Composting at Restaurants: Reducing Waste

For restaurant clients looking to cut down on food waste and related costs, the subject of composting should be broached. One of the biggest expenses every restaurant faces is proper waste removal. In fact, in a commercial kitchen, it’s estimated that as much as 70 percent of all waste is made up of organic material, such as food scraps and napkins. This results in nearly 100,000 pounds of trash on an annual basis.

In the United States, there are more than one million restaurant locations. This means that more than 100 billion pounds of trash is being created by restaurants, only to be thrown away. By considering composting, one restaurant can cut their waste down by about 50 percent. But most restaurant clients don’t know how to compost or what exactly it is.

Read on to get a better understanding of how restaurants can compost and what it could mean when it comes to cutting down on waste.

Benefits of Composting

Composting is helpful to the environment for a number of reasons. When organic waste is put into a landfill, it can emit greenhouse gases, which in turn produce more heat over time. By composting waste from a restaurant, it is being diverted from the landfill, thus keeping from producing these gases.

Furthermore, composting can help a business financially. Figuring out how to recycle food and waste can cut down on the cost of waste removal fees. This will help open up finances needed to keep the lights on, pay employees, and cover much-needed services such as restaurant insurance to help protect a restaurant from various claims and liabilities.

How to Compost in the Kitchen

Restaurants should keep in mind the four ingredients that make up composting in their industry: what gets composted, temperature, moisture, and the circulation of air. When a pile of compost is built correctly, it becomes an efficient way to quickly get rid of organic garbage and cut waste cost.

  • Ingredients: A 25:1 ratio of nitrogen-rich and carbon-rich materials are needed to decompose waste. Items like coffee grounds, newspaper, cardboard, napkins, paper towels, grass clippings, and organic food scraps can be composted. The latter of these materials can be found all around a restaurant setting.
  • Temperature: Temperature is of high importance when it comes to properly composting. Composting can start as soon as temperatures outdoors are warm enough for long periods of time. Once the temperature starts to drop, composting outside becomes nearly impossible. However, if there is space available inside, composting can be pursued throughout the year.
  • Moisture: If a heap starts to dry out, the composting process slows down to an eventual stop. The heap needs to stay moist so that microorganisms can help to break scraps down. If a compost pile is held outside, it should be kept out of the sunlight so it doesn’t dry out. A heap should be sprayed down every so often, especially on warmer days to ensure it is moist enough to break down compost.
  • Air Circulation: The last key component to a healthy compost pile is having enough air circulation. Without oxygen, a compost heap won’t break down in the best way, causing the process to slow down or stop. Mixing up the pile on a regular basis can allow the different parts of a heap to breathe.

About RMS Hospitality Group

At RMS Hospitality Group, our expertly crafted policies are written specifically for the hospitality industry. We offer custom-tailored solutions to meet any venue’s specific needs. For more information, contact our knowledgeable experts today at (888) 359-8390.

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