In coalition with Brooklyn Allied Bars and Restaurants (BABAR) and Common Ground Compost (CGC), we launched Reduce Reuse Recycle Greenpoint. We worked directly with local restaurants on sustainability best practices for waste management, waste audits/analysis and a sustainability materials pilot program.
The project is part of an effort to reduce restaurant waste to landfills and redirect it to recycling and composting initiatives. We estimate that Greenpoint can divert approximately 452,600 pounds of waste from restaurants and bars in Greenpoint per year.
Sustainability best practices
We interviewed 15 Greenpoint-based establishments about their sustainability practices and designed a survey to collect sustainability tips and tricks. The information was captured in an educational brochure we produced.RRR Sustainable Practices Brochure
Common Ground Compost (CGC) conducted the restaurant waste audits. First, CGC arranged to visit each restaurant so that their team could spend time going through the various waste from an average day. They sorted by type – trash, paper, cardboard, compost and glass/metal/plastic – and weighed. The intensive waste audit allowed CGC to better understand each restaurants typical waste flow and identify ways to improve their practices including their “compost potential.”
New York City is pretty behind when it comes to commercial waste. Commercial waste refers to any establishment that is not residential or governmental. All offices, businesses, restaurants and shops are considered commercial businesses. These commercial businesses work with one of over 250 different waste hauling companies that travel all over the city picking up recycling, trash and compost and depositing it to waste transfer stations. By law, NYC restaurants must separate and label their waste inside the establishment, but when it comes to hauler pick up- this is not regulated. A lot of restaurants we’ve worked with throughout this project have voiced to us concern about the next step after they leave their trash and recycling bags on the curb.
Here are the results of the waste audits six participating restaurants! We have left their names out for privacy purposes.
Funding provided by the Office of the New York State Attorney General and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation through the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund.