Recycling and the Commercial Kitchen

Restaurants create large portions of food to serve many people. With this large amount of production comes a lot of waste, and waste costs money, both in uneaten or spoiled food and trash fees. Along with the environmental benefits, there are several other reasons for a restaurant to engage in a recycling program.

The Advantages of Recycling

  • Recycling is good for business. Customers take notice of and appreciate a restaurant’s efforts to reduce waste, leading to a better public image. This can increase customer loyalty.
  • Cheaper trash fees. The fewer times the dumpster needs to be emptied, the less you will have to pay for trash pickup. Just ask me how!
  • Reduced purchasing cost. Restaurants with an effective recycling program will have several in-house reusable items, like cloth cleaning rags and reusable flatware. This will reduce the amount of new products that need to be purchased.

Recyclable materials


  • Nearly everything aluminum can be made from recycled aluminum.
  • Recycling just one ton of aluminum cans saves the energy equivalent of 1,665 gallons of gasoline.

Food Waste

  • As much as 40% of all restaurant waste is food waste.
  • Food waste can be composted to create a nutrient rich soil additive.
  • Farms, greenhouses, even home gardens can benefit from composted food waste.


  • Old cardboard boxes can be donated to charities for reuse or sent to a recycling facility to make new cardboard and other paper products.
  • Recycling one ton of cardboard saves 460 gallons of oil.


  • Glass can be reused an infinite number of times.
  • Anything made of glass can be recycled into new glass products.
  • Recycling a single glass bottle saves enough energy to power a 100W light bulb for four hours.


  • All non-glossy paper can be recycled into several products including newspaper, bathroom tissue and kitty litter.
  • Every ton of paper recycled saves energy equivalent to 185 gallons of gasoline.


  • Recycled plastic can be used to create several products ranging from mop heads to t-shirts.
  • Five two-liter recycled bottles can produce enough insulation for a men’s ski jacket.


  • Recycled steel can be made into steel cans, building supplies and tools.
  • Steel recycling saves enough energy in one year to power 18 million homes for that entire year.

Used fryer oil

  • Fryer oil can be turned into bio-diesel, a popular alternative fuel.
  • Rather than paying to have your oil taken away, bio-diesel companies are actually paying restaurants for this resource. Ask me how!

Go Green!

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