Hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, food courts, food manufacturers/processors and hospitals meeting specific size criteria are required to recycle food waste.
For businesses that generate large volumes of food waste, recycling works. Hard Rock Cafe. Foodland. Sheraton Hotels. Hilton Hawaiian Village. They’re just a few of the corporations that have discovered the advantages of food waste recycling. Large companies that generate large volumes of food waste have been able to derive economic benefit from recycling. Although they incur an additional cost to separately collect the food waste, that cost is counter-balanced by a reduction in their waste disposal costs. When large volumes of food waste are removed from the business’ general waste, there is an opportunity to reduce disposal costs by reducing the number of dumpsters and/or the pickup frequency. This also reduces weight, which is another measure by which businesses are charged for waste disposal.
Recycling and composting will reduce the amount of waste going to City disposal sites. Existing landfills will last longer. And separate collection of food waste for recycling may make the environment immediately surrounding your facility neater, cleaner and fresher-smelling.
What You Can Recycle
- Starches (including bread, dough, noodles and rice)
- Dairy & Bakery Wastes
- Egg Shells
- Cooking Oil
- Vegetable and Fruit Wastes (including pineapple tops and “boats,” watermelon rinds, onions and potatoes)
- Juice and Beverages
- Full Milk Cartons
- Coffee Grounds
- Tea Bags
- Meat and Fish Waste (including inedible meat scraps, bones, poultry, crab and clam shells)
- Deli Waste
- Starches (noodles, rice)
What You Can’t Recycle (as Food Waste)
- Plastic Bag Liners
- Tree and Grass Clippings
A waste audit is the first step in setting up your waste reduction and recycling program. It tells you what types of waste you generate and in what quantities, allowing you to target specific materials for recycling and waste reduction.
Conduct a walk-through investigation of your facility’s waste receptacles. Look into work area trash cans and into the facility’s central dumpsters.
The amount of food waste generated by your business will be determined by your type of business, number of customers, number of employees and existing resource-efficient operating practices. Studies conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on waste composition by generator type provide the following food waste estimates:
Food Waste Generation (Percent of Total Waste)
- Restaurants: 40%
- Hotels: 20%
- Food Stores: 18%
- Hospitals: 8-18%