Waste Reduction Strategies
- Pay attention to expiration dates and keep rotating products for
use in the bakery to avoid having to throw them away.
- Use "ugly-but-edible" produce in the bakery or deli to produce
salads and baked goods.
- Package leftover deli-case hot food to be sold the next day as
"take-out" in the cold case section.
- Train employees to rotate, wash, and trim produce properly.
- Use display tables that minimize handling and spoilage.
- Offer "ugly but edible produce", leftover deli food, and
packaged pull-dated food to a local food bank.
- Offer spoiled produce and produce scraps to local farmers.
- Reuse boxes in-house or donate to customers or a local food
- Consider using plastic pallets. Repair broken pallets on-site or
use a repair service. Visit the Pallet-Mall or Recyclers World web
sites for information on reusing pallets.
- Improve handling practices that cause breakage. Ask suppliers to
use sturdier pallets or take back broken ones.
- Ask vendors to retrieve their boxes or sell to a reuse service.
- Sell reusable beverage cups or mugs to customers; provide
employees with permanent cups or mugs.
- Ask your vendor to take back and refill cleaning product
containers. For more information, see Green Seal's "Choose Green
- Carefully inventory sales of magazines and journals to avoid
over purchasing each month. Work with suppliers to allow the
donation of unusable publications to schools, libraries, or other
- See General Tips for basic office waste
- Use the first-in, first-out system to rotate chemical stocks,
pay attention to expiration dates.
- Buy drugs in container sizes that permit formulation of daily
doses with the least quantity of excess product leftover.
Examine Your Operations
- Assess your recycling opportunities in each portion of your
operations: film processing, bakery, deli, grocery, pharmacy, and
- Contact your city Recycling Coordinator or Waste Hauler to find
out what materials can be collected.
- Set up centrally located recycling collection areas for
customers and employees.
- Make sure all containers, including compactors, are clearly
marked with signs.
- Educate employees about standards to ensure that all meat waste
is discarded in the rendering bin.
- Choose a pallet repair service that accepts all wood waste and
recycles what can't be reused.
For more information visit these web sites:
- Composting Council of Canada
- Composting News
- Internet Recycling and Composting Resource Page
- Recyclers World central composting category
- US EPA composting