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National Restaurant Association - Taking money out of the trash

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Taking money out of the trash

A former restaurateur working in the compactor business is eager to teach former colleagues how they can save money by managing their trash disposal.

Mark Wagner, a one-time Miami Subs operator, is conducting an education session during the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show on "Finding Hidden Treasure in Your Trash."

Wagner is vice president of marketing for Pack-a-Drum, a company that makes a manually operated trash “deflator,” or compactor. He says many operators don't realize their community has single-stream recycling, where they can co-mingle materials like glass and plastic instead of paying a staffer to sort them. That means they have to pay less to commercial haulers.

He'll also offer tips to train employees in places where restaurants must separate trash. For example, he'll explain why it's important to show employees to compress boxes, rather than toss them in garbage or recycling bins. Complete boxes eat up space and fill containers more quickly. That translates into higher hauling charges for restaurants because they pay according to volume and how often containers must be emptied.

“What’s needed is a commitment from the top,” Wagner says.

His session is scheduled for 10 a.m. CT, Sunday, May 22. The show runs from May 21 through 24 in Chicago. See more education sessions, or register.

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