• Home
    Home We Serve America's Restaurants Representing nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses, we advocate for restaurant and foodservice industry interests and provide tools and systems that help members of all sizes achieve success.
  • Foundation
    Foundation Building & Retaining Talent The NRAEF is focused on developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders through education, scholarships and community engagement.
  • Show 2018
    Show 2018 May 19-22, 2018 As the international foodservice marketplace, the National Restaurant Association Show provides unparalleled opportunities for buyers and sellers to come together, conduct business and learn from each other.
  • ServSafe
    ServSafe Minimize Risk. Maximize Protection. For over 40 years, ServSafe® training programs have delivered the knowledge, leadership and protection that have earned the trust and confidence of business leaders everywhere.

National Restaurant Association - Crash course in composting for restaurateurs

Skip to navigation Skip to content

News & Research

Email Print
News RSS

Crash course in composting for restaurateurs

More restaurants are turning organic garbage into soil-enriching compost because of a steady rise in commercial decomposition sites. How does a restaurateur start down that cost-cutting route? The National Restaurant Association asked Al Rattie of the U.S. Composting Council for a quick primer.

Q. If my restaurant wanted to start composting, how would I find a commercial composting site? A. Post-consumer food waste composting is the last frontier in our industry. Food waste composting facilities are expanding in number, but are still very limited. Here's a good place to start.

Q. How can I line up a hauler to take my garbage to the site? A. Your best bet is to see whether your existing hauler can work with you. The composting site you choose also might be a good source of information for finding a suitable hauler.

Q. Once I have a hauler and a site, what’s next? A. You need to start by training staff on what can and can't be composted, and instill a culture of organic recycling. This must be supported by the appropriate infrastructure of labeled waste cans for organics, signage and ongoing monitoring and supervision. What can and can't be taken to a composting operation will be dictated by the composting permit. You might not be able to compost all of your organic waste.

Q. Will I have to make physical changes to my facility? A. You might need a separate Dumpster for the organics if you generate enough volume. This has been a real issue for supermarkets, for example, because they just didn't have room for another Dumpster. You might need in-restaurant small totes for the organic waste until employees can take it to the Dumpster.

Q. What financial impact am I likely to feel? A. You should reduce your disposal costs, depending on the composting facility's tipping fee. That will vary across the country. You will, however, incur additional costs for Dumpsters.

Conserve RSS Healthcare RSS Conserve RSS

▲ Back to Top

We're glad you're here!®

® 2012-2017 National Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.

2055 L St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-5900 | (800) 424-5156