Restaurants are great because they provide spaces for people to eat good food and bond with their loved ones. It also provides employment opportunities to many people within their community. Some even give back by having outreach programs and making donations to various charitable organizations.
However, restaurants also generate a significant amount of food waste, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
There are different ways restaurants can better deal with food waste to reduce the amount thrown out and then pollute the natural environment. Here are a few ways to consider when thinking about food waste.
Dumping Restaurant Grease
Restaurants often discard their grease by pouring it down the drain. This is a big mistake as grease can clog sewer systems and contaminate water sources. Major cities worldwide are already dealing with fatbergs, large chunks of solidified grease that build up in sewer systems. Fatbergs can be as large as jumbo jets and take weeks to dislodge. It also costs millions of dollars to deal with the problem.
Common drain clogs can also cause entire restaurant operations to cease. When this happens, establishments have to call professional drain cleaning services to remove debris that may have accumulated and blocked your drain. Do this regularly, and you can prevent having to pause to unclog your kitchen drains.
The best way to deal with restaurant grease is to filter it and dispose of it in the trash or send it off for recycling.
Compost Organic Waste
Many restaurants do not compost their organic waste. Organic waste can be broken down in a composter to create nutrient-rich soil that can be used in gardens, flower beds, and landscaping.
The best way to deal with restaurant food waste is to find a local composter or start one for your business. It’s an easy project: you need a compost area and a way to transport the food waste there. Once there, you can chop up all your organic waste and mix it in a composter with soil and natural elements such as grass, leaves, and twigs.
You can either use the compost for your garden or sell or give it away to customers and local farmers.
Recycle Packaging Materials
Restaurants produce a lot of packaging waste which often cannot be recycled or reused. The best way to deal with non-biodegradable restaurant waste materials is to separate them into different recycling bins based on what they are made out of.
Restaurants can also use biodegradable packaging made of cardboard or bioplastics to reduce overall waste. In addition, they can encourage patrons to bring their reusable lunch boxes to take food to go. This reduces the amount of paper and plastic bags that come with takeaway food.
Donate Excess Food to Charity
Many restaurants do not know that they can donate their excess food to local food banks and homeless shelters. This is a great way for restaurants to give back while also helping the hungry get fed which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
The best way to deal with restaurant surplus is to find a local organization that will benefit from receiving these donations such as homeless shelters and soup kitchens.
Feed Surplus Food to Pets
Surplus food can be donated to local animal shelters so the pets there have something good and nutritious to eat. These organizations can use all of the help they can get when it comes to giving back and providing healthy pet food because this ultimately helps decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
Just make sure that you are aware that certain foods such as onion, garlic, and chocolate can make cats and dogs very sick. You can discuss this with your partner animal shelter.
Sell Surplus Food
If nothing else, restaurants can choose to sell their excess food. This is the last option but it does allow restaurants to make some extra money while also helping others in their community.
There are apps that connect restaurants with customers who want to buy or pick up the food they want. This is a good way for restaurants to reduce waste and make a little extra money.
There are many ways restaurants can reduce and manage their food waste that ends up in landfills every year.
Ultimately, there are many simple steps that restaurants can take to better deal with their food waste and ultimately reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By taking these steps, they will show that businesses care about the environment and do not want to contribute to climate change.