Sustainable Food Waste Solution for Headquarter Cafeteria
Managing a commercial food service program is no easy feat, particularly when it comes to food waste disposal. The amount of both organic and inorganic waste to sort and divert can be daunting and meticulous, and some commercial kitchens and restaurants simply don’t bother. According to a survey done by Sustainable Food Service Consulting, 50-75% of the material that ends up in a landfill is either compostable or recyclable. By properly sorting and disposing of that waste, food service managers can cut down on operational costs and reduce disposal fees.
Guido Boers, the manager of the food service program at the Freddie Mac headquarters in McLean, Virginia, was encountering this very problem last year. “Guests to the cafeteria were dropping off their soiled food containers at the tray return conveyor,” says Boers. “The to-go containers, which are made from a compostable material, were in most cases still containing some organic food waste. We couldn’t dispose of the bulky containers through the trash since, at that volume, the amount of waste overwhelming and costly.”
Boers and his team conducted a waste audit and looked at how the cafeteria’s practices were affecting the amount of garbage being produced on-site. They decided that a solution was needed to reduce the volume of their compostable to-go containers. Since compostable material can’t be collected in a densely compacted form — the waste requires access to enough oxygen to keep the essential composting bacteria alive — they needed to find a way to shred these containers into smaller pieces.
After discussing this problem with the food container manufacturer, it became clear that they hadn’t devised a solution on their end to dispose of the used containers. So Boers and his team began conducting industry research on the types of waste grinders and shredders available, which led them to Tom Smith at JWC Environmental…
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