Your industry news - first Number 1 for Recruitment
We strongly recommend viewing Cleanzine full size in your web browser. Click our masthead above to visit our website version.
Recycling your food waste is easier than you think!
Restaurants, hotels, pubs, cafes and takeaways that recycle their food waste find that doing the right thing and helping the environment doesn't need to take up additional time or space, or create hygiene issues... and it could even save them money!
Every year more than 500,000 tonnes of food are wasted in restaurants, pubs, hotels and quick service restaurants in the UK - that's the equivalent of almost 1 billion average plates of food - but it doesn't have to be completely wasted.
At Raymond Blanc's Michelin star kitchen 'Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons' in Oxfordshire, Paul Shanahan, Operations Manager, says:
"Food recycling is close to M. Blanc's heart, so it was important for us to make sure we had the right facilities to separate out the different foods that we recycle."
A luxury hotel with located in beautiful gardens, operating seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as functions - in total serving around 220 meals per day - the facility also boasts a cookery school. There are around 36 chefs in the kitchen brigade, plus five kitchen porters.
Food waste recycling began 28 years ago when M. Blanc started to use waste vegetable matter in his kitchen gardens and it has developed from there. M. Blanc was brought up not to throw anything away that could be used and he has retained that philosophy in the hotel.
The bespoke kitchen includes food waste bins that are built into kitchen units with an opening at the top through which chefs throw their waste; a door to the front of the unit is opened to remove the food waste container after service. Chefs carry out preparation at their work station and simply discard the food waste directly into the bin housed underneath. The cookery school and tea and coffee areas use smaller containers such as bowls on the worktop. Green waste derived from fruit or vegetables grown in the kitchen gardens are further separated so that this material can be recycled back into compost in the site's own compost heap.
Chefs on each section are responsible for cleaning and emptying food waste bins at the end of each service which is usually two - three times per day. Waste is taken to a bin store immediately outside the back kitchen door where it is placed into the relevant bin. The garden team then collects the waste and transports it to the main recycling centre where it is collected from three - four times per week by a company that takes all recycled material and rubbish.
A 'Green Team' made up of representative staff from all departments discuss issues of sustainability and recycling and will raise any problems with food waste collections at this point. Information is shared with staff at section meetings as well as on a notice board in the kitchen.
"Our main consideration in setting up the food waste collection system was to ensure that it did not adversely impact on our guests," continues Paul Shanahan. "The bin area is fenced off from view and the food waste placed into a cooled bin store to prevent potential odours, particularly in warmer weather. Collection times also had to be adjusted so as not to disturb sleeping guests."
Check out WRAP's video and online calculator to see how you could make food waste recycling work for your business, (but before you start, check if food waste recycling services are available in your local area).
3rd April 2014