It was recently announced that Darden Restaurants, parent company of the 2,000 Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurant chains in the United States and Canada, has successfully increased its waste recycling rate from 14% to 28% over the last three years.
For the last year, this landfill diversion rate is equivalent to 140,000 cubic yards of food and restaurant operations waste that was recycled. The figures were reported in the company’s annual sustainability report.
This waste recycling increase is complemented by the company’s successful 100% recycling of unusable frying and cooking oil. In 2011 this represented 20 million gallons that were diverted to create food products for animals, biodiesel, and soaps.
As a result of their emphasizing environmentally pro-active measures over traditional waste disposal, the company achieved cost savings of $18 million with estimates of additional savings up to $12 million to occur between 2012 and 2016.
In addition to the recycling and reselling efforts, Darden has removed all food take-out containers made of polystyrene and increased its use of take-out packaging that contains recycled content and is recyclable. Carry-away bags are available in biodegradable plastic or paper and beverage cups are made of paper.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: While it might see easier to stick to “business as usual,” when you look at every aspect of your operation you might be surprised where you can find a cost savings or profit instead of a liability!