At our hundreds of cafeteria locations across the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic States, Café Services is proactive in encouraging and implementing earth friendly green initiatives to benefit the environment. Many of their clients have been the recipients of Green Awards and Café Services has encouraged and supported them in these endeavors. Important areas of focus are on the reuse of packaging, shipping materials, and food waste and cooking oil.
Food service providers generate an extensive volume of packaging and shipping materials from routine delivery of large amounts of food and supplies which are often necessary to provide a variety of menu choices for our client’s employees. When possible Café services reuses or recycles packaging from suppliers and distributors including pails or buckets, boxes, lids, and crates or pallets.
Pails and buckets are reused when practical for ice buckets and flour bins, for example. Many of our client’s give buckets to their employees to be used for storage, various around the home uses, and for composting. Pallets are returned to distributors for reuse at the time of delivery and unpacking. All milk crates are diligently returned to the local dairy or food distributor. Paper and other recyclable packing materials are routinely recycled. When available, we prefer to partner with a company or individual who can reuse unrecyclable materials or use a distributor who will pick them up and reuse them to support our philosophy of sound environmentally friendly practices.
Reuse Cooking Oils:
For health and safety reasons, we minimize the number of times we reuse cooking oils during the cooking process. However, rather than dispose of used cooking oil in a landfill where it will sit and cause problems for many future years, Café Services sells used cooking oil waste to companies that turn it into reusable, clean burning, renewable, biodiesel fuel. Biodiesel fuel is a biodegradable fuel that can be used in many combustible engines that use regular diesel fuel without requiring any engine modifications. In addition to being cost-effective, this fuel is safer and cleaner with lower engine emissions typically resulting in a reduction of Greenhouse Gases.
Reuse of Food Waste:
Every day in this country, literally tons of food waste is hauled to local landfills. Café Services helps to lessen landfill amounts by sorting and composting food waste and trash whenever possible. We work hand-in-hand with local farmers donating food waste to be reused for livestock feeding or farm composting. Being cognizant of potential liability issues, we occasionally donate cooked food to local area food banks and shelters. Additionally, some of our clients offer coffee grounds to their employees for composting or adding to their home gardens.
When possible, reusable trays, dinnerware, and eating utensils are used at our client’s facilities and are cleaned with energy efficient washers. Also reusable, washable, cloth towels are used in site kitchens rather than paper towels, and, when available, we use environmentally friendly linen services. The elimination of individual small packets of condiments in favor of large pump style reusable, refillable condiment containers in their cafeterias keeps a multitude of small, non-biodegradable plastic packets out of landfills.
Café Services extends these green initiatives to their corporate office where employees bring their own reusable, washable cups and plates from home for use during the work day. We at Café Services are committed to partnering with our clients to limit the amount of waste we send to landfills and to promote the reuse of used products and supplies wherever and whenever possible.