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National Restaurant Association - More restaurants involved in recycling

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More restaurants involved in recycling

The number of restaurateurs implementing recycling programs into their operations is rising, National Restaurant Association research has found.

According to the association's Restaurant Operator Recycling Survey, roughly two-thirds, or 65 percent, of all operators questioned say they now have a recycling program in place at their restaurants.

"The number of restaurateurs who recycle definitely is growing," said Chris Moyer, senior project manager for the NRA's Conserve Sustainability Education Program. "Per our research, in 2012 that number is expected to increase more than 10 percent. The reasons for this are consumer and employee demand, plus more access to recycling services."

The report found that 66 percent of full-service and 64 percent of quick-service operators recycle, and further determined that 67 percent of independent restaurateurs were more likely than 59 percent of franchisee/chain operators to have a recycling program at their establishments.

Regionally, 80 percent of restaurant operators in the Northeast and 77 percent in the West were most likely to say they recycle. In the Midwest, 63 percent of restaurateurs questioned said they recycle, compared with 46 percent in the South.

"The fact is more operators are being asked by customers if they recycle," Moyer said. "They want to know the restaurants they frequent operate responsibly. And because there are more vendors and recycling options available, it's becoming easier for restaurateurs to comply with this demand. Lastly, the restaurants' employees want to see them do the right thing. That, actually, may be the biggest driver of all. It's really pretty simple: happy employees lead to happy customers."

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