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Managing Food Waste

Lodging Magazine: September 2015

It seems as though going green will never go out of style. Hoteliers have embraced sustainability practices such as limiting energy and water use, installing electric vehicle chargers, and more. Getting a handle on food waste management is another way to be more environmentally friendly. By composting or processing food through a digester, kitchens can keep scraps out of the landfill.

Recycling and Commercial Composting
In 2008, St. Julien Hotel & Spa in Boulder Colorado became an Ecocycle Zero Waste Partner to assess its waste stream. Since then, the property has cut down its landfill waste by 90 percent. Though employee training and food waste odors can seem intimidating, “a well designed commercial composting system, with proper bin placement, waste flow, and signage, doesn’t have either issue,” says James Farrell, sustainability director. The hotel’s single-stream recycling and commercial composting, hauled off and processed by Ecocycle, is applied to all outlets of the hotel, including its spa and restaurants, to return waste to the earth.

Eco-Safe Digester
“The hospitality industry consumes a large volume of food and beverage through in-house restaurants, catering, buffets, and guestroom services, making the industry a significant contributor to the more than 34 million tons of food waste sent to landfills each year,” says Frank E. Celli, chief operating officer of BioHitech America. After food is tossed into his company’s Eco-Safe Digester, the waste is transformed into a nutrient neutral known as “grey-water,” which is then safely transported through sewer lines.
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