America Recycles Day (Nov. 15) reminds everyone to increase their recycling efforts. That goes for restaurants, too.

Just ask Nick Melvin, executive chef and owner at Venkman’s restaurant in Atlanta. He saves nearly $200 a month after initiating a composting and recycling program.

Here are a few ways to start recycling – and saving:

Begin with cardboard. Start with items you can easily separate and recycle, such as cardboard, which can take up about 25 percent of your dumpster.
Perform a waste audit. You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so know your trash. Download a free self-audit form or hire someone to do it for you.
Renegotiate your trash pickup. This is where the magic happens. Call your trash hauler and renegotiate your waste hauling service and bin size. You’ll need a smaller bin or less frequent service as you create less trash.
Appoint a champion, and train your team. Recruit an enthusiastic employee to lead the charge for recycling and train other team members. Make sure everyone understands the new procedures, and offer rewards for good execution after three or six months.
Log your savings, and revisit your efforts. Now that you have a successful program, consider expanding it to single-stream recycling.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates recycling rates for all waste ( consumers, businesses, construction, etc.) at 34 percent. That highlights how much more we can accomplish.

Need more ideas? Get tips and tools at

Re-posted from Restaurant National Association. View original here

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