Blog Post

Restaurateurs and business owners are faced with numerous demands on a regular basis – from pleasing customers, to operational logistics, to balancing books, to adapting to changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. MetroWest Daily News recently highlighted another factor businesses must consider: establishing and maintaining successful recycling and composting programs. Cardboard, bottles and cans, and food waste from those that generate at least one ton of food material per week, are all items prohibited from disposal per state regulations. Instead, these materials must be recycled or otherwise reduced and recovered. Looking ahead, the state is considering an expansion of its commercial food waste disposal ban that would require businesses and institutions generating half a ton or more of food material per week to divert this waste.

To support businesses and institutions with diversion efforts, RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts (RecyclingWorks) offers free resources to help establish and expand waste prevention, reuse, recycling, and food recovery programs. Our Food Waste Estimation Guide helps restaurants gauge their generation rate to identify whether they are subject to the existing commercial organics disposal ban. Businesses seeking to Comply with the Organics Waste Ban may also benefit from our best management practices for source reduction, donation, and source separation, as well as our Waste Ban Compliance Tips for Restaurants.

For entities seeking to strengthen or establish new recycling programs, RecyclingWorks offers tips to Get Started in addition to Hauler Contracting Guidance and Business Sector Guidance. For those seeking more direct assistance, the team at RecyclingWorks offers no-cost technical assistance to provide one-on-one support.

There are many examples of successful restaurants who have implemented recycling and food waste diversion programs. The Gardiner Ale House leveraged support from RecyclingWorks to establish a program that diverts 72% of its waste by recycling and collecting food scraps to feed animals. After establishing a recycling and composting program, Clio Restaurant realized a cost savings on disposal fees. Additionally, the Northampton Brewery achieved an estimated 95% waste diversion rate by recycling mixed containers, paper, and cardboard in addition to composting food waste.

To speak to a RecyclingWorks recycling and food waste diversion expert, call our hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at