Restaurants across the country are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious in their recycling efforts. Recycling waste materials helps ease the burden on overcrowded landfills, decreases pollution in the land, water and air, and contributes to the use sustainable resources.

Composting is a natural way to recycle organic material into a rich soil amendment that can be used as fertilizer and can also help soil retain water. This valuable recycling practice is gaining popularity not only among residential households, but also within the food service industry.

According the Green Restaurant Association (GRA), a national non-profit organization that educates restaurants, manufacturers, distributors, and consumers about becoming more environmentally responsible, the average restaurant produces 100,000 pounds of garbage per year and food waste comprises about half of a restaurant’s waste stream. Additionally, the GRA reports that nearly 95 percent of this waste could be recycled or composted.

“Composting is a great way for restaurants and other food service operations to demonstrate their environmental commitment to their communities,” states Michael Mintz, CEO of Waste Cost Solutions. “Organic wastes such as leftover food and paper products can be turned into rich compost that could be used as fertilizer for community gardens and other sustainability projects, rather than disposing of it in local landfills, along with the rest of the trash.”

Mintz adds that a reputable waste management company can help restaurants and other food service businesses achieve their green and sustainability goals by tailoring a plan for waste removal that includes composted materials. They can help by:

• providing a list of compostable waste materials
• educating employees about how to separate out those materials
• removing the compostable waste — including oil and grease — in a manner that complies with local, state and federal regulations

To learn more about the GRA recycling and composting recommendations for the food service industry and green certification standards for restaurants, log on to To learn about the composting and other recycling and waste management plans offered by Waste Cost Solutions, call 1.800.509.5399 or email