Restaurant Food Waste : constraints for recycling management

Implementation of selective sorting in a restaurant establishment does not happen without constraints. First of all, it is important to list them and to take them into account in order to ensure the effectiveness of the approach. They concern all at once the hygiene, the nature of bio-waste generated, the location, but also the time required to manage selective sorting and the requirements of the collection provider.

Therefore, it is necessary to apply certain rules, which generally follow the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) method. This involves the garbage collection in a closed circuit, with closed and waterproof materials and containers, such as closed garbage cans with an opening at the bottom. The implementation of the HACCP method also involves the installation of a collection circuit different from the food circuit, and without any crossing of the flows or backtracking. In addition, it is recommended to disinfect every day the containers used for biowaste recycling.

To take it a step further, it is essential to take into account the humidity level and the higher density of restoration’s biowaste compared to the mixed waste. To be handled easily, the sorting containers must be watertight and have adequate volume. According to the Ademe ( a French environment and energy management agency), 240 liters of biowaste can on average weigh over 530 lbs.

It is also important to pay attention to the space required for biowaste sorting, which must be taken into account in the personal organization of the each members of the staff, as much in the preparation of the dishes as in their return from the restaurant room. This reflection is all the more important in the context of tight spaces. Time constraints are also not to be ignored, particularly in the case of collective catering, where the casual high number of returns don’t leave much time for the person in charge to make a quality waste sorting. Fortunately, some solutions exist, such as sorting tables, which allow the consumer to take part himself in the ecological approach of the restaurant.