Food Waste Cost Solutions Lead to Business Gains

The recent mandatory recycling regulations in Seattle take the adage, “waste not, want not,” to an entirely new level. In the Emerald City, businesses must comply with mandatory recycling regulations that include the separation of compostable paper and food waste, and do their part to meet the city’s goal to recycle and compost 60 percent of waste by year’s end, according the article, “Seattle Flagging 300 Customers Daily as Food Waste Ban Takes Effect.” Compliance isn’t voluntary: By July 1, businesses must either subscribe a composting service, take the food waste to a composter, or compost on site. If they don’t, fines start at $50 per infraction, according to the article.

 

Increase your cash flow while helping the environment

  The first question you may have is this: what constitutes food waste? As the Seattle article points out, the categorization pertains to food and food-contaminated paper goods, including pizza boxes. The impetus for the regulation comes down to the fact that food waste is heavy—it’s mostly composed of water—which makes it expensive to haul long distances to landfills, the article explains. It also occupies the most amount of landfill space compared to any other waste category. From an environmental standpoint, it makes complete sense to recycle and compost food waste.

It makes sense from a business perspective too.

 

Increase cash management and company morale

 
Executives who enforce and publicize their company’s recycling and compost efforts are poised to enjoy more than fine avoidance. They may actually receive potential rebates. Further, doing your part from an environmental standpoint is something everyone can relate to, so it helps to bolster employee morale and show customers your company is progressive, innovative, and responsible. These characteristics play a large part in customer loyalty, and there’s myriad evidence that shows sustainable practices are important to customers making purchasing decisions across all industries.
 
This article in the New York Times sheds light on the fact that the composting regulation was first passed in San Francisco, but Seattle is the maverick imposing fines for noncompliance. Restaurants, grocery stores, food processors and producers are the obvious sectors in the crosshairs of organic waste disposal.

 

Why Recycling Matters 

For all organizations that have food waste, from the company cafeteria to the business caterer, recycling matters. Going green can actually lead to green. By separating food waste recyclables, re-using what you can, engaging a recycler, or self-composting to regenerate the soil, the bottom line transcends avoiding fines or risking a bad reputation as a company that doesn’t care. The byproduct of recycling and composting is material that can used to generate energy and grow more foods to feed the hungry. Recycling and composting keeps our planet cleaner, healthier, and better sustained. The benefit to organizations is certainly that feeling of inclusion—of participating for the greater good—that also happens to lead to a reduction of overall waste costs.
 
Recycling and composting laws now in effect in Seattle won’t stay just within the city’s borders. We expect these laws to trickle down to more and more jurisdictions. We can all participate in the importance of corporate responsibility.
 
If you’d like to learn more about the ban on food waste or learn ways to leverage recycling and composting to reduce waste costs, we can conduct onsite audits to review current practices and offer cost saving alternatives. Managing waste is a terrific example of how, what you don’t know, may be costing you now – and almost certainly in the near future.

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