What is Zero Waste?

Zero Waste is a new way of looking at a waste stream. Instead of seeing used materials as garbage in need of disposal, they are seen as valuable resources. A pile of trash represents jobs, raw materials for new products, and a source of alternative energy. We are working with WasteLess Environmental Services to test their Zero Waste Program in one of our restaurants in BC.

The idea of Zero Waste is to send nothing to the landfill. Instead, waste materials are separated into three streams of materials: recyclables, organics and non-recyclables.

  1. Recyclables: These include mixed paper, beverage containers, plastic jugs, metal cans, and bottles.
  2. Organics: Organic materials include food waste and soiled paper products.
  3. Non-Recyclables: Non-recyclable materials that have no dollar value can be utilized as an alternative fuel source.

Special arrangements can be made on an as-needed basis for collection and recycling of materials such as wooden pallets, broken-down equipment, furniture, fluorescent light tubes, batteries, e-waste and paint.

The existing cardboard and Fat, Oil and Grease services are left in place since most restaurants have well-run programs in these areas.

There are two levels of certifications around Zero Waste.

  1. Zero Waste Certified Facility:
    • All waste from a given facility is put to beneficial use.
  2. Zero Waste Partner Facility:
    • The facility utilizes Zero Waste technologies (e.g., recycling and composting) but still creates some waste.
    • This level of certification is a good option for restaurants in remote locations that have no access to a Waste-to-Energy plant.

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