An Organic Waste Collection Journey

A Focus on Organic Waste

The USDA estimates that 1/3 of all available food supply is wasted, which accounts for 21% of all the waste in the US sent to landfills or energy-recovery incinerators according to the EPA.   Innovative tech companies along with local and state governments are making significant investments in solutions to the food waste problem.  Businesses with food services elements should pursue comprehensive organic waste collection and reduction programs to get ahead of impending government regulations and corporate mandates.  Reduction In Motion can help you design a sustainable program just as we have done with this client.

Data Tells the Story

The client showcased in the data table above serves nearly 900,000 meals annually and sends all of the organic material it collects to a composting facility.  In the second month after program implementation, they reached a peak of nearly 8,750 pounds monthly.  Through food waste reduction efforts to control over production and purchasing, the client was able to reduce their monthly organic waste generation by 4,000 pounds in one year’s time.  An uncharacteristic increase during that period was seen in March due to a purge of expired food associated with poor inventory management.  The program was sustainable for nearly a year before the client began a food services vendor transition.  Program compliance severely dipped during this transitional period, but after a re-dedicating efforts to the program and training all new employees, organic waste collected nearly reached the 8,750 peak.  The new vendor has not yet introduced food waste reduction efforts so current generation is expected.

Keys to Success

Stakeholder engagement is an essential component of any sustainability initiative requiring a cultural or behavior change.  Front-line kitchen staff members were involved in every step of the implementation process.  Targeted education was conducted with all staff members initially and as needed throughout the process.  Program monitoring was crucial to determine and capitalize on challenges and opportunities.  Data collection validated program performance and proved invaluable in convincing the new vendor to re-dedicate themselves to the effort.  Communication both to kitchen employees and greater staff and community helped showcase program, employee and facility success and positive impact.

Who is Reduction In Motion?

Reduction In Motion has been helping organizations achieve their waste and sustainability goals for over a decade. We provide our clients the right tools to be successful:  policies, procedures, communications, training, equipment recommendations and data tools. Different from your typical consultant, our team works on-site with you to implement the program and engage staff on a daily basis. Contact us today at (410)877-1593 or for a free consultation.

Bill Griffith

President and Professional Trash Talker since 1989.