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Restaurant Waste Management – Food Waste Collections

Restaurant waste management

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See how much you can save on restaurant waste collections by filling in our 60-second quote form.

We’ve been providing restaurant waste management for over 11 years and have thousands of customers in the hospitality industry across the UK.

At WasteManaged we have a dedicated food waste service in addition to general, recycling, and glass waste bins.

Why is waste disposal important in a restaurant?

There are a few reasons why correct restaurant waste disposal is so important…

Firstly, it benefits the environment. Unknown to many, food waste can actually be recycled. So restaurants which are throwing their food into the general waste bin rather than separating it for collection are significantly harming the environment.

That’s because general waste mixed with food waste often ends up in landfill where it breaks down and releases greenhouse gasses like methane. This greatly contributes to climate change across the world.

The second reason it’s so important is that it’s also the legal responsibility of restaurants in the UK to ensure that their waste is disposed of in a safe and responsible manner. That is why the vast majority opt for using a professional waste collector to ensure they’re legally compliant.

The third reason restaurant waste disposal is so important is that it’s something your staff and customers care about.

Diners in a restaurant passing food

Studies have shown that companies that adopt a sustainable approach to waste management (especially around food) are favoured by those seeking employment and by those who ultimately pay the bills – customers.

And one final reason is that, if your food waste is managed correctly, it can actually save your business money. At WasteManaged, we help our customers reduce the amount of food they waste and, therefore, decrease their overheads of waste collection.

See how much you can save on collections by getting a free quote from us today.

What are the different types of waste in restaurants?

The most common waste types produced by restaurants include:

  • General waste
  • Mixed recycling (paper, plastic, cans)
  • Food waste
  • Glass waste

Food waste can occur at various stages:

Storage waste – food can go off or be contaminated and, therefore, need to be binned

Preparation waste – cut-offs, peels, skins, miscuts, spillages

Portion waste – too large a portion given to customers

Plate waste – leftover food on plates

How often should restaurant bins be emptied?

Every day. Restaurants should empty their internal bins every day (or numerous times if it’s busy) to prevent any bacteria from contaminating kitchen surfaces and other food preparation locations.

These internal bins should be emptied into your larger commercial wheelie bins outside your restaurant ready for collection – typically on a weekly or fortnightly schedule.

What bins do I need?

For use inside your restaurant, you’ll often need a couple of food waste bins, recycling bins, glass bins, and general waste bins.

For your commercial (large outdoor) wheelie bins you’ll need an individual bin for each waste type your restaurant produces.

Our customers typically go for a 1100 or 660-litre general waste bin, a 660 recycling bin, 1 or 2x 240-litre glass bins, and 1 or 2x 240-litre food waste bins.

Restaurant waste bin sizes

How do restaurants avoid waste?

There are a tonne of ways restaurants can avoid or reduce their waste. Here are some examples:

  • Don’t overstock – only buy what you need
  • Store food correctly – avoid spoilage and contamination
  • Freeze food which is approaching the use-by date
  • Use leftover food in the preparation process for soups, stocks, and stews
  • Label food correctly
  • Keep a stock inventory
  • Get pest control for any vermin
  • Ensure your chefs are aware of the correct portion sizes
  • Ask customers if they want to take any leftovers home

What happens to my restaurant waste after it’s collected?

This all depends on what type of restaurant waste we’re talking about. If it’s general waste it’s often incinerated or unfortunately sent to landfill. But if it’s glass, dry-mixed recycling, or food waste then this can all be recycled at a treatment facility.

Food waste recycling

We take your food waste to a facility where it will be converted into biofuel energy through a process called anaerobic digestion. It may also be turned into fertiliser for agricultural use.

Biofuel poster

Glass waste recycling

Your glass bottles and jars will be cleaned and broken down into small pieces called cullets. These cullets will then be smelted down and remoulded into new bottles and jars. If done correctly, you can expect the glass recycling process to be 100% efficient.

Dry-mixed recycling

After we take your mixed recycling to a sorting facility, they’ll separate out the materials according to their properties (paper, cardboard, aluminium can, plastic etc). These will then go through their material-specific recycling process.

What are the UK laws and regulations around restaurant waste management?

In addition to the waste regulation laws requiring businesses to minimise their waste and what they send to landfill (requiring separation of recycling and general waste streams), restaurants are also advised by DEFRA and WRAP to separate their food waste too.

Restaurant waste management statistics

  • Around 1.1 million tonnes of food waste is generated by UK hospitality businesses (including restaurants) each year
  • The most wasted foods thrown away by restaurants are: potatoes, fruit & veg, bread & baked goods, pasta & rice, and meat & fish in that order
  • 28% of potato food waste could have been avoided – through things like skin on fries instead of peeling, and portion control on mash
  • WRAP found that for every £1 a restaurant invests in reducing their food waste, they saved around £7 over the next three years. That’s a 600% ROI.
  • Douglas McMaster (owner of Silo – A zero-waste restaurant in Brighton) claims that ‘as much as 50% of food in restaurants is wasted’

How do I get started with collections for my restaurant?

It’s really simple. Just fill in our 60-second contact form here. Our team will then be in touch to discuss your waste requirements further and organise the best schedule for your restaurant waste collections.

Finf our guidance on restuarant waste collections below:




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At WasteManaged we provide your bins for free and collections for a fixed monthly price – meaning we don’t charge for excess weight. We’re already trusted by over 25,000 UK businesses with their waste and we’re ready to collect yours next. Get a free quote with us now.

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