Restaurant Waste

Restaurant Waste Reduction & Recycling

Restaurants, just like any other business, are concerned with their disposal fees and the role they play in protecting our environment. Now, more than ever, reducing waste and recycling are smart tactics to incorporate into everyone’s business policies. A lot of material is being discarded that could be utilized as a resource.

By reducing and recycling effectively, your restaurant can, not only save money on solid waste tipping fees; but can also extend the life of landfills. Additionally, you will be doing your part to save valuable resources and energy.

Hopefully, as you read through the following, you will find that you are already using many of the suggestions that you will find here.

•Ask your suppliers to inform you of products that contain recycled content, have reduced packaging, and are packaged in recyclable materials.
•Ask suppliers to take packaging back after use.
•To minimize the amount of bottles and cans used, serve carbonated beverages from a beverage dispenser.
•Buy concentrates and bulk forms of beverages whenever possible;remember, the larger the container, the less waste overall.
•Use health department approved refillable condiment bottles instead of individual packets.
•Buy shelf-stable foods in bulk.
•Buy meats in bulk instead of proportioned.
•If you use a lot of eggs, consider buying them shelled. This will increase your yield up to 30% and eliminate the need to dispose of egg shells and cartons.
•Ask for your menus to be printed on recycled paper.
•Purchase plastic trash can liners made of recycled plastic rather than those made from virgin materials.
•Cleaning supplies can be purchased as concentrates rather than ready-to-use.
•Use toilet tissue made from recycled paper in your restrooms.


•If you haven’t already, switch to reusable table linens and napkins, china, glasses and flatware.
•Use pourers for sugar, pitchers for cream and small serving dishes for butter.
•Store food in reusable containers.
•Use hot air dryers in restrooms.
•Print daily specials on a chalkboard or dry-erase board rather than new sheets of paper every day.
•Food Prep and Storage
•Rotate perishable stock at every delivery to minimize waste due to spoilage.
•Store raw vegetables in reusable airtight containers to prevent dehydration and spoilage.
•Adjust inventory levels on perishables to reduce waste due to spoilage or dehydration.
•Use daily production charts to minimize over-prepping and unnecessary waste.
•Whenever possible, prepare food to order.
•Check your produce deliveries carefully for rotten or damaged product; and return any substandard product.


Some items commonly generated in restaurants vary greatly from those generated in homes and offices. The first step in any recycling program is to learn what MUST be recycled and then to identify what CAN be recycled.

These items MUST be recycled in accordance with Cumberland County’s Solid Waste Management Plan:

In addition, restaurants should target the other recyclables that are unique to your industry:

Food Waste: Some prepared foods may be eligible for collection by the Community Foodbank of New Jersey, Southern Branch (See “Donate”).

All Other Food Waste: There are several hog farms in the area that will contract for collection.

Grease: The charge for pumping out a grease trap is considerably more than the service fee (if any) charged by a renderer. By recycling this valuable commodity you are keeping these materials from clogging sewer lines, saving landfill space and avoiding the cost of disposal. A list of renderers is below.

PLEASE NOTE: While food waste and renderings are not banned from landfills, these items make up the bulk of the weight in restaurant trash. Removing them from the general waste stream in your facility will provide a significant cost savings in trash services.


The Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch, will accept donations of grocery items (wrong shipments, etc.). Here is a list of guidelines for safe handling of foods for donation:

•All foods must have been prepared in a licensed kitchen.
•All donated foods must be refrigerated or frozen within two hours of preparation, unless served immediately.
•Refrigerated foods are acceptable when stored for no more than two days, or frozen no more than one week.
•Hot foods must be maintained at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or above during serving time and refrigerated or frozen within two hours after completion of serving.
•Cold foods must be maintained at 45 degrees Fahrenheit or below and must be refrigerated within two hours after completion of serving.
•Foods that are prepared and immediately frozen are acceptable for up to four weeks.
•Dairy products, eggs and cheese must be in non-leaking containers, maintained at 45 degrees Fahrenheit and no more than three days beyond code date.
•Fresh produce must be in good condition and show no signs of deterioration.
•Breads and pastry products must be well-wrapped and show no signs of spoilage.

For further information or to arrange for a food donation pickup, call the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, Southern Branch at (609) 383-8843 or visit the website at

Renderers For Recycling Fats And Grease

Darling International
825 Wilson Ave.
Newark, NJ

Rendering Division
P O Box 64395
Souderton, PA 18964-0395
800-967-8325 X3333

RW Biproducts
205 Almond Roads
Pittsgrove Township, NJ 08318

Valley Protein
RD 2 Box 156
Winchester, VA

Farmers For Recycling Food Waste

Pig Farm Recycling, Inc.
880 Cattell Road
Wenonah, NJ 08090

Liepe Farms
300 Linden Ave.
Mays Landing, NJ 08330

Organizations Promoting Recycling Food Waste

Solid Waste Resource Renewal Group
Priscilla Hayes, Director
Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
55 Dudley Road
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520
732-932-9155 x233

Food and Organics Recycling for New Jersey (FOR-NJ)
Jen McDonnell, Co-founder

For further information, contact Dennis DeMatte, Recycling Coordinator at 856-825-3700 or

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