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Making Better Sense of Food Waste Management in My Restaurant

When I started a restaurant I never knew how much food waste there would be. We have waste vegetable matter from food prep and we have a lot of prepared foods, such as breads, that are too old for retail sale, but not too old to be consumed. I wanted a way to have food waste management make more sense. The breads are all perfectly fine to be eaten. I take a loaf or two home for my family to eat. However, it is what you would call day-old bread. We are not going to sell it to customers, but it is still great tasting and perfectly nutritious for every other use. The big trash cans of lettuce leaves, carrot pieces, leafy parts of vegetables, onion and potato skins and more are all edible for animal use, but we did not have a consistent way to get it used.

We would have a farmer come by and pick up vegetable waste from time to time to feed pigs, but it was not consistent. We have separate steel bins with clean liners we use for vegetable waste during food prep. However, we cannot let the bags sit around as it will rot and stink as it turns into compost in the bags. We needed to have a way to get it to the animals to be eaten or processed into compost. This is why I wanted to participate in a food waste management program that would take care of this on a day to day basis. It serves no purpose for us to separate out good waste only to have it end up in the dumpster anyway. We are willing to take a few extra steps to limit food waste from getting into landfills and not being used for feeding people and animals, but we can only go so far. After all, I am in the restaurant business, not the farm and recycling business.

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