serving condiment packages) with reusable
- Eat-in restaurants and hotels can use
reusable napkins and dinnerware, placemats and tablecloths. Switching
from disposables may add to dishwashing and laundry costs, but
will save on the purchase of paper goods and avoid waste disposal
- For carryout and fast food, select
the minimum appropriate packaging for food.
- Buy in bulk to reduce container waste,
but avoid buying too much of a product that might spoil. Buy
locally to minimize transportation costs.
- Some fast food chains are operating
recycling programs for polystyrene containers. Contact your container
supplier about the feasibility of such a project. (NOTE: In Pennsylvania,
DART Container works with its customers to recycle polystyrene.)
- Ask suppliers to provide you with products
that are packaged in materials such as recyclable or reusable
paper, glass, steel, aluminum or plastic.
- Donate useful, outdated stock and leftover
foods to food pantries, charities and shelters.
- Collect and send used grease to a renderer.
Steps for Successful Recycling:
1. Be sure that recycling and trash
bins look different from each other and are clearly marked. Both
types of bins should be conveniently located in the kitchen and
bar areas so that employees will use them.
2. Take time to train employees about
what gets tossed in which bins. Be specific, using product names
used in your establishment. For example, cans from the XYZ company
get recycled, but the ABC company containers go into the trash.
Make up a "Dos and Don'ts" list for recycling and post
it on the bulletin board or at work stations.
3. If your establishment is self-serve,
post signs letting customers know that you are recycling and
what they should do with their bottles and cans. Either put out
a bin for these items, or have customers leave them on a designated
counter for collection by your staff.
4. Be sure that your grounds crew knows
to keep yard waste separate from other waste.
5. Ask your waste hauler for advice
about keeping recyclables and wet waste separate. Depending on
their trucks and equipment, they may want to give you separate
containers for trash and recyclables.
6. Research the feasibility of investing
in a mini-cardboard baler, can crushers and glass pulverizers.
This equipment will allow for efficient management of space and
may increase the likelihood of favorable recycling service contracts.
7. Let your patrons know that you recycle.