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Case Studies and Resources

Small Steps to Food Waste Reduction

food-waste-colorful.pngWe are all aware of the need to be more ecologically friendly, both in our businesses and our homes.  We recycle our paper, our plastic, our glass bottles; but what about our kitchen waste?  Have you implemented a recycling program in your home or office for food waste?  It’s not as hard as you might think.  The easiest way is to start small.  We all have someone in our lives who is involved in gardening.  Here is an easy way to help them make their gardens grow, and eliminate more waste from entering the landfills.

coffee-ground-in-garden-e1441203517297.jpgWhat are you doing with your used coffee grounds?  In Southern Arizona, 54 McDonald’s stores are giving them away.  Considering that a McDonald’s restaurant can produce over 20 pounds of coffee grounds a day, this initiative is saving over 34,400 pounds of waste from going to a landfill – per month.  Gardeners have known for years that coffee grounds make a great fertilizer.  It is organic, and adds phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and copper to the soil, as well as improving the drainage and water retention.  The Southern Arizona McDonald’s stores have been supporting various local school garden programs and are now expanding to the general public.  They have plenty to go around.

If you run a restaurant, you might want to look into solutions like food recovery, where you can donate fresh and prepared foods to local food pantries and soup kitchens.  They can always use items like unserved food, produce, dairy, day-old breads and baked goods.  Not only are you helping your fellow man, you will also be cutting down on the amount of waste produced by your location.  Leading to a decrease in your waste costs with fewer waste removal bills.

Another way to help reduce your food waste is a program called food-to-animals.  There are two different options with the food-to-animals programs; food-to-livestock and food-to-animal feed manufacturers.  With the food-to-livestock option, scraps are collected by local farms and are processed to make them safe for feeding livestock.  The food-to-animal feed manufacturers collects food by-products and bakery goods to be processed into livestock feed products.  The food-to-animals set up could be a bit more involved and might not be available in all areas.

Just a few small steps is all it takes to start the journey.  Are you going to start any of the initiatives mentioned here?  Let us know.

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Topics: waste management waste disposal wet waste food waste food waste reduction organic waste zero waste