Food waste from restaurants is a significant problem in the US. According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates, in 2018, more food than any other single item in our daily trash ended up in landfills and combustion facilities in the United States, accounting for 24% of the total quantity dumped and 22% of the total amount burned for energy recovery.
Restaurants in the US squander between 22 and 33 billion pounds of food annually. Before the food is even prepared by restaurant personnel, waste accumulates. Between 4 and 10 percent of the ingredients bought by restaurants are lost even before they reach customers’ plates.
Restaurant food waste is a harmful loop fueled by excessive quantities and complex menu options. On average, 17% of restaurant meals are left on customers’ plates unfinished. A whopping 55% of meals include leftovers at restaurants.
What causes food waste in restaurants?
A significant cause of the issue of restaurant food waste is the rise in meal portion sizes over the past 30 years. Currently, restaurant portion sizes are 8 to 10 times bigger than those advised by the USDA and Federal Drug Administration.
The kitchen staff’s actions contribute to the restaurant’s food waste problem. Chefs cook meals too much, don’t preserve materials properly, and don’t make good use of food trimmings. Chain restaurant managers can exhibit rigidity, which adds to the problem of food loss.
Even while the Covid-19 pandemic is progressively doing away with buffet-style dining, the idea is inefficient. All-you-can-eat buffet leftovers are prohibited from being given or used again by law. Additionally, keeping the buffet stocked for the duration of the restaurant’s hours results in wasteful food waste.
Not just the upscale plates of food are thrown away when restaurant food is wasted. Wasted resources include the energy used to grow food, water, agricultural chemicals, and labor to store, transport, and prepare food.
Is compost made from food waste?
Despite the overwhelming amount of food waste from restaurants, organic waste is highly beneficial. Recovered food waste compost can improve soil quality, stop erosion, and nourish the soil. Recycling restaurant food waste has numerous advantages for the environment.
Restaurant owners prevent additional garbage from clogging landfills by properly separating organics for composting. Composting by restaurants also results in lower waste-hauling costs. Overall, their efforts to recycle food waste pay off by positively affecting the environment.
Composting is a successful option for various common restaurant food waste types. Food scraps are the most prevalent. Composting waste from foods like fruits and vegetables is simple. For instance, composting can recycle coffee grounds and tea bags.
Restaurant food waste that contains fat, oil, or grease cannot be composted. In these cases, keeping them separate from biodegradable garbage is essential. A company that collects grease can transport it and begin the recycling process.
Restaurants and grease collection businesses collaborate to help the latter recycle food waste. Providing indoor or outdoor dumpsters for the restaurant to collect used cooking oils is one of the company’s services. Used grease is removed from the restaurant through scheduled pickups.
These companies that collect grease might also provide programs for recycling meat waste. Specialized vehicles are sent out to accumulate fat and bone from the containers the business has given. To satisfy the needs of restaurants, a variety of sizes are available for these drum containers.
How can eateries reduce food waste?
Although there are tools for recycling food waste, restaurants should consider using techniques to reduce food waste whenever possible. The first step in identifying the products that are most commonly thrown away and making improvements is to conduct a food waste audit.
By altering the menu at the restaurant to better suit patron preferences, you can prevent adding food waste to landfills. Chefs ought to put ingredients to new uses. Utilizing the oldest foods first and avoiding ordering too much are two strategies that kitchen staff members can learn to use to reduce food deterioration.
Employees should receive training on where to place food and trash. Provide customers of restaurants with colored recycling bins as well. Customers only have two to three seconds to decide where to discard uneaten food; utilize images to convey a sustainability message.
Restaurant owners are advised to dispose of food scraps at a composting site. Think about an anaerobic digester, which uses food as fuel. Give leftover food to your neighborhood farmers so they can compost it in the fields or utilize it as animal feed.
Used fats, oils, and greases have a market value. Additionally, working with a grease collecting business can guarantee that the cooking oil is recycled in an oil recycling facility. Processed, heated, filtered, and separated used cooking oil. A reusable resource, like fuel, is the ultimate result.
By collaborating with a professional used cooking oil recycling business like Mahoney Environmental, restaurant owners can improve the environment and streamline their businesses. Numerous happy eateries may get their cooking oil delivered and collected through our recycling service.
Schedule deliveries are one option to guarantee that your restaurant kitchen is consistently stocked with fresh cooking oil. Online oil usage tracking is also available to restaurant management. Our technology enables prompt deliveries and pickups, ensuring the secure operation of your business.
Comprehensive services are available from Mahoney Environmental. Our professionals have design and installation skills for cooking oil equipment and grease trap maintenance. We are capable of creating specialized cooking oil disposal systems that are tailored to your restaurant’s particular requirements.
Mahoney Environmental can be relied upon to transport and collect cooking oil regularly. To ensure that oil is disposed of correctly, we construct automated systems and offer bulk containers. Used cooking oil is recycled to create resources that can be replenished, such as biodiesel and animal feed.