Food service and restaurants

Disposable Utensils Going Green

Read the full post from the National Park Service Commercial Services GreenLine News blog.

Choosing the right disposable flatware for your food service operation might seem like a daunting task. With so many options out there featuring different price points and a variety of green attributes, how can you tell which is the best choice?

KC Area restaurants recycle resources

Read the full story in the Kansas City Star.

A budding movement in Kansas City is turning the spotlight of sustainability on the restaurant industry.

Bakery Achieves Landfill-Free Status

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

A Washington state bakery has achieved zero-waste status by recycling, reusing and repurposing all of its waste.

Franz Bakery, a 108-year-old family-owned company, eliminated waste at its Spokane bakery through a recycling program that encompasses all aspects of its operations, including product and packaging waste, scrap metals, used equipment lubricant oil, used fleet motor oil, paper, plastic and cardboard.

Announcing EPA’s Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging Toolkit

EPA has recently released a free, new resource to reduce food and packaging waste! The Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging Toolkit helps restaurants, grocers, caterers, and other commercial kitchens to save money and reduce their environmental impact. Explore the toolkit and share extensively with those in your food services network.

Understanding the amount, type of, and reason for food waste is the first step toward reducing it. The kit includes an Excel audit tool that allows users to tailor their waste tracking to the level of detail needed for their facility. Once the data is entered, the spreadsheet automatically generates graphs and data summaries to help facilities identify opportunities to reduce waste.

You can find this free resource and others at

Also consider joining EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge (FRC), a free program for any organization which prepares, sells or serves food. Participants reduce wasted food through source reduction, donation and recycling, saving money, helping communities and protecting the environment. They share tools, webinars and other useful information on tracking and reducing wasted food and give annual EPA awards.


Read the full post from the National Park Service.

Impending climate change impacts spur action across both the public and private sector. Regulations, best practices, and efficiency regimes challenge past ideals on chemical usage, and support the use of cleaner, greener alternatives. It is common knowledge today that refrigerant and aerosol emissions damage the ozone layer, resulting in a vulnerability to climate change effects. More than 35,000 retail food establishments (including supermarkets, grocery stores or wholesale clubs) in the U.S. use HCFC-22 as their primary refrigerant. HCFC-22 is an acknowledged ozone-depleting substance, and is being phased out under the Montreal Protocol, which is the international treaty to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. EPA has been phasing out refrigerants cited by the Montreal Protocol since 2003, and by January 1, 2020, all production and import of virgin HCFC-22 will be banned. To reach this goal, EPA has partnered with GreenChill.

GreenChill is an EPA partnership with food retailers that aims to reduce refrigerant emissions, and consequently decrease their detrimental impacts on the ozone layer that affect climate change. The program works with food retailers to help them transition to using environmentally friendlier refrigerants, reducing refrigerant charge sizes, eliminating leaks, and adopting green refrigeration technologies and best environmental practices. Advanced refrigeration includes multiple systems that reduce refrigerant emissions, including Centralized DX Systems, Distributed Systems, Secondary Loop Systems, Cascade Systems and Low GWP Refrigerants.

The partnership has three main programs that assist food retailers in reducing refrigerant emissions:

        1. The Food Retailer Corporate Emissions Reduction Program;
        2. The Store Certification Program for Advanced Refrigeration; and
        3. The Advanced Refrigeration Promotion Program.

Webinar: How to Reduce Wasted Food: EPA’s Food Waste Reduction Tools for Food Services & Restaurants

May 15, 2014, noon-1:30 pm CDT
Register at

The Guide to Conducting and Analyzing a Food Waste Assessment provides step-by-step instructions to conducting a one-time assessment of the food waste thrown in garbage bins. This instructional outreach material is useful for facilities new to food audits and for those who wish to better understand their current food waste management practices.

The toolkit for Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging: A Guide for Food Services and Restaurants is designed to help food service establishments save money and reduce their environmental impact with suggested strategies, templates and case studies. Users first track the amount, type of, and reason for wasted food and packaging on paper. Entering the data into the Excel tool automatically creates graphs to help identify patterns and opportunities to reduce waste. The accompanying PDF guide provides intervention strategies and background information.

These free, new resources can be found at


Julie Schilf is an Environmental Scientist with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 5 office where she is the regional coordinator for EPA’s WasteWise and Food Recovery Challenge programs.  She will provide a summary of the instructional outreach materials on Conducting and Analyzing a Food Waste Assessment.

Amanda Hong is a graduate fellow with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 9 office working in Sustainable Materials Management and Pollution Prevention. She will provide a detailed overview of how to use the toolkit for Reducing Wasted Food & Packaging.